City Council takes action against ‘failed’ hotel project


By Derrick C. Parker - For The Daily Times



Portsmouth City Council took action to replace the sidewalks at the former site of the Sleep Inn/Mainstay Suites hotel project.

Portsmouth City Council took action to replace the sidewalks at the former site of the Sleep Inn/Mainstay Suites hotel project.


Photo by Derrick C. Parker

PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth City Council unanimously passed a resolution to reconstruct sidewalks at the former site of the Sleep Inn / Mainstay Suites hotel project on Monday.

Three years ago, developer Ed Newsome and Brighter Vision Group LLC announced the seven story, 77 room hotel development. Since then, the project has been plagued by setbacks and controversy. Sidewalks were removed, a makeshift fence was erected, and only partial construction began on the base floor.

Residents have regularly taken to social media to voice concerns and outrage over the long standing eyesore. Now, council has agreed to undertake a project to replace the sidewalks – which is estimated to cost $26,080. The entire cost will be assessed to the project’s property tax bill.

The resolution states that the sidewalks “were removed for a failed construction project and have not been replaced by the owner of the premises despite numerous notices.” It also says it is necessary to go forward due to health, safety, and welfare concerns of pedestrians.

“This is about public safety,” said Mayor and 1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne. “We have a situation where the City Manager and City Engineer have tried to work with the property developer. The last couple years have obviously been unpredictable and chaotic…but we have to balance that will public safety in mind. People are walking along the street in a high traffic area because there are no sidewalks.”

“People are walking from campus into the downtown. Kids from the STEM school are right down the street. This is a hazard. The core of this issue is public safety.”

Property owners will have until March 1st to respond to the resolution and submit their own plans for repairing the sidewalks. If that does not happen, the City will move forward and reconstruct sidewalks along Washington and 2nd Streets.

“They have until March 1st to give us a plan,” said City Engineer Nathan Prosch. “If nothing happens, we are going to go forward and replace the sidewalks ourselves…I’ve asked for several months for this to be done. The past half dozen conversations I’ve had with them, I’ve asked for a schedule with milestones, dates, and future plans. I’ve asked if construction will resume, if it will be sold – and I’ve heard nothing back. They simply haven’t been cooperating and its time to move forward.”

“My main priority is pedestrian safety. It is also an eyesore – but it is simply not safe for people to be walking in the roadway because of the lack of sidewalks. By Easter, we will have sidewalks at that location one way or another.”

Portsmouth City Council took action to replace the sidewalks at the former site of the Sleep Inn/Mainstay Suites hotel project.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/01/web1_thumbnail_Hotel-1.jpgPortsmouth City Council took action to replace the sidewalks at the former site of the Sleep Inn/Mainstay Suites hotel project. Photo by Derrick C. Parker

By Derrick C. Parker

For The Daily Times