By Maureen Werther and R.J. DeLuke
With the Adelphi Hotel on Broadway in Saratoga Springs open, Richbell Capital, which owns the hotel, is turning its attention to another project, just around the corner at 19 Washington St.
The Washington Street Hotel & Spa will be a six-story hotel, operated separately from the Adelphi. According to plans filed with the city Planning Department, the proposal calls for 50 rooms, a spa, indoor pool and outdoor patio. The former stone rectory ton the property will be converted into a guest suite and connected to the main building by a one-story corridor.
Simon Mildé, Richbell CEO, said the project has been well-received so far and he is anticipating work to begin in October 2018.
The project will be constructed in a single phase. The opening of the hotel and spa is planned for the summer of 2019, the plans state.
The project will result in approximately 16 new permanent jobs. Six new employees will be required to support the spa. Ten new hotel employees will be added to support the hotel: four front desk staff, four cleaning staff and two valet attendants.
According to the plans, the project includes 99 feet of frontage along Washington Street. An existing stone wall currently runs at the back of the sidewalk along this frontage, with openings for the walkway to the front door of the stone house and the existing driveway. The wall will be dismantled from the driveway opening to the eastern property corner, which will provide space for a one-way U-shaped driveway for guest drop-off.
Two Sternberg street light fixtures will be installed, and their locations will be coordinated to be consistent with the alignment and spacing of new light fixtures recently installed in front of 41 Washington St. The new public sidewalk will incorporate radiant heating.
“The indoor pool area exits onto a terrace at the north end of the site. The terrace steps down to a courtyard that will extend to the existing courtyard on the adjacent Adelphi Hotel property. This area is envisioned as a quiet retreat for spa and hotel guests with outdoor furniture and potted plants,” the planning document states.
The new building will be set back approximately five feet from the north, east and west property lines to allow alley access around all sides of the building. These alleys will accommodate deliveries of food, beverage and supplies from the adjacent Adelphi Hotel property.
The site driveway from Washington Street has been designed to accommodate a 30-foot box delivery truck, which also allows some deliveries to be received via the east alley. The east alley connects to the existing 10-foot wide ingress/egress easement extending to Washington Street through the adjacent Rip Van Dam property. This easement provides emergency egress for the existing Adelphi Hotel as well as access for deliveries and trash removal, according to the plans.
All guests will arrive from Washington Street. Hotel guests will be greeted by a valet directly in front of the building entrance. As hotel guests and luggage are ushered to the registration desk, their vehicles will be parked by a valet in an existing parking lot owned by the Richbell at 58 Washington St., on the southwest corner of Washington and Federal streets.
When operated as a valet lot, the existing parking lot can accommodate the entire hotel parking demand (52 spaces) with additional capacity that will be utilized as designated employee parking, the plans said.
RBC Construction is the contractor.
Adelphi Hotel Partners LLC, a Richbell company, which it acquired in 2014 from Bethesda Episcopal Church. It is situated on the north side of Washington Street between Universal Preservation Hall and the Rip Van Dam site.
The most significant feature on the site, the plans state, is the stone house at 23 Washington Street which formerly served as the rectory for the Bethesda Episcopal Church, located across Washington Street.
It took nearly five years but the storied Adelphi Hotel officially re-opened its doors to the public in October.
The event brought out business people and political officials. Mayor Joanne Yepsen called it an “historic day for Saratoga Springs” and called the hotel “one of our greatest city treasures.”
The hotel includes Morrissey’s Bar, which is operating, and the Blue Hen restaurant, which should open in November, on the first floor. “Once people come there to dine, they won’t want to leave,” said Chairman and CEO of Richbell Capital Simon Mildé. The company oversaw the renovation and owns the hotel.
Samantha Bossart, executive director of Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation spoke about the rise and fall of the hotel, noting that by the late 1970s the building was threatened with demolition. She thanked the Mildé family for persevering and turning the Adelphi into a “world class hotel.”
When Simon Mildé took the podium, he thanked everyone involved in the process, acclaiming the “extraordinary craftsmanship of the people who worked so hard on the project. He applauded architect, Dominic Ranieri, adding that “he put his heart and soul into the project.”
Mildé said there were times during the process that he thought of giving up.
“I’m not used to the need to have the kind of patience this sort of project required,” said Mildé. He said his company has always done more of a “garden variety” of projects and multi-family properties. He called the Adelphi a “different animal,” in that it was not a “stick building.” The complexities of rehabbing an old, historic structure made other projects pale in comparison.
Following the ribbon cutting, some visitors were taken on tours of three suites—the Polaris, the Whitney and the Travers. The Polaris includes a lavish bedroom with leather headboard, towering ceilings and wide plank hardwood flooring. Each ceiling was hand-painted by local artist and owner of Classic Wall Finishes, Donna Mock.