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Leather District hotel with 230 rooms wins key city approval

21-story inn near South Station to replace a blighted site on Kneeland Street

Renderings via RODE Architects

The Boston Planning & Development Agency on October 11 approved the development of a 21-story, 230-room hotel at the site of the former Splash Ultra Lounge & Burger Bar at 150 Kneeland Street in the Leather District.

The approval virtually assures the inn’s development. It will be one of the more significant projects in the neighborhood in a while and certainly one of the tallest.

Hudson Group, the hotel’s developer, offered certain sweeteners to gain the BPDA’s approval. The firm has said it will fund neighborhood cleanups, park enhancements, and infrastructure upgrades, according to a release on the development.

Hudson has also committed to offering 300 free hotel nights over 10 years to people in need of accommodation, “an effort meant to address short-term housing emergencies that may occur from crises such as loss of property, medical issues, and immigration displacement,” the release said.

What’s more, the RODE Architects design is crafted to blend the hotel in with the surrounding neighborhood via a facade that will be both a solid metal frame and a “transparent skin that engages with [the neighborhood’s] street life.”

It should also be noted that the hotel will be close to South Station, New England’s busiest train and bus depot. Hudson does not have a construction timeline yet for the hotel. Stay tuned.