Portsmouth Hilton passes hurdle

The Portsmouth Planning Board has approved site plans for a new 22,000-square-foot Hilton Hotel along Hanover and High streets, but the project could face civil action over its potential threat to downtown parking.

The board voted 7-2 to approve Cathartes Private Investments’ 131-room hotel and adjoining mixed-space building on a one-acre section of the Parade Mall lot. Plans call for the adjoining building to house 20 condominiums, 1,200 square feet in retail space and related parking.

But owners of The Hill Condominiums oppose the project because, they said, they will lose 48 parking spaces with the building of the Hilton Garden Inn. Their attorney asked board members to force hotel owners to provide alternative parking and threatened to sue if they didn’t.

Another Hilton hotel has already received city approval. Developers will build a 108-room, 28,884-square foot hotel, known as the Hilton Homewood Suites, along Portsmouth Boulevard, near Commerce Way.

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