A sizable part of the Boston region’s historic building boom is the construction of new hotels. Inns either planned, under construction, or recently opened as of November 2018 are adding thousands of rooms to the area’s notoriously tight and expensive hotel market.Read More
Boston’s hotel-building boom, mapped
Several projects, including in Cambridge and Somerville, are adding thousands of rooms to the region’s notoriously tight hospitality market
1. Studio Allston Hotel
The 117-room boutique hotel opened in mid-June in Allston, right along the Charles River.
The inn features an unusual and colorful concept: A thematic use of art from local creators that runs through its lobby, bar, meeting rooms, suites, and rooms.
The forces behind the concept—including developers the Davis Cos., Highgate, and Spot On Ventures as well as creative advisory firm Isenberg Projects—selected 12 contemporary artists to create murals in each guest room. Five of the hotel’s 10 guest suites were designed as “unique, immersive works of art,” according to a release.
Studio Allston is the product of a conversion of a building dating from the 1960s, and reflects ongoing changes in the area, not least those that Harvard is driving on its Boston land.
“We view the Studio Allston project as an exciting opportunity to make a meaningful, positive contribution to the continued evolution of Allston’s Western Avenue corridor, one of the most dynamic development markets in greater Boston,” Stephen Davis, an executive at the Davis Cos., said in the release.
2. 660 Summer Street
Somerville, MA 02144
Developers broke ground in early May on a 411-room hotel complex at 660 Summer Street near the South Boston/Seaport District waterfront.
The 14-story complex in Raymond L. Flynn Marine Industrial Park will include two hotels: A 245-room Hampton Inn and a 166-room Homewood Suites, both under the Hilton umbrella.
The inns—among the most anticipated new ones in the Boston area—will be aimed in part at people arriving at the nearby cruise-ship port and those who might have business at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Developers Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. and Harbinger Development expect to open the hotels by mid-2020.
3. Hotel 1868
Cambridge, MA 02140
A hotel at 1868 Massachusetts Avenue just off the busy, busy Red Line in Cambridge’s Porter Square area is expected to open in November.
The 50-room inn geared toward business travelers—and dubbed Hotel 1868 after its address—was supposed to open in May. An apparent tiff with electric utility Eversource delayed that opening, per Cambridge Day’s Marc Levy.
Peter Lee, the developer behind Hotel 1868, is also building an extended-stay lodge near Porter Square at Beacon Street and Somerville just over the city line in Somerville.
Hotel 1868—which will include a Caffè Nero in its corner ground-floor retail space—joins a slew of hospitality openings in the city and neighboring Somerville in recent years, including a Fairfield Inn & Suites in East Cambridge, an AC Hotel near Alewife, and the Row Hotel at Assembly Row.
4. Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences
Boston, MA 02199
The 742-foot Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences One Dalton Street—a.k.a. One Dalton—topped off in early August.
And, due to myriad reasons that include construction costs, a dearth of sites, and shadows, One Dalton will likely be the last Boston tower—the last New England tower—of more than 700 feet for a long, long while.
One Dalton is due to include 215 Four Seasons hotel rooms that the international hospitality firm will manage and 160 luxury condos (which Four Seasons will also service).
The architect is a collaboration between Cambridge Seven Associates and Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed. Cobb, incidentally, designed 200 Clarendon (formerly known as the Hancock). Carpenter & Company is the developer and Suffolk Construction the contractor.
5. The Row Hotel at Assembly Row, Autograph Collection
The 158-room Row Hotel at Assembly Row opened in mid-August in Somerville’s still-unfolding Assembly Row mega-project.
The inn is part of Marriott’s signature Autograph Collection, and a release on the hotel’s opening says the newest location will provide “a distinctive mix of industrial heritage and forward-thinking drive.” The hotel is aimed at both business and leisure travelers.
The Row Hotel features an expansive and high-ceiling lobby with original artwork from Feliciano Bejar and a lounge-restaurant-pub called Reflections. Additional amenities include a communal guest pantry, a fitness center, and an indoor pool with cabanas. There is also enough event space to accommodate up to 300.
The hotel, too, is near the Assembly stop of the Orange Line.
6. Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences
Boston, MA 02116
An agreement between Toronto-based AccorHotels, the Saunders Hotel Group, and the Noannet Group is expected to spawn a 400-foot tower at the corner of Trinity Place and Stuart Street in Back Bay.
The tower will house 147 hotel rooms under the Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand and 146 luxury condos, with construction starting before the end of 2018 and completion scheduled for 2021.
While the building—officially known as Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences—will not be that tall by Boston standards, it will fill a corner where Saunders and Noannet have been trying to build for years. They got the requisite permits for construction in 2016, and reached a deal with Raffles parent AccorHotels in late 2017.
The hotel will be the first of its kind in North America, and is expected to thematically reflect Boston—as other Raffles hotels in places such as Paris, Singapore, and the Seychelles reflect their locales.
7. Taj Boston
This one is not so much new construction as a major, major overhaul.
The property’s managing owner, a limited liability company controlled by San Francisco-based wealth management and investment firm Iconiq Capital, also plans to redo the hotel’s existing 273 guest rooms and to add a dozen more.
The work, too, will include renovating corridors and enclosing the Taj’s seasonal rooftop restaurant. It’s the relocation of that main entrance to the lobby that most people will notice, though.
8. The Revolution Hotel
This 164-room boutique hotel set to open in December in the South End will aim to attract younger travelers and creative types.
That is according to its developer, Mount Vernon Company, which is converting the former site of both a YWCA and a hostel into what it’s calling the Revolution Hotel. Provenance Hotels will operate the inn.
The Revolution is expected to draw on Boston’s creative past to in turn draw those younger sojourners and creatives. How? Per The Globe’s Tim Logan, “through an array of interior exhibits and art to be installed throughout the mid-rise building ... Early images show rooms decorated with paintings by historic Boston artists, overlaid with the titles of songs by Boston music legends such as Aerosmith and Donna Summer.”
The conversion of the former Y-slash-hostel also involves a revamp of the property’s courtyard so it can host an indoor-outdoor restaurant. The building’s basement will become a co-working space by day and a bar by night.
In the end, the likeliest draw for younger guests might be the Revolution’s planned rates: Rooms are expected to start at about $150 a night, lower than the typical charge for boutiques near downtown.
9. 150 Kneeland Street
Boston, MA 02111
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.
10. Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport
Boston, MA 02210
What will be the fourth-largest hotel in Boston got officially underway in late May and is expected to be finished in 2020.
The $550 million Omni Boston Seaport Hotel will plant 1,055 rooms on Summer Street across from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport District.
The project goes back to 2017, when the Massachusetts Port Authority designated a development team that includes Omni Hotels & Resorts to build on a state-owned parcel in order to boost the room count in an area still underserved hospitality-wise—despite the convention center being right there.
The 21-story complex will include 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space of its own, including the largest hotel ballroom in the Seaport District. Interestingly, too, six local nonprofits will share in the hotel’s profits; and the developers pointed out recently that the Omni inn will create between 700 and 1,000 permanent jobs.
There is one potential snag for the whole affair: Money management giant Fidelity Investments has sued the developers over the name. Fidelity’s own Seaport Hotel opened in the neighborhood 20 years ago.