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AGAWAM — The “boutique” hotel proposed for Agawam’s Main Street would cater to travelers paying market rates, not migrants or homeless people seeking emergency shelter.

“These are brand new hotels, they’re a big investment and that would drastically affect the brand new investment,” said Rob Levesque of R. Levesque Associates, whose company is working with Shield Hotels LCC on the project.

Details are still being decided about the proposal for 1422 Main St., Agawam, said Levesque. Right now, it is planned to be “boutique-style,” or smaller than the average hotel, with only three floors and 40 rooms. The cost of the rooms will be at market rate, he said. The hotel has not been branded yet, but that could change, he said.

Developers want to build a hotel at 1422 Main St., Agawam, currently home of a Mexican restaurant.
Reminder Publishing photo by Tyler Lederer

The hotel site is beside the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery and is less than a mile north of Six Flags New England. It currently houses D’ Patron Mexican Restaurant. The hotel, Levesque said, will be built southeast of the restaurant, and a new parking lot will be built for it.

The parcel is currently owned by Renu and Rajesh Rayonia. Both have a purchase-and-sale agreement with Shield Hotels.

Shield Hotels’ website describes it  as a “hotel development and management company.” Its properties include a number of hotels in the Pioneer Valley, such as the Courtyard by Marriott in West Springfield, the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Holyoke, the Hampton Inn in Westfield, and the Quality Inn & Suites in Northampton.

While Airbnb and Vrbo list vacation rental properties in Agawam, neither Expedia, Booking.com nor Hotels.com list any hotels in town, referring interested travelers to hotels in Springfield, West Springfield and Enfield.

The proposed hotel’s target demographic includes families visiting the veterans cemetery or Six Flags New England, as well as sports teams using the facilities in Westfield or Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

“There’s two pretty good draws there,” Levesque said.

Asked if the hotel would disturb the nearby residential area, Levesque said the hotel is buffered by a river and vegetation, as well as the cemetery and Mexican restaurant.

“[There] shouldn’t be any sort of direct impact on abutters,” he said.

The first part of the project involves a zone change at 1422 Main St. The back portion of the parcel is currently zoned Residential A-2, while the portion facing Main Street is zoned Business A; the change Shield Hotels is seeking would make the entire parcel Business A.

The Planning Board will conduct a public hearing on the zone change at its March 21 meeting. Planning Board meetings start at 6 p.m. in the Senior Center, 954 Main St., Agawam. The zone change also requires a public hearing and approval from the City Council.

After that, Levesque said, Shield Hotels will submit a site plan for Planning Board approval, sometime within the next month. The hotel company also needs to gain approvals from the town Conservation Commission, for environmental compliance, and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, to make a curb cut on Main Street, which is a state highway.

If all goes well, Levesque said, construction should start in late summer or early fall, and possibly be completed in spring 2025. He noted there were a number of factors influencing this on which he declined to comment.

tlederer@thereminder.com | + posts