BPDA Board Approves Stanhope Hotel Project

By Adam Swift

A proposed hotel at the site of the Stanhope Street Stables building across from Back Bay Station got the okay to move forward from the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s (BPDA)Board of Directors last week. “The project is an approximately 124,000 square feet, 21-story, 300 key hotel with restaurant space on the ground floor,” said BPDA project manager Quinn Valcich. “The project will be compliant with the Stuart Street District zoning and will be making a $450,000 contribution to support a Boston Transportation Department effort to explore improvements to a section of Stanhope Street adjacent to the project as a pedestrian plaza. The project will also incorporate the facade of the existing two-story brick stables building on the site into the design of the hotel.” Valcich said there were several well-attended public meetings on the project, and that several city councilors, including District 2 and Council President Ed Flynn have submitted letters of support for the project. Paul Sullivan, chief of staff for Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty, said the councilor wanted to go on record in support of the project. “He was impressed by not only the preservation of the facade, but also the improvements to the plaza as well as alleviating the need for more hotel rooms in the city,” said Sullivan. Project architect Harry Wheeler of Group One Partners said his team worked with landscape architects and the city to create a pedestrianization plan in front of the building which is essentially an extension of Frida Garcia Park. The architectural plans also sought to create a vibrant ground floor space with a restaurant and lobby, and to separate the look of the existing stable building with the hotel room floors above with a glass wall effect on the third floor. The majority of the building will have a gridded facade that ties into the architecture in the neighborhood, Wheeler said. The top floor of the building will have some meeting space and a club room, as well as an exterior terrace facing the park, Wheeler added. “I’m really excited for this project, it’s one of my favorite little parts of the city,” said BPDA Board Chair Priscilla Rojas. “I appreciate all of the time and coordination (the developer) and the team did to create what I think is going to be a pretty cool space.”

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