Inn proposal would give new life to old property in South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME) -- Plans are in the works for a boutique inn on Cottage Road in South Portland.

"We look at this as a way to have a hosted, professionally managed inn to provide people that want to visit Willard Beach stay in Willard Beach," says CEO of Northland Enterprises, Josh Benthien.

Benthien says the property at 265 Cottage Road could be the answer. Originally built during the Civil War Era, it was most recently a convent. Benthien and the Migis Hotel Group would like to see it as an inn.

"It felt like a good project for our greater neighborhood that would bring back this building," says Benthien, "It is a beautiful building, it just needs some love."

Some of that love would include updating the exterior, historic replica windows, new siding and a new porch.

"But for the most part it's going to look like it does now," says Benthien, "Just more beautiful and updated, more landscaping and things like that."

Before that can happen, Benthien says they're waiting on new rules surrounding historic properties from the South Portland City Council. They also hope to get an official historic designation for the property.

"So they're tightening up that language and kind of agreeing upon that," Benthien says.

There won't be a restaurant or bar at the proposed inn, but Benthien says there will be breakfast featuring local businesses.

"It's just an opportunity to help integrate the inn into the neighborhood," he says.

A neighborhood that continues to grow in popularity.

"We've heard anecdotally from people that this would be great just to have a place that's this close that's an option," says Benthien.

If all goes as planned, they hope to start work late this fall.