Portsmouth Hotel Project Denied Request for 3 Extra Feet

Image courtesy of Arcove Architects

Portsmouth’s Zoning Board of Adjustment has shot down a request that a proposed hotel-retail development in the heart of the city’s historic downtown be allowed to rise just under 3 feet above the parcel’s height limit.

Developer Mark McNabb wants to renovate a pair of historic buildings at 1 Congress St., one of which faces onto the city’s Market Square. The two buildings would then be connected to a new addition, raised on a parking lot behind them, housing a boutique hotel. Retail would occupy much of the ground floor.

According to the Portsmouth Herald, the board’s 6-1 vote to deny McNabb’s request for the additional height won’t likely stop the project. Instead, the city’s chief planner told the paper that he believes McNabb will come back with a slightly shorter proposal that complies with zoning. The plan has already gotten positive reviews from the city’s Historic District Commission, but can’t sign off on the project until the ZBA does.