Boston officials approve $550M seaport convention center hotel
- The Boston Planning and Development Agency gave its seal of approval to the $550 million Omni Boston Seaport hotel, which is expected to benefit from its new neighbor, the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, according to MassLive.
- The mixed-use hotel will feature 1,054 rooms, 40,000 square feet of dining and retail space, 120,000 square feet of event space, and one of the biggest ballrooms in Boston, and will be connected to the convention center via an underground tunnel. The project includes new infrastructure as well, including a pedestrian bridge connecting the hotel to the South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center where the hotel will locate some parking.
- The Massachusetts Port Authority owns the hotel's 800,000-square-foot property, so the project is not subject to the Boston Zoning Code. This should allow for a smooth path toward the start of construction, which is scheduled to be complete by 2021.
The Omni project is next in a line of major mixed-use developments going up in the city's Seaport District. Earlier this year, the $600 million One Seaport Square project opened its doors, and, according to Multi-Housing News, it's the biggest residential mixed-use venture that Boston has seen in 30 years. One Seaport Square includes 832 housing units split between two high-rises, all of which sit on top of three levels (250,000 square feet) of retail and a three-story underground parking garage.
General Electric is in the process of moving its headquarters from Connecticut to the Seaport District and broke ground in May on the first phase of the $200 million Innovation Point complex. Originally, the project was supposed to go up all at once, but, as part of the company's cost-cutting efforts, construction of a 12-story building has been postponed to at least 2019. GE will first renovate two existing historic buildings; but, earlier this month, it announced changes to its campus, which include rehabilitation of a four-story bridge and the addition of new rooftop space, according to the Boston Business Journal.
These new office and residential projects mean a higher volume of commuters, and one developer has proposed an unorthodox way of moving people in and out of the area and relieving some of the stress on Boston's mass transit system. Millennium Partners said it is willing to contribute $100 million toward construction of a gondola between Boston's South Station and the Seaport District. The company said the proposed cable-car system could handle 15,000 passengers a day.
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