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Northern Tier Conference Center

Information To fulfill a conceptual plan for development of the City's Northern Tier Business District, the City has been working to create a public/private partnership for development of a conference/hotel facility and parking garage in the Northern Tier.

The conceptual plan was created as part of a 1998 Northern Tier Feasibility Study initiated by the City. The study area includes a section of the City between Hanover, Maplewood and Market Streets. The study process included several meetings with property owners and stakeholders in the Northern Tier and two public input sessions. The study outlines two alternatives for mixed-use development of the area anchored by a hotel/conference center. As a result of public comment, a preferred conceptual alternative for a 28,000 square foot conference/hotel facility with parking was selected for future refinement.

Public/Private Partnership
Two and a half years ago, the owners of the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Facility expressed a desire to develop a conference center/hotel in a vacant parcel of land adjacent to their hotel facility owned by HarborCorp LLC. Their concept proposal, which conforms to the favored alternative outlined in the Northern Tier Feasibility Study, led to an exploration of a public/private partnership between the City and HarborCorp. At the direction of the City Council, the City Manager and the Economic Development Commission began constructing a public/private partnership agreement with HarborCorp to develop a conference/hotel facility. The proposed facility would contain 18,500 SF of flexible meeting and banquet space, capable of seating 750 people for a sit-down meal and 1,200 people theatre style. It will also contain a 200+ Westin Hotel, 21 condominium residences and shared public/private parking garage with roughly 657 spaces.

Public Benefit
It is anticipated that the public/private development will generate an estimated $750,000 annually in City property tax revenues and create 300 new full and part-time jobs. Furthermore, the proposed development will achieve the goals of replacing market-share and related business lost to Portsmouth with the closing of the Yoken's Conference Center. Portsmouth is currently the only major market in New Hampshire without the capability of accommodating groups larger than 500 for meetings and banquets.

This web page contains copies of documents that have been created through negotiations with HarborCorp LLC and brought before the Portsmouth City Council for consideration. As the project moves forward, the City will publish additional documents for public review.