PORTLAND — A section of Fore Street will be reduced to one lane for more than a year to accommodate the construction of a hotel, the city said Thursday.
From next week until May 2014, traffic on the section of Fore Street from Dana Street to Union Street will be one-way, heading west, to make room for construction of the Hyatt Place Portland hotel.
East Brown Cow, a local development company, announced Wednesday that it will break ground Feb. 13 on the 123-room hotel in the Old Port, a project estimated to cost $14 million.
Jan Beitzer, executive director of the Portland Downtown District, said business owners on Fore Street negotiated the one-way traffic pattern with the developer because it will preserve parking on one side of the narrow street.
“We would have lost all of the parking spots if it had remained two-way. That would have been a huge blow to the businesses in that area,” she said.
The seven-story hotel at Fore and Union streets will have open-air decks on the top floor facing the waterfront and 1,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
It’s the first of three Old Port-area hotels approved recently by the city’s Planning Board to go under construction.
A 110-room hotel in the former Portland Press Herald building on Congress Street and a 131-room Courtyard by Marriott on Commercial Street are also poised to move forward.
Nearly 300 hotel rooms have been added in downtown Portland in the last three years, with the construction of the 120-room Hampton Inn and the 179-room Residence Inn by Marriott.
Additionally, the Eastland Hotel will make $35 million worth of renovations that will add 58 rooms, bringing its total number to 289.
About 10 parking spaces — eight metered and two, five-minute drop-off spaces — on Union Street north of Fore Street will be lost during construction of the Hyatt Place Portland.
The city asks drivers to watch out for bicyclists and pedestrians in the work zone.
Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at: