In about six months, Bel Air could have its first bed-and-breakfast inn since the 1960s.
The opening of the inn would aid the town's desperate need for overnight accommodations for out-of-towners, says the town planning director.
The inn, to be operated by Bel Air resident Salvatore Allessie, will be located at 52 E. Broadway, now the site of Harford Home Health Agency, a nursing service. Harford Home Health Agency is relocatingto U.S. 1.
"The last hotel service we had in Bel Air was the Kenmore Inn, where the Safeway building is now at Main Street and U.S. 1 and that was in the 1960s," said Carol Deibel, Bel Air's planning director.
"At one time there were something like six inns. To go fromthat to nothing when you're a courthouse town with so many people coming in was terrible. This will be a big help, but there will still be a hole in the market."
Deibel said Allessie must still submit building plans for renovations for town review. But she expects the inn could be ready for its first customers this summer. She said Allessie also has contacted the town's Historic District Commission about the possibility of obtaining a historic designation for the house.
Allessie could not be reached for comment.
The building, circa 1904, already is listed among the town's historic treasures in Marilynn M. Larew's book "Bel Air: The Town Through its Buildings," said Peg Lucas, a member of the commission. Lucas said members of the Historic District Commission plan to meet with Allessie Tuesday.
The house, which is one of the few in Bel Air with a turret, was built by contractor Henry Dill for Katherine Webb sometime after 1904.