The following was published on the Concord Monitor’s website:
Capital Commons owner developing boutique hotel
Elizabeth Frantz photo / Monitor staff
Visitors to the Capital City will soon have a chance to stay the night in the heart of downtown.
Michael Simchik, owner of the Capital Commons building on South Main Street, said he is in the early stages of developing a boutique hotel on the location’s third and fourth floor. The hotel will have 35 to 37 rooms, many overlooking downtown shops and the State House, and is expected to be open for business by late spring of next year.
The venture seemed natural in the wake of the city’s downtown revitalization efforts, Simchik said.
“We’re really pleased with the development efforts; it has proven to be a real boon for the southern end,” he said. “The city has been really supportive. It’s something Concord lacks.”
Simchik defined a “boutique” hotel as small in size, relatively upscale, “but still competitively priced.” The facility will also have a workout room and access to the building’s conference rooms.
Simchik said the opportunity to create a hotel opened up when the fourth-floor tenant, the Hinckley Allen law firm, made the decision to move to Manchester in late summer.
Tenants on the third floor, he said, are open to being relocated to other parts of the building.
It’s too early to say what the interior of the hotel will look like, but Simchik said he plans to develop a space that evokes the Granite State. “You’ll know you’re in New England, but it will feel distinctly like New Hampshire, versus Massachusetts or Vermont or Maine,” he said.
Some details, like the pricing of the rooms, have not been hammered out yet, and Simchik declined to state his budget. But he did tease potential collaborations with some of the businesses near the Capital Commons building.
“We’re hoping to collaborate with O Steakhouse for breakfast and cocktails, but the details right now are all up in the air,” he said. “There’s also potential to partner jointly with the Red River Theatres and the Capitol Center for the Arts.”
Angie Lane, executive director for Red River Theatres, which is a tenant in the Capital Commons, liked the sound of that.
“We are very excited,” she said. “I love the idea of guests coming down the hotel to come see a movie in their pajamas. That’s my dream.”
“I think there’s potential for a positive impact,” said Scott Ouellette, owner of O Steaks & Seafood, located on the first floor of the Capital Commons building.
“It’s another opportunity to bring people to that end of Main Street.” Ouellette said the extent of the hotel’s partnership with O Steaks would be further discussed next week.
Even the Centennial Hotel welcomed the idea. “There’s definitely a need, because we’re tiny,” said general manager Sherri Ferns. “The more rooms, the better is it for downtown.”
Ferns defined the “boutique” hotel experience as being unique and cozy, as opposed to a chain hotel. She said the Centennial embodies a more traditional New England experience, and while not quite in downtown, is walkable enough for patrons to enjoy the city.
“The more people we can bring to Concord, the better,” she said.
Construction has started on the fourth floor of the building, Simchick said. It’s expected the interior will be gutted and cleaned up by next week, when Red River Theatres holds its 10-year anniversary celebration.
(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)