Apartments nixed, new proposal is for Westport ‘boutique’ hotel on Post Road

2022-06-29 19:40:09 By : Mr. Rock Ko

File photo of the Westport Inn site on Post Road East.

WESTPORT — A currently vacant hotel on Post Road East could soon have a new life with the recent approval of plans presented for the former Westport Inn.

The proposal is for the Delamar Hotel Westport, which is being described as a “luxury boutique hotel,” according to the application. There are several other Delamars including ones in Southport and Greenwich.

The site, located at 1595 Post Road East, has two connected buildings — the front one built in 1960 and the back in 1980.

Plans call for demolishing the front building, renovating the site and adding a three-story wing to the back building. It would bring the current 116 rooms down to 85 rooms and include lobbies, a bar, restaurant and event space. The existing indoor pool will be refurbished and a new outdoor pool will be added.

It would also improve parking and have a drop-off circle in the front with a fountain in the center and an arbor off to the side.

Members of the Architectural Review Board approved the proposal this week. The ARB is an advisory board for the Planning and Zoning Commission and is the first stop for approvals, variances and permits.

“I do believe this proposal is more pleasing to the overall landscape,” said Vesna Herman, an ARB member.

The plan originally included 10 residential units and 41 hotel rooms, but the residential units were removed after comments from the meeting in April.

This also meant that it removed impervious surfaces that were used for the driveway near those units, as well as the need for the variance for the setback.

Several members said they liked the New England spirit of the building, which includes gables, multi-paned windows with traditional trim, white clapboard and a reception area that has a cathedral ceiling and timber barn feel.

“The connection of the old building to the new building is very harmonious,” said Manuel Castedo, an ARB member.

Some members encouraged the developers to keep some of the oak trees on site and to diversify some of the plants used near the sidewalk.

A few other plans had been considered for the site over the years, including an affordable housing project, but haven’t materialized.

“I think it’s a great improvement over what is currently there,” said ARB chairman Ward French.

Katrina Koerting covers the environment, Redding, New Milford and surrounding towns for The News-Times. She joined The News-Times in 2015 after spending a few years as a reporter in Virginia.

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