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New Boston convention center hotel appears to move forward

Omni-branded inn would have at least 1,000 rooms

Just when it looked like it would never happen, a massive new hotel across Summer Street from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center looks entirely likely.

A development team that includes the folks behind the Omni brand have emerged as the top bidder to construct an inn with at least 1,000 rooms on a 2.1-acre site in South Boston. Per Jon Chesto in the Globe, the Massachusetts Port Authority is expected to award the bid within the next three months.

The hotel would be one of the biggest in Boston. Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision in April 2015 to freeze an expansion of the convention center because of cost concerns very nearly killed the hotel project.

Boosters of such a project say it’s necessary for the convention center itself to compete for trade shows and the like. Fewer available rooms in walking distance of the center mean fewer events there (which, in turn, raised questions about expanding the center when there were not enough hotel rooms nearby to service it).

Plus, let’s not forget the high cost of a Boston hotel room in general and the difficulty some nights of landing one. A thousand more keys might help. Stay tuned.