Harbinger Files for New 411-Room 'Marine Wharf' Hotels in Seaport
BOSTON, MA Harbinger Development, LLC filed its Project Notification Form with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for Marine Wharf, a new 411-room hotel on Summer Street in the burgeoning Seaport District that will include two Hilton concepts, a Hampton Inn and a Homewood Suites.
The hotels, stepped back from the Reserved Channel and rising from 5 to 14 floors, will have an address of 660 Summer St., located on an unused parcel at the Drydock Avenue entrance to the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park in the South Boston Seaport neighborhood.
The development will include not only two hotel concepts but also ground-floor commercial and retail uses. Marine Wharf will provide newly enhanced open space, an improved pedestrian experience around the site, and better connections to existing streets and water transportation facilities, including a dock next to the hotel with service for Outward Bound to Thompson Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands.
Harbinger, a Boston, Massachusetts, -area real estate development firm founded and operated by Eamon O'Marah, was granted development rights to the land, known as Parcel A, by the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation and will lease it for 99 years.
"One of our most significant priorities over the past two years has been to optimize our portfolio of real estate holdings and transform those properties to benefit the people of Boston," said Brian Golden, Director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. "We're pleased to partner with Harbinger Development on this unique opportunity to enhance the vitality of the waterfront area with new hotel rooms and commercial activity, and we look forward to undertaking the community review process in the months ahead."
With the filing of the Project Notification Form, the project begins the BRA's Article 80 permitting process. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2017, with an opening early in 2019.
The project will provide multiple public benefits, including street-level retail space, new on-site open spaces, street trees and landscaping, and increased tax revenues and employment opportunities. It is located adjacent to an existing park also owned by the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation, part of the BRA, and Harbinger will assume responsibility for maintaining that open space.
"Marine Wharf is about creating a place that provides amenities for the Seaport and Marine Park on its ground floor and its roof, with much needed hotel product in between," said O'Marah, Owner of Harbinger Development. "We're thrilled that the City entrusted us with this spectacular block."
The architect is a team from Perkins + Will of Boston, led by Robert Brown.
The addition of a 253-room select-service Hampton Inn and 166 rooms of extended-stay with the Homewood Suites brand will supply much-needed space for visitors to the nearby Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and those bound for events at other Boston locations. It will transform an underused site, adding vibrant uses that will include a restaurant, lounge, and meeting space. There will be a total of 3,500 square feet of retail space.
The hotels will share elevators, check-in areas on the first floor, and a welcoming space on the third floor. Meeting and recreation space will include 8,000 square feet on lower floors and an additional 8,000-square-foot "Great Room" on the roof, enclosed but adjacent to a large outdoor area for seasonal use. The roof and terraces off many of the hotel rooms themselves will have spectacular views of Boston Harbor and the city of Boston.
The project is in an area that is experiencing rapid growth and improvement with increasingly active and diverse uses. The proximity to Black Falcon Terminal and Cruiseport Boston will allow the project to provide a variety of accommodations within walking distance to the more than 380,000 passengers who make use of Cruiseport Boston each year.
Harbinger Development is committed to building a LEED-certifiable project, incorporating sustainable design features into the project to preserve and protect the environment.
Marine Wharf is consistent with the city's master plan for the area, which seeks "to provide sites and support for new economic development and job growth and to maintain flexibility to respond to Boston's future economy."
The site is 1.2 acres. The city's Marine Industrial Park Master Plan recognized that the site serves a unique role in that its proposed commercial uses can generate significant economic activity and jobs that will ultimately support the water-dependent and industrial uses of the park.
The hotels will be well served by public transportation, including the MBTA Silver Line. MBTA bus routes 4 and 7 make stops at the Summer Street/Drydock Avenue intersection, and the SL2 stops along Drydock Avenue at the Boston Design Center.
The hotels will have a total of 320,000 square feet. Amenities will include a fitness center and indoor pool. Parking is planned for 75 vehicles on the second floor.
Harbinger Development owns and is developing Marine Wharf, and O'Marah has extensive experience in Boston real estate.
He was the developer of record for the Ames Hotel, a member of Ames Hotel Partners LLC; managing partner for the owner and developer that purchased the Jacob Wirth site on Stuart Street, initiated permitting, and later sold the project to Avalon Bay; and development adviser to the CV Properties and Ares, which developed two recently opened hotels on D Street in South Boston. O'Marah is an owner and partner in the development group that is scheduled to build a hotel on Parcel 9, on the Rose Kennedy Greenway near Faneuil Hall.
"This is an opportunity to bring two of the best hotel brands, from Hilton, to this market, and the building itself will be a dynamic addition to the waterfront," said O'Marah. "The most important thing a developer can do is assemble a strong team and come up with a good vision, and we've worked hard to put that together here."