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Groton Days Inn slated to be converted into apartments

Groton — A developer plans to convert the Days Inn & Suites building on Gold Star Highway into a 60-unit apartment complex.

The hotel building, constructed in the early 1990s and bounded by Gold Star Highway (Route 184) and Kings Highway, is located near the Groton Inn and Suites, Five Guys restaurant and Ramada hotel, and is across the road from the Stop & Shop plaza, Walmart and Hilton Garden Inn, according to the application approved last month by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The plan is to convert the Days Inn "extended stay" suites to apartments, remodel the interior and improve the site, the application states.

Jonathan Kerendian, owner of Blue Rock Property Group of Long Island, N.Y., the project developer, said in a recent phone interview that with the coronavirus pandemic, the Days Inn was not having the same occupancy numbers that it used to, and the former owner felt it was time to sell.

Rather than have the building sit largely unused, Blue Rock Property Group saw an opportunity to convert the 60-unit hotel building into an apartment complex, particularly with growth at Electric Boat, Pfizer and the Naval Submarine Base and a shortage of housing in the area, Kerendian said.

“Just everything fit the criteria to convert this into something nice,” he said.

Kerendian said the property is in a great location — close to workplaces, shopping and the highway. He said there is a big demand for a New York City-style apartment complex, and the vision is a luxury-style apartment building with amenities that workers in the area would appreciate.

He said the amenities will include a business center and play area where people can work or hang out and play pool, a gym and on-site laundry. The building also will have a doorman.

The façade of the building will remain largely the same, but the developer plans to add outdoor amenities, including a picnic area, playground and green space for tenants.

There is also an existing swimming pool, which Blue Rock Property Group is in talks to possibly enclose to make it a year-round amenity, he said.

The units will be one-bedroom apartments, with an estimated rental price of $1,100 a month, Kerendian said. The projected timeline for completion of the project and having the units rented out is December 2022, he said.

Bruce Lofgren, a town planner, said the next step, now that the plan was approved, is to work on improving pedestrian connections, which the Planning and Zoning Commission discussed at the meeting last month.

“There is an existing crosswalk that runs from Five Guys north across Route 184 to the Walmart Plaza. However, there is no crosswalk across Kings Highway along the southern side of Route 184,” Lofgren said. “The Planning Department is planning to work with the state DOT to see if it may be possible to add a crosswalk from Five Guys across Kings Highway to better connect the site with the existing crosswalk that runs across Route 184 to Walmart.”

k.drelich@theday.com

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