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Potsdam planning board to review hotel site plan

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POTSDAM — The village Planning Board will consider Thursday evening a site plan and property subdivision submitted by Vision Hotels Inc., Corning, for a Hampton Inn on Market Street.

The $6 million, 95-room hotel proposal from Visions Hotels would be at the site of the current Scoopuccino’s restaurant, Ton’s Sports Bar and Village Florist.

The board will review the site plan application, submittted by Amy Franco of Clough Harbor & Associates, Albany. The board will look at issues related to parking, impact on traffic, signage, the location of the building and its utilities.

If the board approves the site plan application, the next step is for the developer to apply for a building permit through the village’s code enforcement office. Ms. Franco will also seek to subdivide two smaller parcels into one larger parcel.

Potsdam Office of Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss said this will make it easier to finance the property, as the developer plans to utilize both current parcels for construction.

In December, Ms. Franco could not provide a specific timetable for the project, but she said she hopes to move ahead as quickly as possible with the plan. “(Summer construction) would be optimistic,” she said.

The Hampton Inn is one of two proposals unveiled last year to build hotels in Potsdam. Mr. Hanns has said in the past that there is “a pretty significant deficit” of hotel rooms in St. Lawrence County.

Andy Patel, president of Visions Hotels, is overseeing the project. Visions Hotels owns several franchise hotels in Central and Western New York and the Best Western Carriage House hotel in Watertown.

A full-size hotel has long been a Potsdam priority. SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University often draw visitors to the village, but the small inns in the village fill up quickly, leaving tourists to look elsewhere for a place to stay.

Potsdam’s comprehensive 10-year plan calls for the village to seek out hotel developers to solve this problem.

The second hotel project is part of a plan that also includes a conference center and housing development, overseen by SUNY Potsdam.

The Lehman Park project would be funded by the college and Titus Management Group, Colton, and will include an 85-room hotel.

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