South Boston's booming, no doubt about that. The city and private developers are together working to add thousands of new apartments, including micro ones geared toward techies, as well as hundreds of hotel rooms and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space. You might say, in fact, that Southie is changing forever this annum. But there is one site that seems encased in a battle that appears to go all the way back to before the Great Recession.
· The 30,437-square-foot site, called the Sausage Parcel because of its unusual, narrow shape, is owned by Madison Properties, which has had the O.K. to build a hotel of up to 500 rooms since it bought the site from NStar in 2006.
· Then the economy tanked, and Madison couldn't get any financing for the hotel.
· The hotel might not work anyway because the site's so small—90 feet at its widest point—and how do you put a ballroom and such in a space like that?
· So Madison went back to the city with plans for a 400-unit apartment tower, plus the financing to pull it off.
· The city, via the Boston Redevelopment Authority, has stuck its fingers in its ears and made that lalalala sound in response to Madison's proposal. It wants a hotel, not an apartment tower. Why? Because the convention center in Southie needs more hotel rooms, including as a justification for any expansion, even though no hotelier can afford to build in the booming neighborhood right now.
Madison's apartment-tower proposal has been with the city for eight months now; and the city appears to be waiting things out in the hopes of a hotel against the odds. How the sausage gets made, people.
· Wanted: A Hotel Near the Convention Center [Globe]
· The Departed: South Boston to Change Forever This Year [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]