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Local News

February 4, 2014

Salem Waterfront Hotel to expand

Plans 32 hotel rooms, 14 apartments, waterfront restaurant

SALEM — The owners of the Salem Waterfront Hotel have filed plans to build a second phase of the Pickering Wharf development.

Plans were filed last week for a $12 million project that would include a six-story building along the South River with 32 hotel rooms, 14 residences, a ballroom and conference space, a restaurant with outdoor dining, and a locker room and showers for marina guests.

An elevated glass walkway would connect the new building to the 86-room Salem Waterfront Hotel, which opened in 2004.

With this addition, the hotel developers said they will be able to keep more tourism business in the city and compete with Boston for small conventions and conferences.

“At the end of the day, Salem is a destination and we’d love to be able to steal some of that business that goes to Boston,” said Michael Rockett, a principal of Salem Waterfront Hotel.

This high-profile project, originally announced in 2007, was stalled in recent years due, in part, to a family legal battle. Denise Rockett, the mother of Michael and Richard Rockett, had secured a court attachment against the hotel and other property, according to a summary of court filings.

The legal problems have been resolved, Michael Rockett said yesterday. “The family has settled its differences and the litigation is gone,” he said. He referred other questions to his lawyer.

Last week, Rockett filed for a special permit with the Planning Board, which is expected to open a hearing on the hotel expansion at its Feb. 20 meeting. Other approvals are needed from the Conservation Commission and the state.

The owners of the Salem Waterfront Hotel are looking to expand at the same time that a Maine hotel group is planning to open an 85-room hotel in a development proposed at the corner of Dodge and Washington streets.

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