A 405-room hotel located adjacent to Boston’s cruise-ship terminal would be “a huge enhancement for that part of the city,” said Thomas Glynn, chief executive of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the terminal.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority voted late Thursday to allow a hotel developer to move forward with the project. The developer, Harbinger Development LLC, would take out a long-term lease to build a 13-story building at the city’s Marine Industrial Park on the South Boston Waterfront, next door to Massport’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal.
“We have been advocating for more choices for passengers and their families in the area, so this is a very positive step in the evolution of that whole neighborhood,” Glynn said.
Massport expects about 325,000 passengers to pass through the terminal in 2015, bound for or returning from locations such as Bermuda, Canada, and Europe. Currently, the closest hotels are about a mile away.
“We’re expecting it to be a beehive of activity that benefits a lot of different customers in that part of the world,” said BRA director Brian Golden.
Nick Martin, a spokesman for the BRA, said the city agency would begin negotiating with Harbinger, which is seeking a 70-year lease on the site known as Parcel A. Eamon O’Marah, Harbinger’s managing partner, said preliminary plans call for a 275,000-square-foot hotel that would be 10 stories on the side closer to the water and 13 stories on the other. He said he expected the project to cost $125 million.
“We look forward to working with the BRA, the EDIC, and the South Boston neighborhood and bring much-needed hotel rooms to the market,” O’Marah said. Regarding a timeline, O’Marah said he wanted to complete the regulatory process and start building “as soon as possible.”
O’Marah said Harbinger was in talks with Hilton to host two hotels in the building — a 265-room select-service hotel, such as a Hilton Garden Inn, and a 140-room extended-stay hotel with kitchenettes, such as a Homewood Suites. He said Hilton had many brands, however, and the final designations hadn’t been determined.
Harbinger has developed several other hotels in Boston, including Aloft and Element, a 500-room hotel complex that is expected to open in early 2016 across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Hotel Buckminster in Kenmore Square, and the Ames Hotel downtown.
The architect is Perkins+Will, whose Boston office has designed the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital building in the Charlestown Navy Yard, as well as Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Center for Science and Biomedical Engineering.