CONWAY — After a delay of approximately five weeks, work is slated to restart "some time this week" on the stalled Home2 Suites by Hilton construction project at the former Fandangle’s restaurant site on Route 16 in North Conway.
So said construction project manager Charles Allen of CM+E Construction Management and Estimating of Madison.
“We were out on the site today with Kyler (Drew, of L.A. Drew Inc.) and Merle (Sweeney Jr. of Rotten Rock Concrete Construction), and they will be mobilizing as they start moving stuff back in today,” Allen said Tuesday morning.
Kyler Drew affirmed they would begin moving equipment onto the site by the start of next week. L.A. Drew is doing site work for the project.
"We have used the past few weeks to move people onto the MWV Adult Day Center project nearing completion in Center Conway, so it really has not affected our workforce at all," he said Tuesday.
Sweeney could not be reached for comment as of press time.
According to Allen, the work shutdown at the former Fandangle's site was partly because Hilton had altered some specifications of their hotel prototypes, and rather than get too far into the project, the construction team and owner Ashok Patel of Jamsan Management felt it was best to cease operations until the details could be incorporated into the project.
“There were a number of things, including working with Hilton on some changes in their prototype, so it made sense to sort those things out before we got too far ahead,” said Allen.
Conway Town Manager Tom Holmes said he'd heard another factor was that Jamsan was waiting to receive a construction loan.
In response to a reporter’s question, Town Planning Director Tom Irving said at the planning board’s June 27 session the town was monitoring the situation.
Allen declined to comment on the question of a loan.
An email sent to Patel was not returned as of press time, but news about a loan was confirmed by Earle Wason of Wason Hospitality Associates of Portsmouth, who has represented Patel in many recent hotel transactions in Mount Washington Valley, including the purchase of the Fox Ridge Resort and the former Junge’s Motel.
“(Jamsan) was doing the work cash out of hand, expecting approval of a construction loan they expected a long time ago. They don’t intermingle their projects, and they take loans for each project," Wason said. "I heard from them today and they are just waiting for the attorneys to finalize documentation to close the construction loan."
Despite the delay, Wason said he expects the project to meet its completion goal of summer 2020.
The 2.51-acre property was purchased from Beth and Wally Campbell, former operators of the Fandangle’s restaurant, which burned in a 2007 fire.
Town records show that Jamsan purchased the site for $1 million on Dec. 19, 2014.
Patel’s company manages many hotels throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Patel in an interview when site grading work began on the project last October that his company selected the Home2 Suites by Hilton brand because it would serve a niche in the local hotel market.
The original plan called for three stories and 77 rooms but that was expanded to four stories and 80 rooms.
The hotel still meets the town’s 45-foot building height architectural standards limit and site-plan regulations, according to project civil engineer Burr Phillips of Civil Solutions LLC. of Bartlett.
The project now calls for a 2,000-square-foot hotel and 4,185-square-foot restaurant. The hotel and restaurant will be side-by-side, perpendicular to Route 16, with buildings connected via a breezeway.
The property sits between the Mountain Valley Car Wash to the north and the TD Bank Mall branch to the south. The Mountain Valley Mall abuts it to the east.