If developers’ vision comes to fruition, Queen Village will soon be home to a new upscale boutique hotel. Last summer, we wondered what was in store at the northwest corner of 5th & Bainbridge when we noticed the John C Paul and Sons paper company that operated out of a ground-floor location for decades had closed.

Former store

Last we heard, the ownership group had taken the property, which stretches from 501-11 Bainbridge Street and north along 5th Street to Kater, off the market after its $3.1M asking price found no takers. But last October, Zaken Realty Trust acquired the property for $2.2M. We’re fairly confident that the Zaken in question is Shimi Zaken of Atrium Developments, an architect we’ve written about numerous times in the past.

A huge footprint

The owners recently presented informal plans to members of the Queen Village Neighbors Association (QVNA) for a 20-25 room upscale hotel and luxury apartments with ground-floor retail along 5th Street. Initial sketches showed to QVNA left some members saying the design looked liked something that would be found in Northern Liberties as opposed to Queen Village. Not surprising, considering the typical style you see from Atrium.

The proposal suggested the creation of a fourth story via a parapet wall along Bainbridge that would better link the properties. This included wood siding and heavy cornice work, something out of character with traditional Queen Village architecture. The look was apparently similar to Cella Luxuria, a furniture store on the 1200 block of Chestnut Street. QVNA members asked the developers to try for a different design more in tune with Queen Village, which according to Mike Hauptman, QVNA zoning chair, they were willing to attempt.

First attempt was a similar design, but second try will apparently look different. Image from Hidden City

“I think these guys are really creative,” said Mike Hauptman, QVNA zoning chair. “I think they can come up with something everybody will like but they just need to pay more attention to the context of the area.”

Stay tuned for more info as this unfolds. QVNA is “very very in favor of this” once the details are arranged, said Jeff Hornstein, QVNA president. And with plans to improve the nearby green space via Bainbridge Green, this area is aligned for some serious positive change.

–Lou Mancinelli