The Portland Planning Board on Tuesday night approved plans for a 47-room hotel that will be built on Congress Street on the site of a convenience store and gas station.

The board voted 5-0 to approve plans for the hotel, which will be named the Longfellow, at the intersection of Congress and Neal streets. It will be situated next to Tandem Coffee, on a section of Congress Street that stretches between Longfellow Square and Bramhall street, near Maine Medical Center.

The hotel will be located across the street from another upscale hotel owned by the same developer, CenterWest LLC, according to city planner Andrew Tufts. The Francis at 747 Congress St. is a 15-room boutique hotel located in the historic former Mellen E. Bolster House.

Tufts said the new hotel will feature 47 rooms as well as a spa, gym and commercial space on the first floor. There will also be valet parking for 17 cars on the ground floor.

The majority of the quarter-acre parcel will be occupied by the hotel. A hotel lobby entrance would be on Congress Street with the commercial space facing Neal Street.

During the public hearing phase of Tuesday night’s meeting, only one person spoke. Mary Muncie, who lives on Congress Street, praised the hotel development. She said it will complement the neighborhood, ridding it of an eyesore – the convenience store and gas station.

“We look forward to seeing this,” Muncie told the planning board.

Tufts said the project is located in a historic district and will need to be reviewed by the city’s Historic Preservation Board at its meeting in February.


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