Proposed Boston Post Road hotel would be 'higher end' hotel

A higher end hotel is planned for Plains Road along I-95, as one component of a larger project involving an apartment complex and shopping center.

The hotel was the least contested part of the application, with two residents expressing opposition to the Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) at a May 16 public hearing, and one speaking in favor. The board may vote on the application at its June 6 meeting.

As part of the application, Metro 150 LLC is requesting a special permit and site plan approval to construct a retail shopping center at 150 and 184 Boston Post Road and 92 Plains Road, a hotel at 100 and 110 Plains Road and 150 Boston Post Road, and multi-family residential development at 92 and 100 Plains Road, and 150 Boston Post Road.

Attorney John Knuff said the 125-room hotel is allowed by special permit in the Corridor Design Development District 1 (CDD-1), the zone in which these properties are located. He said the project complies with all zoning regulations.

Knuff said, “Hotels are notoriously great tax generators,” commenting that they generate little traffic and place little demand on city services. For this reason, he said that Shelton tries to attract hotels. He said the three projects would generate $800,000 in annual tax revenue to Milford.

Raymond Paier, project engineer from Westcott and Mapes, said the 3.54-acre property has frontage along the I-95 Exit 36 exit ramp with woods to the south.

Paier said the stormwater management system would have an underground detention system that would keep all rainwater onsite and have it discharge into the ground.

“We are not making use of easements toward the Gloria Commons property,” said Paier.

Paier said fresh water service to the area would have a “great improvement” to the installation of a 12-inch water main to connect Plains Road with Junior Street and Erna Avenue. Paier said the developer has granted an easement across the property to South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority.

Architect John Wicko said the property would have “extensive landscaping,” including a tree-lined entry drive, evergreen trees to screen the adjacent Mobil gas station and the proposed apartments, and foundation plantings along the building. Wicko said the four-story, 40-foot high building meets all zoning requirements.

According to the plans, the 12,893 sq. ft. four-story hotel would have 126 parking spaces.

David Sullivan, a traffic engineer from Milone and MacBroom, said the hotel would generate 66 trips during the peak morning hour, 75 trips during the peak afternoon hour, and 90 trips during the peak Saturday hour. Sullivan said hotel trips tend to be much lower outside the peak hour of traffic.

Sullivan said the hotel drive would be located opposite the existing driveway for the Hampton Inn, located on the north side of Plains Road. He is not proposing a traffic signal at the driveways.

He said Plains Road is wide enough that a car turning left into the hotel would not block traffic flow. Sullivan said the left turn from the hotel onto Plains Road is similar to the situation of someone turning left from the adjacent gas station.

In response to questions from the board about the need for the hotel, Knuff said, “There is no particular tenant set for the hotel. A new hotel won’t locate in a community unless there is a certain vacancy rate. We know there is a demand in the marketplace for a new hotel.”

Robert Smith Jr., executive director of Metro Star Properties, said he has developed other hotels, including the Residence Inn and the Spring Hill Suites in Milford.

Smith said Milford has many economy level hotels, but he builds “higher quality hotels.” Smith said the hotel is not large enough to support a full-service restaurant, and he encourages hotel guests to go to local restaurants.

“Food service is hard to provide in Connecticut and make a profit,” said Smith.

Speaking in favor of the entire project was DeForest Smith (no relation to Robert Smith), a principal with the real estate firm of George Smith & Son Real Estate, who said he was hired by Jordan Realty to sell the property.

“It’s an ideal property to be developed,” said DeForest Smith. “This is the last large retail piece in the city of Milford.”

DeForest Smith said he “personally talked to dozens of developers,” and said they all wanted to build 100,000 to 150,000 square feet of retail space. Smith said the property could be used for 200,000 square feet of retail space.

Praising the ideas of Robert Smith, DeForest Smith said, “You have a developer who is more creative than the others,” adding that Robert Smith is “a proven commodity” and another developer might not be one with whom the board is familiar.

Susan Falcigno of 105 Benjamin Heights Drive, who spoke three separate times in opposition to the three components of the proposal, said, “It’s a lot to go on in that little area.” Falcigno said other people are opposed, but do not have the time to attend meetings, and some may not wish to get up and speak.

Ann Maher of 50 Prospect St. expressed concern about the traffic resulting from the project. Maher asked the board to “please keep in mind the responsibility to keep the city livable for all, not just for those who can afford to do changes.”

A single-family home from 1935 on 0.21-acres at 100 Plains Road would be demolished to create the hotel driveway.

Metro 150 LLC registered with the Secretary of State on Nov. 7, 2016 and lists Metro Star Capital II LLC as manager. The latter LLC lists Metro Star Properties II LLC as member. This LLC lists Metro Star Properties LLC as its manager, which, in turn, lists Robert H. Smith Jr. of 50 Cherry St., as member.

The properties are owned by Jordan Realty LLC of Milford, which lists James R. Beard as member.