Renovations Moving Ahead At Historic Northeastland Hotel

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:35 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - It’s been less than a year since the nonprofit development corporation Ignite PI began renovating the Northeastland Hotel in downtown Presque Isle. The initial phase of the project has focused on updating and expanding amenities in public use areas on the lobby level of the building. Earlier this week, News Source 8′s Sherry Karabin stopped by the hotel to see what’s been done and when the changes might be unveiled to the public.

Cathy Beaulieu, Ignite PI board member, “It’s a really positive feel for our downtown and it feels like we’re moving forward.”

That’s how this Ignite Presque Isle board member is describing the ongoing transformation of the historic Northeastland Hotel. The nonprofit development corporation purchased the building in May 2021, with plans to update its public use areas, both structurally and visually to make them more welcoming to guests and the community. Also on the agenda, the addition of an innovation center and co-working space for entrepreneurs and a brand new high-end restaurant called Rodney’s at 436 Main, which will eventually be open year-round and feature an eclectic menu.

Robert Ottaviano, Food & Beverage Director, Ignite PI, “Whether it’s a date night with your significant other or having some business colleagues or a special occasion or if you’re a guest in our hotel, I think there’s going to be something for everybody on this menu.”

While the lobby area has been under construction since December, the hotel has continued to accept guests. When the work is completed, there will be a new HVAC system, renovated restrooms, including a a gender neutral bathroom and it will be in compliance with all Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. There will also be banquet facilities and the innovation center, which is expected to open on November 1st, will also feature food and beverages. The changes are all designed to help the nonprofit achieve its goal of breathing new life into Presque Isle’s downtown, something which this board member--who also owns Wilder’s Jewelry Store--is excited to see.

Cathy Beaulieu, Ignite PI board member, “The front is going to be beautiful, the windows are now all in. To have a new restaurant that people want to come downtown; they usually walk around and it helps everybody. We’re fortunate we have like a four-corner intersection; we have a hotel, we have a theater and we still have retail and restaurants, which is really important to a successful downtown.”

Sherry Karabin Reporting

“Discussions are already underway about the second phase of the project, which will include renovating the hotel rooms. In Presque Isle, this is Sherry Karabin reporting for News Source 8.”

A job fair is being held at the hotel on October 2nd from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on October 3rd from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ottaviano says there are a variety of positions open and he’s hoping for a good turnout.