After a raging fire in 2003, the armory at the corner of Pine Street and Main Street in Burlington hasn't seen much life. But a new project will transform the forgotten building.
"It's the last and final piece of the redevelopment of most of this city block here in Burlington," said Erik Hoekstra of Redstone.
What was once the dance floor for the Sh-Na-Na's nightclub and the Hunt's Mill and Mining Company will now be a place visitors can call home for a night or two. The commercial company Redstone has begun building a new, upscale hotel-- the Hilton Garden Inn.
"This is an exciting time. We're going to kind of meld the historic feel of this armory with a new upscale feel," said Sean Riley, the president and CEO of Maine Course Hospitality Group.
That modern twist on a historic building will introduce residents to the first Garden Inn in the state. And although there isn't much to see yet, a conceptual rendering shows what the building is anticipated to look like when complete, with a two-level parking garage and 141 rooms.
But it won't stop there.
"The area we're at now is going to be retail space, we're talking currently with some restaurants," Riley said. "On the second floor will be our restaurant, the Hilton Garden restaurant, a lounge, a check-in area and lobby area."
The new hotel will bring life to not only the old armory building, but also to Burlington.
"You've done something that I think is clearly a very positive step for the city," said Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington.
Many local businesses have also played a role in bringing the Garden Inn to downtown, including the Church Street Commission. Maine Course Hospitality will be the company running day-to-day operations.
"It's a true partnership with a lot of players to pull it off," Hoekstra said.
And although it's been a long road to begin work on the foundation of the hotel, Redstone hopes to be checking in guests by the fall of next year.
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