A conceptual rendering shows what the Lincoln Hotel could look like if built on Lincoln Street in Biddeford. The hotel was initially planned to be built inside the Lincoln Mill, left, which is now expected to house apartments, commercial space and a restaurant.

A conceptual rendering shows what the Lincoln Hotel could look like if built on Lincoln Street in Biddeford. The hotel was initially planned to be built inside the Lincoln Mill, left, which is now expected to house apartments, commercial space and a restaurant.

BIDDEFORD — Plans for the Lincoln Hotel and Lofts complex have changed to include more apartments and commercial space inside the Lincoln Mill and a newly built hotel next to the former textile mill as opposed to inside it, the development company leading the project announced Monday.

Kennebunkport developer Tim Harrington first announced plans to redevelop the 165-year-old, 240,000-square-foot Lincoln Mill in December 2014. Originally, the $50 million project called for 96 apartment units and 80 hotel rooms to be built inside the mill.

Now, if approved by the city, the project will include 181 market-rate apartments – including one-, two- and three-bedroom units – and 18,000 square feet of commercial space inside the mill. A hotel would be built later on property adjacent to the mill.

The project has been expanded to reflect more than $10 million in additional private investment.

In a written statement, Harrington said the decision was made because of a high demand for housing in the area.

“As updated market studies were completed, we drilled down into the data, and it became apparent that the demand for new marketrate apartments is greater than we anticipated,” he said.

The original plans also called for a gym for hotel guests and two restaurants – one casual and one formal – at Lincoln Mill. The new plans incorporate modifications to these features, including a larger gym that would be open to the public and one casual restaurant. A rooftop pool is still part of the project, as originally planned.

The 96-unit apartment complex was slated to open this fall, but work on the mill was halted as the new plans were determined, said Mark Robinson, a spokesman for Harrington’s development company, LHL Holdings LLC. If the city approves the new plans, construction on the mill would begin in the late spring or early summer, he said.

It is not yet known how soon construction could begin on the hotel or how large the structure would be. It would be built on what is currently a parking lot between Pearl Street and Saco Falls Way.

Last year, the city sold the property to Harrington for $1 but retained its air rights (the rights to the space above the land). So with plans to construct something there, Harrington and the city will have to “renegotiate” that deal, Mayor Alan Casavant said Monday.

Casavant has been a strong proponent of the Lincoln Mill project and others like it, and said he is just as excited about the project given the proposed changes.

“I think it’s a huge project for the city of Biddeford,” he said. “To imagine that (mill) being redeveloped into living space with a restaurant and commercial entities, I’m thrilled.”

Casavant also pointed to plans to use city, state and federal funding to redevelop the sidewalk on Lincoln Street and the intersection of Lincoln and Main streets.

“It’s going to be a significant project matched by a significant redevelopment of the infrastructure that we have around it,” he said.

Representatives from LHL Holdings have asked to present the new plans to the Biddeford Planning Board at its March 3 meeting.

One aspect of the project the board is expected to discuss is parking. According to documents provided by Robinson, the original plans required 293 parking spaces, while the new ones require 443 spaces.

— Staff Writer Angelo J. Verzoni can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]


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