Westport Inn: New Owners Revealed

So who exactly purchased the Westport Inn, saving it from possible demolition and Westport from the specter of a 200-unit, 5-story housing complex? And what did they pay?

The new owner is Building and Land Technology. The purchase price was $14.5 million.

Building and Land TechnologyBLT is described in a press release as “a leading real estate investor, developer and operator in Fairfield County and nationally.” It owns over 50 hotels across the US, and has developed numerous mixed-use projects, including Stamford’s Harbor Point.

Among its “premier commercial holdings”: the Nyala Farms complex, adjacent to I-95 Exit 18. Originally built for Stauffer Chemical, it now counts Bridgewater Associates as its anchor tenant.

“We’re pleased to add the Westport Inn to our local portfolio,” said Carl R. Kuehner III, CEO of BLT. “We believe that the Inn complements our office holdings here, and will continue to provide benefits for local corporations as well as residents of the Westport community.”

The Westport Inn began as The New Englander, in 1960. With BLT's purchase today for $14.5 million, it will remain a hotel.

The Westport Inn began as The New Englander, in 1960. With BLT’s purchase today for $14.5 million, it will remain a hotel.

First Selectman Jim Marpe — who with Planning and Zoning Commission chair Chip Stephens worked to find a purchaser for the Sheldon Stein-owned Inn — said that BLT has “an extraordinary local and national reputation as a real estate investor, and is an experienced hotel owner. It’s gratifying to achieve a result that forestalls previous plans to develop multifamily housing on the hotel site, which we determined was not an appropriate use here.”

Stephens noted that apartments would have resulted in “excessive densification,” as well as the loss of much-needed hotel rooms.

The  Westport Inn recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. It includes 117 rooms, plus 6000 square feet of event space.

10 responses to “Westport Inn: New Owners Revealed

  1. “The Westport Inn recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation” ??? My wife and daughter checked the place out for our wedding guests last summer and reported that it looked horrible — and I haven’t seen any construction activity since. We have had family guests stay there over the years, but the hotel has seen better days, and does not appear to have been managed by professional hotel people.

  2. Holly Wheeler

    Yay BLT.

  3. Elisabeth Rose

    I’m very happy the inn will stay. It may not be high end, but it DID go through a renovation (@Peter Blau: You should have seen it a a few years ago! It has changed for the better…) What is nice is that it isn’t extremely expensive, the people are very nice, and it has a huge banquet room that provides a space for locals and non-locals alike looking for a place for a reception, party, whatever. (The down side is that that used to be a beautiful room with a pool, and now the only pool is a tiny 3 foot one downstairs in the basement right near an interior parking area.) Maybe the new owners could find a place to install a better one, do some renovations, and bring back the wonderful organic restaurant, The Red Hen!

  4. Mary Ann West

    BLT is a HUGE land developer, or are we not aware of the ills that Stamford has lived through as they develop Harbor Point?

    BLT removed a working boat yard in anticipation of Bridgewater’s relocation from Westport to Stamford. They are very well funded. Westport Inn just hopped into the frying pan.

  5. David Floyd

    Mary Ann is correct. BLT didn’t buy it to run it as a sub-performing, no-name hotel (that clearly isn’t working). Their plan may be to upgrade & ‘flag’ the property (see EquityOne at Compo Acres) or redevelop the property. There is more upside in redevelopment.

  6. Nina Streitfeld

    Soundds wonderful! Nina Streitfeld

  7. Susan Thomsen

    I am unable to find on the town’s website anything that indicates that finding a buyer for a property is within the purview of the chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission. I am using this URL: http://www.westportct.gov/index.aspx?page=69
    Do any 06880 readers know where further info can be found online?

  8. Bart Shuldman

    Carl-Sue and I send our thanks for continuing to invest in Westport. Thank you.

    Jim Marpe and Chip Stephens-thank you for doing what was necessary. We will never know how bad the proposed development could have been and your efforts should be appreciated and applauded by all in Westport. Thank you!!

  9. Susan Thomsen

    Thank you for the link, above. I am puzzled at the involvement of the P&Z chair in finding buyers for private properties.