Hampton Inn in Oxford denied occupancy permit until work completed

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By Leslie H. Dixon

OXFORD — The $15 million Hampton Inn is accepting reservations for a room on Monday, Dec. 19, and beyond, according to its website, but no one is answering the hotel’s telephone.

NOT YET OPEN — Progress continued this week on the completion of the Hampton Inn on Route 26 in Oxford.
NOT YET OPEN — Progress continued this week on the completion of the Hampton Inn on Route 26 in Oxford.

The long-awaited opening date of the 93-room on Route 26, directly across the street from Oxford Casino, has only been confirmed by its website, where it states, “This hotel will soon be joining the Hilton Worldwide Portfolio of Brands and is presently accepting reservations for arrival December 19, 2016 and beyond.”

As of Tuesday, Nov. 29, no occupancy permit had been issued, according to Oxford Code Enforcement Officer Rodney Smith.

Smith said an occupancy permit had been requested about two weeks ago but was denied following an inspection by the Fire Chief Wayne Jones and then-Interim CEO Joelle Corey-Whitman because of a number of issues.

“It has to be finished completely,” said Smith of the procedure to gain an occupancy permit.

A conditional certificate of occupancy was issued to the Hampton Inn on Nov. 17 by Corey-Whitman with nine items, ranging from addressing holes in the main lobby and cafeteria area to electrical conduit work that need to be addressed. Additionally all state inspection forms must be forwarded to the town.

Plumbing that was found to be incomplete or incorrect during the Nov. 17 inspection will be reinspected, according to the conditional certificate of occupancy.

Completion of the hotel has been beleaguered by a number of liens from contractors and in October, Calamar Construction sued a local framing company for nearly $470,000, citing deficient work and failure to complete the scope of work.

The complaint filed in Oxford County Superior Court on Oct. 5 against Stephen Bourassa, owner of Alexander Construction in Minot, asks for a judgment of $469,564 for breaching the subcontractor’s contract, including not having adequate workforce, not completing work on time, causing delays to other subcontractors and having major deficiencies in its work.

Alexander Construction was hired by Calamar Construction, which was hired by developer GIRI Oxford I of Massachusetts, to build the inn on Route 26, across the street from Oxford Casino. It was fired in January of this year.

Former Town Manager Derik Goodine reported in late October that GIRI President Ash Sangani assured him the hotel would be opened in about a month. That time passed, as have other earlier expected opening dates.

It is unclear whether the hotel has been given an occupancy permit yet.

The roughly 4-acre property on Route 26 was sold by Suzanne Hall, owner of Crestholm Farms, to GIRI Oxford I, a subsidiary of GIRI, in November 2013.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net