Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BRA Blocks Residential Project on Congress St.

Developer Madison Properties has a residential project lined up and ready-go-to and the BRA has blocked it to save the site for a hotel.  The BRA is also working on using subsidies to make a hotel economically viable at that site.

from the Globe:

In two weeks, Boston officials will converge on a South Boston parking lot. They will clutch shiny commemorative shovels and hurl superlatives at the Cambridge Innovation Center, a technology incubator that will be breaking ground on a Boston outpost. They will name-check Vertex, the pharmaceutical giant now building a new headquarters across the street at Fan Pier, as well as the nearby convention center, and the scores of technology firms that are filling the old brick warehouses nearby.

But it’s almost assured that, when all ceremonial sand-tossing has concluded, no one from City Hall will have mentioned the nearby “Sausage Parcel.” That isn’t the type of story the city likes to tell — especially when it’s trying to drum up business along the waterfront...

A year ago, Madison went to the city with a plan to build a smaller 400-unit apartment tower instead, and the financing to do it. The city rebuffed that bid and has barely acknowledged a subsequent effort. Officials inside the Boston Redevelopment Authority are demanding a hotel, and they’re prepared to wait. “It’s a critical site, and it absolutely should be a hotel site,” says Kairos Shen, the BRA’s chief planner...

...the convention center has said no developer can afford to build in the neighborhood, so it’s talking about throwing a $200 million subsidy at a proposed 1,000-room hotel nearby, and also subsidizing moderately priced hotels.

Dennis Dowdle, the principal at Madison Properties, said in a statement that he “wants to be part of the city’s Innovation District and will continue to work with the BRA to make that happen.” What’s uncertain is whether the BRA will ever reciprocate.

Read the full article:

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