Massport Hotel Plan Is Back To Where It Started

Massport Summer Street hotel

After three years of fits and starts while development has covered vacant parcels in the surrounding neighborhood, Massport has selected a consortium of developers to build a 1,054-room hotel on Summer Street opposite the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

On Thursday, the authority selected Omni Hotels & Resorts as the operator of a planned 800,000-square-foot hotel including two 20-story towers. The $550 million project would not include public subsidies, Massport said.

The designs call for 120,000 square feet of meeting space, 40,000 square feet of retail and three ballrooms, including a one spanning 25,000 square feet.

The development group, New Boston Hospitality, will lease the 2-acre parcel for 90 years. The terms call for payments of $100 million, according to a report in the Boston Globe. Banker & Tradesman requested a copy of the agreements under the Massachusetts public records law. Massport spokeswoman Jennifer Mehigan responded that they were “not available.”

The team includes Boston-based Davis Cos., hotelier Robin Brown’s Spot On Ventures, Boston Urban Development and 17 local minority investors. The project has attained 31 percent women- and minority-owned business participation in the design center, Massport said.

Winchester-based John Moriarty & Assoc. will partner with Boston-based Janey Construction with a goal of 30-percent participation by women- and minority-owned businesses.

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has sought additional hotel development in the Seaport District because many of the recently-built hotels in the neighborhood do not reserve large room blocks for convention business.

The MCCA estimates another 2,000 rooms reserved for convention business are needed in the Seaport District, with convention bookings at the BCEC projected to decline up to 41 percent between 2018 and 2021 because of a room block shortage, according to a consultant’s report.

MCCA spokesman Nate Little said the authority was not involved in talks regarding room block set-asides.

“It’s exclusively a Massport-Omni deal, and we’re thrilled with the results obviously,” Little said.

Asked whether any room blocks would be reserved for convention center business, Massport referred questions to the developers.

Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, Moody Nolan and Stull & Lee, the hotel would connect to the World Trade Center station on the MBTA’s Silver Line via a covered walkway and by a tunnel to the convention center. It would be served by a 1,550 parking garage planned on an adjacent Massport parcel on D Street.

Plans for the size and scope of development on the parcel D-2 site have fluctuated widely in recent years. Massport originally sought proposals for a 1,200-room so-called “headquarters hotel” in 2014, attracting interest from seven developers. But those plans were shelved in 2015 after Gov. Charlie Baker put a proposed $1 billion BCEC expansion on ice.

Later that year, Massport put out another request for developers of a mixed-use project including hotel with as few as 250 rooms along with retail and office space. That attracted six proposals and a committee narrowed the list to three finalists, which were asked to submit final and best offers, Massport said.

Completion is now projected for early 2021.

This story has been updated since it was originally published to include responses from Massport.

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Massport Hotel Plan Is Back To Where It Started

by Steve Adams time to read: 2 min