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Rendering of a large hotel room with a bed.
A rendering of “The Chairman’s Bedroom” at the Langham, Boston, which is undergoing a major renovation.
The Langham, Boston

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Boston’s luxury hotel room count to double in the next few years

Other big development news this week includes a South Station tower and shrinkage in Southie and Dot

Critical Mass. is a roundup of the Boston area’s notable development news. This week, it’s some arrested development, a Mattapan building of “compact” units, and a tower that finally, maybe, definitely is going atop South Station.


We begin with that South Station tower. Hines, the Houston-based developer that has long had the go-ahead to build atop and around New England’s busiest train and bus hub, now has two new investors on the project and hopes to start construction this year or next. The crux of the project is a 678-foot, mixed-use building erupting from the station.

Rendering of a glassy tower shooting out of a concrete garage. Rendering via CIM Group/Boston Investors

Speaking of buildings sprouting from transportation-related structures, a pair of developers got the go-ahead this week to build a 20-story, 310-foot tower atop the Motor Mart Garage at 201 Stuart Street. The 264,000-square-foot tower is due to include 231 condos ranging from studios to three-bedrooms.

Also getting the green-light this week: a five-story, 39-unit apartment building at 1297-1305 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan. It’s also due to include three ground-floor commercial spaces and parking for up to 40 vehicles. And its units are due to be “compact,” which, the BPDA says, “helps create more affordable homes that are well-designed and well-located, so residents can live, work and play in their immediate neighborhoods.”

Now to the arrested development. The firm behind a plan to construct two towers of 24 and 21 stories on a 2.23-acre parcel along Dorchester’s Morrissey Boulevard have scaled back those plans. Center Court Partners would now build towers of 17 and 15 stories due largely to concerns from some neighborhood residents.

And, in South Boston, an affiliate of Millennium Partners, has scaled back its plans for a research campus in South Boston. It’s now expected to run to 381,000 square feet rather than 900,000—never mind the 2 million originally proposed. That proposal, too, included an aerial gondola to South Station. That’s kaput as well.

Also, need further proof of the absurdly high demand for housing in the Boston area? A new Brookline apartment complex at 420 Harvard Street, where units start at $2,500 a month, is nearly half-leased after only two weeks.

Finally, backers of a redevelopment of the long-shuttered Charles River Speedway at Western Avenue and Soldiers Field Road in Brighton plan to formally break ground next week. The most prominent feature of the multifaceted project—dubbed the Speedway—will be an outpost of the Salem-based Notch Brewery, including a taproom. Cheers.

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