Rockett said he welcomes the company.
“I support the other project,” he said. “Anytime you can keep people in Salem, it’s good for Salem.”
With more hotel and function rooms, the city can attract larger groups, the developer’s attorney said.
“By adding ballroom and conference space, this will allow the city to play host to small to medium-sized conferences and conventions during winter months and shoulder seasons,” attorney Joe Correnti wrote in a letter to the Planning Board.
“The combination of existing and proposed hotel rooms throughout the city creates a new synergy in attracting groups and enhancing tourism year-round into our downtown.”
Rockett said he is in talks with a few restaurants but has not signed an agreement. This new restaurant would face the water with about 80 or 90 seats and outdoor dining.
Although the original hotel project marketed condominiums on the top floors, Rockett said they are looking at apartments on the top two floors for the expansion.
To make way for this development, a small building near the Congress Street bridge used for offices and marina space would be demolished.
There are no plans to add a parking garage or deck. Rockett said he has adequate parking on site, across the street on private land and at an additional location. The project, he noted, is across the street from a city garage.
If all goes well, Rockett said he hopes to begin construction late this year or early in 2015.
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.