BAR HARBOR — The owners of the Acadia Hotel at 20 Mount Desert St. have acquired the property next door, where they plan to tear down an existing building and build a new 10,000-square-foot mixed-use addition to the hotel.
The current building at 16 Mount Desert St. was built in 1900, according to town records. It has hosted many businesses over the years, including a silk screen factory and Jellison’s 5&10. It held the Lazy Lobster restaurant for the last few seasons until the Project Social restaurant and a gift shop took over this year.
“It’s kind of a marquee location in town that has been a little bit under-utilized,” owner Peter Hastings said. “We’re excited to have a new structure there, but one that is in keeping with the character of town.”
The new building will house two retail spaces, eight guest rooms, a hotel lobby, a year-round two-bedroom apartment and employee housing. A second-story walkway will connect it to the existing hotel. Eight new parking spaces are planned for the rear of the property.
“There has been a lot of interest already in the retail spaces for upcoming years. People are chomping at the bit,” he said. “And, we’re also anxious to get the new rooms online.”
Hastings and a business partner, doing business as H&P Enterprises, bought the hotel in 2012. It is open year-round.
“We’ve done this for four years already, and the winter business has tripled,” Hastings said.
The existing hotel building, built in 1884 as a private home, has 14 rooms. “The new hotel is trying to keep in that character. We call ourselves a boutique hotel.” Two rooms will be eliminated in the new design, for a total of 21 rooms in the expanded hotel.
The town’s Planning Board is set to hold a public hearing on the project Sept. 7. Plans for the new building received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Design Review Board (DRB) in March and the Planning Board found the site plan application complete earlier this month.
The design was done in-house by the owners and is based on the architecture of hotels from the Bar Harbor cottage era. Robert Harden Design did the drafting and site plan work, and Dennis Riley was the structural engineer.