SARATOGA SPRINGS — So long, Longfellows. Say hello to Brookmere.
The parking lot is empty now. The buildings, trimmed in green and topped in clay hues, vacant. A large roadside sign that stands in front of the compound that has played host to so many the past quarter-century reads Thanks For The Memories, underscored by a promise: Stay Tuned For What’s Next.
The approval of plans to convert the former Longfellows Hotel and Restaurant into the Brookmere Hotel are advancing through the city’s Land Use Boards. Construction is anticipated to commence this month. An opening has been targeted for fall 2024.
Plans include the demolition of specific select structures - including the removal of an entry canopy, a covered entrance (porte cochere), and the existing Longfellows restaurant and banquet facility.
In its place, the transformed resort, renamed Brookmere, will house an 88-room hotel, a 200-seat ballroom, a Spa, and a 65-seat restaurant open to both spa and hotel guests, as well as the general public.
Overall, the site’s footprint will expand from 65,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet.
The project was first introduced in January to the Saratoga Springs Planning Board. The select structures have since been deemed to not have architectural or historic significance and the Design Review Board approved demolition of those select structures in May.
Post-demolition, a new addition will be constructed that will connect the existing 18-room inn to the 32-room hotel. The existing inn and hotel will also be renovated. Additional plans include a new entryway and lobby, lounge, restaurant/bar and ballroom. Offices will be added to the basement section of the addition and guest rooms added to the second and third floors, bringing the total room count to 88.
The development is a collaborative effort between many entities: Bonacio Construction, Spring City Development - formed in 2021 as a restructuring of the real estate development arm of Bonacio Construction, the Atlanta, Georgia-based interior design firm Sims Patrick Studio, as well as the local design firms Balzer & Tuck Architecture, and the LA Group. Hay Creek Hotels, which is headquartered in New Hampshire will manage the resort.
Longfellows, a popular local restaurant and hotel complex at 500 Union Ave., closed its doors in January, shortly after co-owner Steve Sullivan announcing its pending closure and the acceptance of an offer from a group of investors/operators to purchase the property. The property sold for $4.9 million, according to county deed records recorded on Jan. 13.
“It’s been a great 26-year run,” Sullivan said at the time. Over its 26 years in business, Longfellows accommodated thousands of hotel guests and hosted over 2,400 weddings and countless catering events.