[7/24/16 The Sandwich Enterprise, by Calvin M. Cutler]
A Newton couple is working to breathe new life into the former Shady Nook Inn on Route 6A in Sandwich.
Jon C. Hansen and Laura Ziukaite-Hansen purchased the multi-cottage motel in February for $1.05 million.
Work on the property has been ongoing for months. This week, a new sign with a new name, Sandwich Inn & Suites, went up along the road. And this weekend, the Hansens plan to open five of the rooms for rent.
“We won’t be able to really open it up until next summer but we’re going to have a few rooms starting this weekend just to get us started,” Ms. Hansen said as she walked the property with a newspaper reporter this week.
All around the motel’s woodland site contractors from across Cape Cod were busily at work.
“It’s going to take a lot of work but it also has a lot of potential,” she said. The couple declined to say how much they were spending to renovate the motel and its grounds. “We want to restore the hotel to its former glory as a quaint Cape Cod hotel.”
The four-acre, 30-room hotel was built in the 1970s and sits on Route 6A, roughly across the road from Twin Acres Ice Cream.
Ms. Hansen opened the door to one of the newly renovated suites, complete with a brand new bed, television, and interior design.
Originally, the exterior of the motel’s cottages were painted mint green. The new owners have gone for neutral tones with a more beach-like color theme. The rooms have a mix of queen- and double-sized beds, which fill up a few suites as well. Suites also include kitchens.
Some elements from the original hotel are going to remain, however. Materials like the original shiplap have been refurbished and installed in a few of the rooms, she said.
The inn was originally owned by Sharron E. and James V. Rinaldi until it was foreclosed in 2004.
“It was a real knockout,” said Chuck Carey, broker of the firm which sold the property, Carey Commercial. “There were all sorts of annuals and perennials that would bloom through different times of the year. It was beautiful.”
According to Mr. Carey, after the foreclosure, Boston developer Scott M. True bought the property at auction, and had plans to transform the property but failed to do so after facing strict commercial regulations in Sandwich.
The inn was eventually reopened and continued business as usual, sometimes housing international workers on visas. But upkeep of the property declined until it was eventually put on the market two years ago.
“Big properties like this don’t do so well without a caretaker,” Mr. Carey said. “It’ll take some work to get it back on its feet.”
Besides Sandwich Inn & Suites, the Hansens also own a hotel in Kittery, Maine, which they renovated when they first purchased it.
When the Hansens closed on the Sandwich property in February, they moved to town from Newton and then began construction immediately, gutting all of the rooms and offices. They are currently living in a four-bedroom residence on the property. Eventually, the Hansens would like to hire a full-time manager to oversee the business.
The Hansens said they were drawn to Sandwich for many reasons, mostly for its “authentic” atmosphere. “Sandwich isn’t just a beach town,” Ms. Hansen said as she strolled through the parking lot outside of the newly shingled cottages, “It’s such a close-knit community.”