A plan to transform the Lincoln Mill into a $50 million hotel and apartment complex on Wednesday received conditional approval from the Biddeford Planning Board.

Kennebunkport developer Tim Harrington received approval for 96 apartments, an 81-room hotel, a 150-seat restaurant and a 65-seat restaurant in the former textile mill in the city’s downtown, said City Planner Greg Tansley. Final plans for the project must be submitted to the board on Jan. 7.

Harrington, who has been involved with the development of nine hotels and seven restaurants in Kennebunkport, will transform the brick mill building into the Lincoln Hotel and Lofts, giving the city its first downtown hotel in recent history. He expects to break ground on the project next spring and finish by 2017.

Harrington estimates the project will create at least 200 permanent jobs.

City officials say the project is a sign that there is strong interest in redeveloping the downtown and mill districts after decades of little growth attributed to the presence of a trash incinerator. The city bought the site of the former Maine Energy incinerator for $6.65 million two years ago. Harrington has said he would not have considered this project had the incinerator stayed in operation.

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