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200-room hotel will rise near Ink Block in South End

Marriott’s boutique brand is new to US

The developer transforming the former Boston Herald headquarters into a massive housing and retail complex is seeking to add a hotel on neighboring property in Boston’s South End.

National Development said Monday that it wants to build a 200-room AC Hotel by Marriott near the intersection of Albany and Traveler streets. AC Hotel is a limited-service boutique brand that opened its first locations in Europe and recently has expanded in the United States.

“It’s unlike anything you’ve seen in Boston,” said Ted Tye, a managing partner at Newton-based National Development. “It’s got an edginess to the design, with a tip of the cap to the arts, music, and food you find in the South End.”

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If approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the hotel would sit next to the Ink Block project, a 6-acre development with hundreds of homes and retail space. So far, two of its residential buildings are open, along with the city’s largest Whole Foods grocery store.

Eventually, the complex will have 398 apartments and condominiums and up to five restaurants.

The six-story AC Marriott would be on Albany Street, adjacent to the Ink Block site. It would replace a pair of low-slung brick buildings that formerly housed offices for Independent Taxi and F.W. Webb.

Tye said National Development plans to file more detailed building plans with the BRA soon. The company wants to start construction in the fall, with the hotel’s opening scheduled for early 2017.

A BRA spokesman seemed to offer support for the project Monday, noting that Ink Block and the Troy Boston apartment complex, being built nearby, are revitalizing a once-gritty section of the South End.

“A new hotel would certainly add to the positive momentum we’ve already seen,” said the spokesman, Nick Martin. “It’s an exciting time for the neighborhood.”

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The Ink Block and Troy project will include nearly 800 homes near Interstate 93. Other large projects are planned on surrounding properties that could host several hundred additional homes, office space, and retail stores.

The AC Marriott, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, would feature a wavy metal facade with a glass-encased lobby and lounge on the ground floor. A small garden and patio are also planned.

In New Orleans, the only US city where an AC Marriott is currently operating, a room with two double beds starts at $199 a night. The chain plans three new US hotels this year, in Miami Beach, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C.


Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.