The Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn could have a new owner as Genesis Investment Properties (GIP) is currently in the process of acquiring the property.
An informal presentation about what GIP hopes to do with the property once it is acquired was briefly presented to the Hopewell Borough Planning Board at a virtual meeting that took place on Sept.1.
“Our group is under agreement to purchase the Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn. This is an informal presentation and just want to give our ideas out there to you,” said Michael Gale, vice president of Real Estate Operations and Corporate Development for GIP.
The company wants to provide long-term accommodations at a new structure on the property that is located on 15 E. Broad St. in Hopewell Borough.
“As you know there are a number of Inn rooms on the second and third floors that are not being used. We would like to accommodate apartments there and have folks live there and bring more business to the town,” Gale said.
They are proposing a demolish of the existing structure, which would include the octagonal structure adjacent to the library with the goal of building a new structure.
When asked by Planning Board member Jackie Perri about the timeframe for the project, Gale responded by stating that two years would be a reasonable expectation.
“Getting approvals from the Historic Preservation Commission and the council let us just say that potential is six months. From there we have to develop designs, all of architectural plans, and get eventual approval,” he said.
For the structure’s proposed use, the company on the first floor would maintain current bar and restaurant use, reestablish the wrap around front and side porches to accommodate outdoor dining and the kitchen and service, which will include the basement.
On the second floor, the front portion would propose additional dining space and include a wrap-around balcony and side balcony for outside dining. The rear half of the second floor would replace the inn rooms with two apartments.
The third floor would completely replace the inn rooms with four apartments.
“Right now this is our first shot at what we are panning to do. We have some work to do with the HPC and have already started speaking with them,” Gale said. “We looked at ways to potentially save the existing structure rather than demolish it. We have gone ahead early in the process and have our structural engineer take a look he has made us believers that the better option is to go with demolition.”
GIP is a real estate investment, development and management company, which is based in Hamilton and also part of a larger group called Genesis Biotechnology Group.
“We have over 2,000 employees across nine different platforms,” Gale said. “For the folks that employ me, that is GIP. We own 100 properties across the country and in 26 states with a concentration of those properties in New Jersey. Another arm we do have is Genesis Hospitality.”
Under Genesis Hospitality, they own and operate The Washington Crossing Inn in Pennsylvania, The Yardley Inn also in Pennsylvania, and The Peacock Inn, which is located in Princeton.
Additionally, they own in Princeton Chez Alice Patisserie, Bread Boutique and Proof Restaurant.
“So why the Hopewell Inn? Hopewell and Hopewell Inn is a well known destination. It is located among complementary businesses in borough and is a prime location in the center of town,” Gale said. “We really think there is great potential to fit our businesses model for upscale restaurants and upscale dining experience and bring it to Hopewell.”
GIP would coordinate with the borough’s HPC as the company seeks to construct a building that is relevant to the property and its history, he claimed.