The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
September 22, 2016
SALEM — A hotel being developed in an uncommon space downtown is planning some uncommon features, including basement level shuffleboard, a vintage design up front and rooftop dining options.
Meet Hotel Salem, the 44-room Lark Hotel boutique hotel at 209 Essex St., by all approximation the heart of downtown’s Pedestrian Mall.
The plans for Hotel Salem got special attention at a series of informal, informational meetings hosted by Ward 2 City Councilor Heather Famico on Tuesday and Wednesday. Plans for Peabody Essex Museum’s long-awaited expansion also got a showing at the events.
Today, the building’s windows facing Essex Street are mostly covered in kraft paper. An opening in the kraft coverings allows for limited line of sight to an empty, unoccupied space in the midst of construction and demolition.
“We’re pretty far along the process,” said Paul Durand, principal at Winter Street Architects, the company handling the design of the project, as he presented the future of the building to neighbors. “I’m going to show you where we are.”
The project is expected to take about seven months and aims to begin after Halloween, leaving crews enough time to take care of outside utility work before the ground freezes toward the end of the year, according to Durand.
On the outside, the Newmark Building will see extensive masonry repairs and enlarging of all the windows on Essex Street, according to Durand.