By: Jeff McMenemy, Seacoast Online
Construction is under way on what will be a five-story AC Hotel on Vaughan Street, yet another new hotel in Portsmouth’s ever more popular and widening downtown.
Jeff Johnston, developer of the project and principal of Cathartes Private Investments, also built the Portwalk Place mixed-use project at the intersection of Maplewood Avenue and Deer Street, which is home to the Hampton Inn and Suites.
The new AC Hotel is being built next to 3S Artspace, and will feature a rooftop lounge.
Paul Young, a spokesperson for Johnston, said the developer is hoping to open his new hotel there in the summer of 2019.
But while work on the AC Hotel is underway, it’s unclear exactly when construction will begin on the often delayed North End Portsmouth development.
North End Portsmouth will be built on Deer Street between Maplewood Avenue and Russell Street and will include a parking garage with more than 500 spaces, conference center, boutique hotel, condos, the North End Plaza community space and a rooftop garden open to the public.
Initially the project, which was known as Harborcorp when it was going through land-use board reviews, included a Whole Foods Grocery store.
But the company eventually pulled out of the development after a group of area residents filed multiple appeals and court actions against the development.
Developer Chris Thompson sought and received a year-long extension early this year for the approvals of the project from two different city land-use boards.
He said at the time he hoped to start construction on the project this fall.
The site, which extends for an entire city block, is still being used for a parking lot.
Thompson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday about when construction is expected to start or if he has found a replacement for Whole Foods.
Young, who also represents Thompson, said Friday the developer plans to start the required archeological work on the site soon.
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