The ‘ultimate Portland, Maine, hotel’ moves closer to reopening, launches website with sneak peaks inside

If you’ve followed any news in Portland whatsoever over the past year, you know that the former historic Eastland Park Hotel has been undergoing nearly $50 million in renovations. The landmark 1927 hotel in Portland’s downtown will get back its rooftop restaurant and higher class shine that had dulled in previous years thanks to the investment of new owners RockBridge Capital and New Castle Hotels & Resorts.

My colleague, BDN Business Editor Whit Richardson had a great package on the renovation plans and how the whole thing was panning out a few months ago, which I highly recommend if you need a one-stop refresher of what the project entails. Click here for that.

The latest development on that front is that the former Eastland Park, to be reopened in the coming months as the new Westin Portland Harborview, has unveiled its commercial website, signifying another step toward taking reservations and returning to the city’s hotel scene.

(That’s a hotel scene currently experiencing a growth spurt. The Westin Harborview will be one of several hotels to come online in the next couple of years here.)

The new website reiterates what’s been often reported, that the hotel will reopen in December, and refers to the spot as the “ultimate Portland, Maine, hotel.”

The website is chock full of images — some artist renderings, some photographs — offering sneak peaks at what the newly renovated historic hotel looks like on the inside. Click here to thumb through those images.

Of course, it’s hard to make mention of the former Eastland Park project and not recognize the controversy over the Congress Square Park part. RockBridge and company have sought to purchase about 9,500 square feet of the adjoining city park (or “plaza,” depending on what you want to call it) for an expansion of the conference space available at the hotel.

The website has a page devoted to “Meetings & Weddings” to be offered by the venue, services which would no doubt get a boost from the Congress Square addition.

I won’t rehash the sale controversy here except to say a majority of the City Council agreed to sell the publicly owned property to the developers for a little less than $524,000, with some conditions tacked on, primarily associated with ensuring that the hotel expansion designs pass muster with the Planning Board and any grander plans the city develops for the nearby intersection of Congress and High streets.

For more on the Congress Square sale, we’ve got plenty of stories in the archives. Click here, here, here or here for background and where that stands currently.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.