BEVERLY — When Annie Brown Coe graduated from college, her parents bought her a bike from Brown's Bicycle Shop as a graduation gift. Eight years later, she's developing a new connection to the now-closed business.
Coe has signed a lease to own and operate the micro-hotel that is being built at the former bike shop at 278 Cabot St. The 13-room hotel, to be called The Cabot Lodge, is scheduled to open in October.
Coe, who grew up in Manchester-by-the-Sea and moved to Beverly with her husband in 2017, has been the assistant manager and then manager at The Verb Hotel in Boston for the last four years. Now, she said, she has an opportunity to design and operate her own hotel from scratch.
"There's lots of excitement, enthusiasm and energy for a new concept," she said.
Coe became involved in the hotel after connecting with Ben Carlson, a local real estate developer who bought the building last September after Brown's bikes closed after 70 years in business.
Carlson said he was contemplating whether he would run the hotel himself or hire someone when he met Coe, who had been eyeing possible locations for a new hotel on the North Shore.
"She told me what she was looking to do, and I decided it was great idea to get on board with her," Carlson said. "I'm very confident that the hotel will be a success under her leadership. I think I found just the right person."
Carlson said he is building out the hotel to Coe's specifications. He will remain as the building's owner; she is leasing the space to own and operate the hotel.
Coe, 30, said the hotel's design will mix Caribbean and colonial American influences and capture the "coastal nostalgia" of New England's clipper ships and their trade routes through the West Indies.
The name, she said, is a nod to the Cabots, one of Boston's founding families that later settled on the "Gold Coast" of Beverly, as well as to the hotel's location on Cabot Street. Coe said she is working with Historic Beverly to provide records and artwork of the era to be included in the design.
Coe refers to The Cabot Lodge as a boutique, rather than micro, hotel, but also said it's important to be honest about the size of the rooms, which will average about 150 square feet. To deal with the smaller space, she is designing rooms with loft beds, and with sinks that are outside the bathroom.
The hotel will be a "high-tech experience," she said, including flat-screen TVs and the option of using a Bluetooth key on your phone. The outside of the building will remain yellow brick, with the addition of gray awnings. As for the room rates, Coe said the hotel will be "upscale but affordable."
Coe said the concept of micro-rooms appeals to millennials, who are accustomed to sharing smaller spaces. "People surprise themselves with how they can live with less," she said.
A study commissioned by the city last year concluded there is "significant hotel room demand" in downtown Beverly. The study noted there are three colleges, four theaters and several wedding venues within three miles of downtown Beverly, plus tourist attractions in Salem. There are also three nearby business parks and the Beverly Regional Airport that bring in business travelers.
The study said there are 16 hotels within five miles of downtown Beverly, but only two in Beverly itself — the 91-room Wylie Inn and Conference Center at Endicott College and the 20-room Beverly Gardens Suites on Lakeview Avenue.
The Cabot Lodge has the potential to eventually expand to the second and third floors of the buildings, which are now apartments.
Business owners and residents who spoke at a Planning Board meeting in February expressed strong support for the hotel. The Cabot theater, which is a block away, attracts nearly 90,000 people per year, many of them coming from more than 50 miles.
Coe said that Beverly, with its theaters, restaurants and arts district, is going through a "wonderful transition," and the hotel will provide an opportunity for more people to experience it.
"It's such a magical city," she said. "People have reason to spend their time here and spend their money."
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or email@example.com.