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Owners of former Charles Inn hope to reopen, renovated, next April

The former Charles Inn will have a new name before its new owners open its doors again.

BANGOR, Maine — The only hotel in downtown Bangor is now shut down. The new owners of the former Charles Inn are working on completely renovating the inside and outside of the building at 20 Broad St.

On Monday night, the Bangor City Council unanimously voted to approve a credit enhancement agreement for the renovation project. This agreement with the developer will return 50% of the increase in real estate taxes paid on the increase in value created by the improvements to the property for a period of eight years.

The inn, known for its iconic, individually themed historic rooms, like the U.S.S. Maine and the King's Suite, is getting some upgrades. Most notably, the name will be changed. Francisco Arango, co-owner of the property, said the new name would be similar to its original name when it opened in 1973. Phenix Block is still printed on the front of the building near the roofline.

Tyler Collins, Bangor's community and economic development officer, said it is a welcome project for the downtown area.

"We have a number of hotels, but we frequently hear people ask about hotels in the core of downtown because that's where folks want to be," he said. "They want to come, they want to stay, and want to walk to a restaurant or walk to the theater. And you can do that from a couple other hotels in the area, but the one downtown really is going to enhance that."

Collins said the new owners hope the updated building will attract visitors heading to Bar Harbor or other coastal towns who want to spend a night or two in Bangor on the way.

The new owners said many details of the design plan are still being worked out for the four-floor, 37-room inn. 

"Basically, everything's gonna be brand new in here. We're gonna convert each unit to its own little short-term rental," Arango said.

Arango said they plan to continue leasing the street-level commercial space to the West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse owners.

"We'd like to make the coffee shop more of a spot where people can come in here, they can do their work, they can study, they can have meetings right here," Arango said.

Arango and his wife traveled from Tennessee to Bangor to make this project happen.

"This town's super cute, and everybody's so stinkin' nice around here. And there's so many yummy restaurants. I'm surprised somebody else didn't have the vision before us, really," Arango said.

Arango said he is hopeful the newly renovated inn will be up and running in April 2023.

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