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Hotel project is under way

Date: 6/26/2012

June 27, 2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

CHICOPEE — Although the recession put the new Residence Inn by Marriot hotel project into slow motion, officials finally broke ground for the 115-room hotel June 21 in the Chicopee Crossing development area.

Located on Memorial Drive, the project was first announced in 2007 and Frank Colaccino, president of the Colvest Group and the developer of Chicopee Crossing, said, "A project like this takes a long time."

The hotel, scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, will be owned by BK Investments and managed by Waterford Hotel Group.

Colaccino said that between 1,200 and 1,400 construction jobs would be created by this hotel project. When completed, the hotel will employ about 45 full and part time employees

"Today marks a very special occasion and an important step for the Chicopee Crossing development project, Dennis Patel, CEO of BK Investments, said. "This new hotel would not be possible without the efforts of many and we are thankful for all the support we have received on the state and local levels, as well as the entire Chicopee community. We look forward to introducing the new Residence Inn by Marriot next year."

BK Investments owns Hampton Inn and Days Inn in Chicopee as well as other hotel properties.

The new hotel is designed for extended stay business and leisure travelers and will feature suites with fully-equipped kitchens. The hotel will also offer a free hot breakfast and high speed Internet service.

Mayor Michael Bissonnette noted that a $1.5 million investment by the state for adding traffic lights on Memorial Drive made development at this location possible. The new intersection has also assisted in the development of the property across from Chicopee Crossing at which a Firestone dealership and an Aldi supermarket are under construction.

"It takes vision to do a project like this in this economy and we are here today to celebrate that vision," Bissonnette said.

Colaccino said the hotel project, as well as the rest of the plans for his Chicopee Crossing complex, were put on hold by the recession that began in 2008. His first tenant, a Chipotle Mexican Grill, opened last year, he said. There is additional space available in that building, he added.

The complex has plans for a three-story office building, another restaurant and a bank. Colaccino said he is in negotiations with several fast food chains for the restaurant location and has had discussions with a local bank for a branch office. The office building will be built when a significant number of leases have been signed.

Colaccino said the entire Chicopee Crossings area has its complete water and sewer infrastructure in place.

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