After decades of underutilization and deterioration, the redevelopment of Boston’s most notorious run-down diamond in the rough is one step closer to reality.
While some in the South End have found the 150-room, 14-story hotel redevelopment a God-send from out of the blue, others have in recent months protested its height and its lack of parking.
At the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Board meeting on Thursday, March 14, the benefits of the project outweighed the negatives and the Board gave a thumbs up.
That will move the project on to the Zoning Commission in the next month, followed by dates at the Zoning Board of Appeals and the South End Landmarks.
The BPDA did institute some community mitigation within the approval, which included an interesting co-op program with Madison Park Technical High School that Councilor Kim Janey advocated for at the 11th Hour.
The hotel will work with Madison Park Technical High School to coordinate a co-op program with students for construction co-ops, hotel workers and restaurant staff.
The hotel amenities will be open to the public, including a rooftop lounge.
The hotel has also agreed to install indoor bike racks for employees, and will subsidize MBTA Charlie Cards for employees and provide complimentary Charlie Cards to guests.
The project will not include on-site parking, but will make improvements to the Silver Line stop and surrounding public realm.
“We are thrilled to share our design and reintroduce the hotel to Boston,” said Carlos Bueno, General Manager, Taj Boston. “Our new concept embraces both the rich history of the hotel and timeless details that, when partnered together, radiate a uniquely Boston feel. Our guests will enjoy the sophisticated ambience and bespoke service that has been the hotel’s ethos since its opening in 1927.”