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Harbor Hotel looks to expand with a spa

WATKINS GLEN—After being open just under a year, the Harbor Hotel is already planning on expanding.
Norbert Hausner, with NH Architecture, explained to the June 17 Watkins Glen planning board that the expansion would include a spa, connecting the hotel to the Seneca Market Building at 2 North Franklin St.  The building houses Watkins Glen International’s “The Store” and Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED).  Hausner said the planned completion date is April 2010, adding he is ready to start buying supplies right away if he had approval.
However, the project is still waiting for a setback variance from the zoning board.  Hausner said the adjacent property already has the same variance.  The planning board agreed to send the zoning board a letter in support of the hotel expansion.  A public meeting will also be held for the project at the July 15 planning board meeting.  Hausner said he would have three dimensional renderings at the next meeting.
Hausner explained the spa would connect with the hotel at the pool.  He added that while the spa will be connected to the Harbor Hotel and the Seneca Market Building, it will look like its own entity and be open to the community as well as people staying at the hotel.  The structure will be three stories tall.  Reception for the spa will take up the first floor.  The second floor will host eight treatment rooms and also connect to the offices in the brick building.
The project will include work on the Seneca Market Building as the structures are combined.   He said the WGI store would get more retail space on the first floor with the work done on the entrance.  The spa entrance would also be connected to WGI’s “The Store.”  The facade will have work done to give it more of a racing look.  Hausner said “The Store” would even be able to house a race car during some events.  On the second floor the offices will be renovated.  He said work on the third floor will include a rental space in the corner facing the hotel.  This is also the third floor of what will become the spa.  Hausner said the hotel is considering breaking that up into conference rooms because the hotel only has one, plus the ballroom.  He added the Seneca Market Building would stay mostly the same, especially the exterior.
Hausner said the work would be done at times when traffic is slow for the hotel and the restaurant.  He added the hotel is doing the expansion because customers wanted a spa.  At the same time WGI had expressed interest in expanding as well.  Hausner said the hotel is working on doing both with this project.
Joe Fazzary, planning board president, asked if the three connecting buildings would look odd; the hotel is four stories, the pool is one, and the Seneca Market Building is three.  Hausner said it should flow all right and would let natural light into the parking lot.    

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