A boutique hotel at a “gateway” site into Boston’s North End got a key sign-off from city officials Thursday night, over the strong objections of one elected official.
The Boston Planning and Development Agency board approved a 134-room hotel at 42 Cross St. along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway on the edge of the North End. The hotel will have two ground-floor restaurants and a seasonal rooftop dining terrace, replacing the existing one-story buildings there. It will also include a two-story open-air pedestrian passageway connecting the Greenway with Cutillo Park.
The project had faced opposition from North End residents, including the Friends of Cutillo Park, who argued a hotel is not a good fit for their neighborhood. Lydia Edwards, whose Boston City Council district includes the North End, spoke in strong opposition to the project during Thursday’s meeting. (Edwards also serves as a state Senator.)
Speaking via Zoom just before 10:00 p.m., Edwards posed a question to the BPDA board: “Is this the best use? Is this the best thing that we can really offer the people of the North End?”
“Is this that unique?” Edwards continued. “Is what is happening here something that could, but for it happening we would never have this beautification? You know damn well it’s not true.”
Speaking on behalf of the development team, attorney Johanna Schneider of Hemenway & Barnes contended the project presented “a unique opportunity to transform an underutilized, blighted parcel.”
“This project is uniquely suited to transform the area,” Schneider said.
Developer William Caulder of 6M Development has pledged $100,000 to Cutillo Park, and says the project will improve access to the green space for people with disabilities.
Other projects the BPDA board approved Thursday include:
• The Dorchester Fieldhouse, a project of the Martin Richard Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester, at 315 Mount Vernon St. in Columbia Point. The 79,000-square-foot facility will include indoor athletic fields and fitness rooms, a walking track, a theater, a teaching kitchen, retail space, and more.
• A plan by Northeastern University to add around 900 beds to the university’s East Village and International Village residence halls.
• A Herb Chambers Cos. Honda dealership at 710-729 Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester.
• An 111-unit apartment complex at 90 Braintree St. in Allston.
• A 20-unit condominium building at 1154-1156 Dorchester Ave. near the MBTA Savin Hill station.
• A 33-unit condominium building at 1395-1405 Washington St. in the South End.
• Reducing the number of loading bays at an office tower at 380 Stuart St. in the Back Bay.
• Wentworth Institute of Technology’s proposed conversion of a 3-acre parking lot into a new athletics center, including a turf field, called Sweeney Field, which will sit atop a new one-story parking garage at 600-620 Parker St. in Mission Hill.
• A 20-unit condominium at 1154-1156 Dorchester Ave. in Dorchester.
A vote on a 170-unit residential building at 355 Bennington St. in East Boston was postponed due to lack of available Spanish translation.