The Portland Planning Board has approved a new hotel proposed for the city’s eastern waterfront.

The 150-room AC Hotel by Marriott at Fore, Hancock and Thames streets was approved unanimously by the six board members who voted Tuesday night.

The six-story building will be near the former Portland Co. project, where city officials have established a historic district and plans are in the works for offices, retail space and housing.

The new hotel, which was first proposed last fall, will cost an estimated $20 million and include a restaurant or about 4,000 square feet of retail space. Sixteen condominiums would be built on the top floor.

The lot where it will be built is currently vacant and sits between the Ocean Gateway garage and the Ocean Gateway terminal.

The developer is the Portland Norwich Group, which has offices in Florida and New Hampshire. Calls seeking information about when construction would begin and when the project is expected to be completed were not returned Wednesday.

The AC brand of Marriott hotels are designed with modern European influences like breakfasts that offer egg tarts rather than traditional eggs and an assortment of cheese, meats and fruit. Snacks and tapas plates replace room service. All of the AC hotels offer mobile check-in and check-out services.

The hotel will join several other recent additions to the city’s downtown hospitality sector, including the Press Hotel and the Hyatt. According to the Maine Real Estate and Development Association’s annual forecasting conference in January, downtown hotels reported a 70 percent occupancy rate in 2015, well above the state average of 56.7 percent. Industry observers say the city’s increasing reputation as a food hub is attracting visitors and making it a destination for tourists.


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