is apparently now
I expressed concerns to the Planning Board last night after learning about a last minute change in the plan to the Arlington St. hotel. The contents of my comments are below. For further coverage, please follow the link to the Patriot Ledger article here. Stay tuned...
I am unable to join the meeting tonight, so I am writing in connection to this project, and the letter that I submitted below in May.
While I am generally supportive of this project - especially given the fact that this property has remained vacant for years - I am currently dismayed by some recent and unforeseen circumstances around the project.
It was recently brought to my attention that this hotel - which was originally presented to the city, and that I represented to my constituents, as a Marriott or Hilton branded hotel - will now be operating under an Intercontinental Hotel Group brand, more specifically, a Holiday Inn Express. This was a last minute surprise following the approval of the project by this very board, which has given me the impression of a "bait and switch" situation. For the two years I have been aware of this project, the brand of the hotel was purported to be that of a Marriott or a Hilton, but is now something else.
Work Inc., and Kevin Coughlin before me, built considerable good will with Ward 3 and the surrounding neighborhood to make sure this project went as smoothly as possible, and I do not view this act as one of a good new neighbor.
While I understand that this project is a fait accompli, I just hope that this is not a bad omen for the future on what was once a smooth and positive process until now.
I kindly ask that you encourage the developers to stick to their promise of being a good neighbor and partner to Ward 3. I can only wish for the success of their project, for that in turn will benefit our great city.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.