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Danbury Downtown hotel could be in the works

September 25, 2018

A hotel could be the next attraction coming to downtown Danbury.

Plans that would convert the Paul Mitchell School at 2 National Place into a 40-room hotel have been approved by Danbury’s Department of Planning and Zoning, according to a letter sent to the engineering firm that conducted the site work. The plan may now move into the permitting stage.

Plans submitted to the city call for a renovation of the interior of the three-story building, a 1,495-square-foot addition to the first floor and a new patio area. The plans do not include a bar or restaurant.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said the hotel would have an extended-stay option to accommodate the medical community with Danbury Hospital close by. Western Connecticut Health Network, which includes Danbury Hospital, is a branch campus in partnership with the University of Vermont’s medical school.

“We think it’s great,” he said. “We’re happy about it and we’ll try to make it happen as quickly as possible.”

Boughton said Paul Mitchell School would not leave Danbury and would relocate within the city. Paul Mitchell School is a cosmetology school accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences. There are more than 100 Paul Mitchell Schools in the country.

The property owner is PM Danbury and the contract purchaser is Jnr Real Estate Holdings, according to documents at Danbury City Hall. Jnr Real Estate did not want to comment until the project is further along.

Betsy Paynter, director of City Center Danbury, said a downtown hotel would also be a draw for parents of Western Connecticut State University students.

“We don’t really have a hotel in downtown and we need one,” she said. “The medical students will need a place to stay and they’re young professionals. They will shop in the stores and eat at the restaurants in downtown. Also, it shows investment in downtown and that’s encouraging.”

The Danbury Historical Society said the downtown area has not had a hotel since the mid-1970s when the Danbury New Englander Motor Hotel at 198 Main St. closed. The New Englander opened in 1962 and had 120 rooms. It replaced Hotel Green, which closed in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Artel Engineering Group of Brookfield did the site planning work for the hotel and Danbury-based H&R Design is the architect and designer of the project, according to documents at city hall.

The building was previously a bank and the drive-through that currently exists would be enclosed and added to the square footage of the hotel.

A hotel is a permitted use in the Central Business District zone, and 2 National Place is located within the Downtown Revitalization Overlay Zone.

The writer may be reached at cbosak@hearstmediact.com; 203-731-3338

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