Local hotel group eyes Springfield project

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STOCKBRIDGE Main Street Hospitality Group is exploring a second hotel opportunity in Springfield, this time in an historic building that is owned by MGM Springfield.

The Berkshire-based group, which runs the Red Lion Inn and several other county lodging establishments, has been looking at converting the former MassMutual building at 101 State St. into a hotel. The eight-story structure, located on the corner of State and Main streets, was built in 1908 by MassMutual as its headquarters. Among the building's current tenants is Focus Springfield, the city's public-access television operator.

The project is currently in the exploratory stages, said Main Street Hospitality Group's CEO Sarah Eustis, adding that no definite decisions have been made.

"It's a little to early to tell," Eustis said. "It is a project that requires a lot of different kinds of funding to make it work."

Main Street is working on the project with Peregrine Group LLC, a Rhode Island-based real estate advisory development firm that is the Berkshire group's partner in the $29 million Hammets Wharf project in Newport, R.I. That project, which includes an 84-room hotel managed by Main Street Hospitality, is expected to open this spring.

"We have a very strong development partner that is interested in looking at this building with us," Eustis said, referring to Peregrine. "What's interesting ... as we went through the early stages of development is that it could support MGM's Springfield's need for more lodging inventory.

"The bone structure of the building works well for a hotel," Eustis said.

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In June, Main Street Hospitality announced that it would serve as the "operating partner" for Springfield's Massasoit Hotel, a 19th century building that is being restored as part of the $38 million renovation of Springfield's Massasoit Block and Paramount Theater on Main Street.

The Massasoit Block is located on the other end of Main Street from MGM Springfield, and is near Union Station, the city's recently restored railroad station. The Massasoit Hotel building was originally constructed in 1843, and has served as a hotel since 1929.

MGM Springfield purchased the former MassMutual building, along with a neighboring property on State Street, for $8.4 million in 2015 as it prepared to build its $1 billion Springfield casino.

Main Street also will be opening a new 47-room hotel in Providence, R.I. in early summer, Eustis said. Known as "The Beatrice," the new boutique hotel is located in the historic five-story Exchange Bank building that was built in 1887 in downtown Providence. Main Street's partner in this project is Paolino Properties, which acquires, develops and manages retail and multifamily space across the state of Rhode Island.

Main Street is also exploring additional opportunities in Worcester and Vermont, Eustis said.

In the Berkshires, Main Street Catering and Events, a subsidiary of Main Street Hospitality Group, is working with Greylock Works on a new culinary outlet in North Adams.

"Lots of things are in the pipeline." Eustis said.

Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.


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