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Here’s what you need to know about Boston-area development this week

Including a big dorm project downtown and a new hotel near Fenway Park

Critical Mass. is a weekly roundup of the most notable development news in the Boston area. This week’s includes a hotel near Fenway Park, a new dorm for Suffolk University, and the end of the line for a Mass. Pike air rights project.


A rendering of a failed plan to plunk a tower over the Mass Pike at 1000 Boylston Street. Rendering via Weiner Ventures

Boston-based developer Weiner Ventures nixed plans to build a 484-foot, 108-unit condo tower over the Massachusetts Turnpike where Massachusetts Avenue meets Boylston Street in Back Bay. It’s never been easy to build over the Pike, which probably explains why no one’s done it since Sam and Diane first enthralled the nation.

Now to projects that are happening ... South Carolina-based hospitality developer and operator OTO Development has won Boston Planning and Development Agency approval for an eight-story, 184-room hotel at 1241 Boylston Street near Fenway Park in Fenway. It will replace a Shell station and parking lot.

Boston-based developer Solmon Chowdhury said he could start construction next summer on the conversion of the long-vacant Nelson Manor nursing home at 3 Aspinwall Road in Dorchester Center. It’s due to include 34 condos in a four-story complex.

The exterior of Boston’s Ames Hotel. Shutterstock

Meanwhile, Suffolk University is planning to buy the 114-room Ames Hotel at 1 Court Street in busy, busy downtown Boston in order to convert it into a dormitory. It is a stark example of the approaches local colleges and universities are pursuing to house their students—approaches that Boston-area leaders and residents by and large welcome. Why? It takes some of the demand out of the already-tight rental market.

Rendering of a new four-story apartment building that is green on the outside. Rendering via BPDA

Also, in Roslindale, local developer Owen Kiernan can move forward with plans for a four-story, 38-unit apartment complex to fill a vacant industrial lot at 43 Lochdale Road. The BPDA signed off on it earlier this month.

And, finally, in Brighton, prolific developer City Realty is replacing the mixed-use building at 50 Leo Birmingham Parkway with a six-story, 49-unit condo. Construction is supposed to wrap in March 2021. Stay tuned.