AUBURN — An 85-room hotel in the southern part of the city that could break ground this summer could just be the first step toward bigger things.

Developer Joe Casalinova, president of Oxford-based Building Solutions, said the Best Western Plus planned for Auburn’s Kittyhawk Business Park is part of larger negotiations that have been going since last year.

“We have a biotech lab we are working with that we hope to relocate,” Casalinova said. “That’s an international company that we are looking to bring in to the park, and that would come with 20 to 30 upscale positions. This would be in scientific field, and it would be a great addition to the area.”

Casalinova made the deal for the hotel public Monday. The development calls for building the hotel — with 85 rooms and common space — and an attached restaurant or pub. A proposed second phase could include more rooms and a potential convention or meeting space.

“But the second phase is longer term and dependent on the economic conditions,” Casalinova said. “If the first phase does well, the second phase could move forward.”

Casalinova said developers are looking for a restaurant to join the project.


The Kittyhawk Park land is owned by Hartt Transportation, with Giri Hotel Management coming on as the hotel managers.

The development is part of a 35-acre development subdivision approved by the Planning Board last November. Auburn Economic Development Director Roland Miller said he is scheduled to meet with the partners Tuesday.

“We have been engaged in working on this since the middle of last year,” Miller said. “The hotel was only a hope then. We were working with all of the potentials at that time.”

Casalinova said the area is perfect for the development.

“I’m sure the hotel managers have an eye on what’s happening in Oxford, with the casino,” he said. “But it’s also going to be tied to the airport and the hope that they’re looking to have commuter traffic coming in there. There is going to be a lot of anticipated need in that area.”

Casalinova said he expects work to begin this summer, with site preparations kicking off in May.

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