The word on the street is that the Lincoln Property Company from Texas, which had successfully entered a proposal for the redevelopment of the Holiday Inn site in Olde Towne Portsmouth, has not been able to pull together the financing to make a go of the project.
Thank goodness, frankly.
Oh, it's not that I don't want to see the site developed. It's just that I really didn't have a good taste in my mouth about Lincoln and their proposal. I'm sure their project would have been satisfactory, but not much more.
And, I should note, this is based on nothing more than gut; I have not fully analyzed the various proposals.
Just up the street from the Holiday Inn, The Myrtles at Olde Towne is thriving. Why do I bring up The Myrtles? Well, the primary developer for that project, along with the renovation of what is now The Heights, was a guy named Daniel Aston. And Mr. Aston, so the scuttle is, is now primed to have his proposal for the Holiday Inn site accepted.
(Sidebar: The Heights was sold recently. So was The Myrtles. Both deals closed a little over a month ago.)
If you look at The Myrtles, along with the other development that Mr. Aston has been involved in in Park View and elsewhere, and you get the sense that he looks to build something of value, and he looks to add value to the community, and he looks to work to maximize the projects.
From what I've been able to find on the Net, Mr. Aston came to Portsmouth shortly after 9/11. If that is indeed the case, he came and poured money into the city when the economy was suffering from the reverberations of the terror attacks.
I have never met Mr. Aston, but from what I've found, he's associated with the Roseland Property Company, which has projects from here to New England. He's also a managing partner for the Olde Towne Company, which has built (and is building) fine homes in Parkview and elsewhere in Portsmouth. I don't know which entity had put the proposal in on the Holiday Inn site, but I suspect it was Roseland; they did The Myrtles and The Heights. My understanding is that their runner-up proposal for the Holiday Inn waterfront site actually looked to link up with the marina and enlarge the marina as well as provide high end, mixed-use buildings (towers, mid-rise, and several story structures) which would fit with the character of the Norfolk/Portsmouth river front and complement the historic structures in Olde Towne.
I guess we'll just have to see what transpires.
Comments and scuttle, anyone?
Photo lifted from Virginia Marine Structures, Inc., a company that specializes in building marine structures. Like marinas. Wharfs. Piers. You get the idea.