The plan to gut and redevelop the old Alexandra Hotel at Massachusetts Avenue and Washington Street in the South End-Roxbury borderlands won unanimous approval from the South End Landmarks District Commission on September 3.
The long-planned project already has the okays of the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal and the Boston Planning and Development Agency. With all three approvals in hand, the development team behind the project now plans to start construction during the first quarter of 2020.
The redevelopment is expected to create a 156-room boutique hotel with a ground-floor restaurant and rooftop amenity space. Developers Jas Bhogal, Thomas Calus, and Nick Colavito have said they will restore and retain the Alexandra’s High Victorian Gothic facade, erected with the building in 1875, but that fire and water damage rendered retaining the interior impossible.
An entity associated with Bhogal and Calus purchased the hotel site and an adjacent lot, both spanning 1759-1769 Washington Street, from the Church of Scientology for $11 million. The redevelopment will cap years of back and forth about what to do with the long-vacant building, which was once an inn for Boston’s well-to-do.
“We are grateful for all of the community support we have received for our plan to rehabilitate and redevelop the Alexandra Hotel and to preserve a piece of landmark architecture that has been jeopardized by years of neglect,” Bhogal said in a statement. “We are pleased that during the public review process city and neighborhoods have recognized the importance of protecting the Alexandra Hotel’s historic facade, and approved the concept of the modern aspects of the project that make this restoration viable.”
Plans for redeveloping the Alexandra site ran into some controversy earlier this year, courtesy of the BPDA saying that the site was located in the South End—though technically it appears to fall on the Roxbury side of Mass. Ave. The agency corrected its apparent mistake, but not before it signed off on the project.
The developers are operating as Alexandra Partners, a joint venture between TCR Development and JB Ventures LLC set up to handle the redevelopment. Other projects by the same team include Ten Farnsworth in Fort Point and Piedmont Park Square in Bay Village. CBT Architects is behind the design.
Construction is expected to take two years. Stay tuned.