Full Circle: Hotel Alexandra Proposed To Become Hotel Again

In response to the challenges now facing the housing market, the Hotel Alexandra building is poised to become a hotel again, according to a second Notice of Project Change (NPC) filed with the city on March 29.

​“The project will retain and restore the façade of the existing Alexandra Hotel and construct a new, approximately 150-room, 13-story hotel building with ground-floor restaurant and café space and a rooftop-level bar/restaurant,” according to the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

The Hotel Alexandra building at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Washington Street.

A 10-story, 158-room boutique hotel was approved by the BPDA board in March of 2019 for the long-neglected building at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Washington Street. But that plan was scuttled by the proponent, The Alexandra Partners, LLC, when the pandemic struck.

The project was then reimagined as  ‘Alexandra Residences,’ a 13-story, mixed-use development with ground floor restaurant and café space, a rooftop level bar/restaurant, and around 70 condo units. The BPDA board approved it on Oct. 14, 2021. The city’s Zoning Board of Appeal also granted a change in occupancy for the project to a multifamily residential use with a commercial/restaurant use on the ground floor and the restoration of the existing historic façade on July 12, 2022. The South End Landmark District Commission then approved the change from hotel to residential use on Dec. 6, 2022.

(Last June, Cushman & Wakefield, a Chicago-based global commercial real-estate development firm, listed the Alexandra Hotel building on the market for an unspecified asking price.)

“The proponent now submits a Second NPC essentially seeking the same approval it received in 2019 for a boutique hotel use,” wrote Attorney Marc LaCasse in a letter  to BPDA Director Chief Arthur Jemison, dated March 25. “The financial markets of 2022-2023 and the attendant interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve of 5.5 [precent] in 18 months has substantially impaired the available financing in the residential housing construction market. As a result, the residential project is not presently economically viable. The proposed design, height and massing of the hotel use is identical to the structure previously approved by the BPDA for the hotel use in 2019. In all other material respects the building as now proposed is the same structure as approved in March 2019.”

The BPDA’s public-comment period for the expedited PNF is May 1; comments can be submitted via the project page at https://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/alexandra-hotel.

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