From Nancy Gaines, The GDT.
“Preliminary plans for the Beauport Gloucester hotel at the former Birdseye site on Pavilion Beach call for a four-story structure, containing 102 mid-priced rooms, a restaurant, meeting center and parking under the building.
With the developers, Beauport Gloucester LLC, already having given “perpetual use” of the beach to the community, they now promise to create a public walkway from Commercial Street to the beach.
Another special local feature, said the hotel project’s managing director, Sheree DeLorenzo, will be retaining or rebuilding the Birdseye white tower, “because it’s a local landmark,” she said.
The plans will be brought before City Council Monday in the first in a series of public meetings by the city Planning Board and the council’s Planning and Development Subcommittee.
The project, financed by Jim Davis — the owner and founder of New Balance shoes, who has a home in Bay View — could cost $75 million, industry experts say.
The plan entails amending — but not dropping — the marine industrial zoning of Fort Square to accommodate a hotel that would be subject to stiff special permitting. The proposed rezoning — with a hotel overlay district — is the subject of Monday’s hearing, which is set for 7 p.m. in City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.
“We listened to the community,” said DeLorenzo, who manages Cruiseport and the Seaport Grille and who will make a presentation to the council Monday.
“We heard that people wanted friends, family, visitors or business colleagues to be able to stay in the city, in a type of accommodation they were accustomed to,” she said. “We will make Birdseye a beautiful property.”
DeLorenzo said the project may well bring up to 100 new jobs to the city, with positions in all ranges of income. A trickle-down effect, she said, would also expand business for providers of local goods like fish, cakes, candies, beer and spirits, florists.”
For much more on this story, look to tomorrow’s print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.
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Nancy Gaines is a regular Times correspondent and an editor of Boston and national publications.