May 17, 2017

UConn solicits pitches for new hotel in Mansfield

PHOTO |  Peter Morenus, UConn
PHOTO | Peter Morenus, UConn
An aerial view of the UConn campus.
Wikimedia Commons
UConn's flagship campus in Storrs.

UConn is seeking proposals from private developers to build a new hotel on university-owned property near the Storrs Center development in Mansfield.

UConn is asking for developers to pitch plans for a new hotel with about 100 rooms on the UConn-owned parcel at the corner of Route 195 and South Eagleville Road. The selected developer would own and operate the private hotel, UConn said.

Scott Jordan, UConn's executive vice president for administration and chief financial officer, said the university and its downtown are lacking a hotel that could efficiently serve the university and surrounding community. The Nathan Hale Inn, a struggling hotel on the Storrs campus since 2001, would eventually be converted to student housing, he said.

The prospective hotel site is currently occupied by the Mansfield Apartments, UConn student housing built in the 1950s. While the UConn Master Plan envisions demolishing the apartments, students will not be displaced and can live there through the spring of 2018. By fall of 2018, the apartments would no longer be offered for student housing.

UConn is seeking a hotel that would fit in well with the community and be environmentally friendly, Jordan said.

"We are committed to ensuring that this project will not result in the permanent loss of any existing student beds," added Michael Gilbert, UConn's vice president for student affairs.

Jordan noted that many of the challenges faced by the Nathan Hale Inn were specific to that hotel, and were not the result of larger market forces or a lack of demand.

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