PORTSMOUTH — Due to material shortages, construction of the Sleep Inn/MainStay Suites Hotel at the corners of Second Street, Third Street, and Washington Street has fallen behind schedule.
“When you don’t have materials and you have some workers on-site, then they’re left standing there,” said co-developer Ed Newsome, after the development team’s concrete providers were forced to close temporarily as a nonessential business.
Delays have become typical due to the coronavirus and its subsequent shutdowns and the lack of material is the sole reason for slowed progress on the site. Rumors that funding had dried up or any other reason besides the material shortage are unfounded, he said.
“There are a lot of rumors out there that may have caused delays and those are just absolutely 100% false,” said Newsome.
Workers have returned to the site and material needs have been filled, but Newsome said it is nearly impossible to project when it will be ready to operate as the availability of equipment and creating work schedules remains undetermined.
Uncertainty has created havoc from a logistics standpoint, where one delay in materials or not having enough workers for the day causes a domino effect in the overall process.
“A project this size takes a long time to get started and, when you shut it down, it takes a long time to get it going back up,” said Newsome.
The developers broke ground on Jan. 31 with the goal to be completed by the fall. City officials like 4th Ward Councilman Andrew McManus hailed the project as an economic boost and representative of a city trying to move forward.
“I’m excited not only for City Council and Portsmouth, I’m excited for the area residents,” he said. “There will be lots of jobs available when this is constructed. I like whenever Portsmouth has new things because that shows that we’re going in the right direction.”
Upon completion, the seven-story hotel will have 77 rooms and amenities such as meeting rooms, extended-stay suites, complimentary hot breakfast and a fitness center.
Despite all the delays and uncertainty, Newsome still feels the hotel has a lot to offer to the community.
“We’re still excited by this project,” he said. “We’re just like everybody else, we were blindsided by this COVID deal and we are just trying our best to get the project back on track.”
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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