After a period of inactivity, the latest Parcel 9 project is back on track according to the developer who presented at a public meeting held on July 24th at the North Bennet Street School. Neighborhood residents gathered to hear details on the Central Artery / Tunnel Project related to the Haymarket Square Hotel + Retail development. Many changes have been made since the original plan was presented in the fall of 2013. The development project is taking the zoning approach of a Planned Development Area through the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) following Article 80 guidelines.

Haymarket Square Rendering at Parcel 9 (Developers: Normandy Partners / Jones Lang LaSalle, Designed by Perkins + Will)
Haymarket Square Rendering at Parcel 9 (Developers: Normandy Partners / Jones Lang LaSalle) This rendering is before the additional 2 floors noted at the meeting. 

Key changes from the original design start with the height of the hotel increasing to just over 100 feet, adding two additional floors. With a possible range between 180 rooms to 225 rooms, the flexibility lies in finding the right mix between the number of rooms, and square footage per room. In addition to resurfacing Blackstone Street, the added rooms also translate to added rent for MassDOT.

The height of 103 feet will come on the hotel section of the building (the North Street side of the development). While the market/retail area will have a consistent, flat height of 27 feet (in the original plan, this section had a roof that was fluctuating, as part of the creative design).

Due to the FEMA flood maps, all mechanical components could not be stored in the basement, resulting in those amenities being moved to an upper level in the hotel. The builders hope to have a building that makes a positive impact on the area: one that adds amenities, improves Blackstone Street, and benefits the community, Greenway, and Haymarket district. The developers are trying to keep the hotel moderately priced and are not aiming for a “luxury” hotel to occupy this space.

All stamped sidewalk item decorations will be removed and put back in the new walkways during the redevelopment.

In the design, a public space to hold community group meetings is included. Along with a public walkway through the lobby of the hotel (similar to the walk through at the Marriot Long Wharf hotel). The total retail space will host about 5 occupants. One could be a restaurant, leaving 4 to 5 small retail shops that complement the Haymarket area. The developers said they do not want anything too “big” (commercial/corporations). The hotel may also have an indoor swimming pool or fitness center for hotel customers.

Audience Comments and concerns:
– View corridors may be blocked due to the height increase.
– Requests to see the proposed building from a view perspective of Hanover and Salem Streets (at Cross Street intersections).
– The public walk through space, who will monitor that? (NOTE: Hotel staff will “run/oversee” that responsibility).
– Are the design team and builders committed to maintaining the market theme?
– Legal documentation in writing to ensure that the public space inside the hotel is not developed or changed a few years down the road.
– The lack of public restrooms (NOTE: Parcel 7 will have public restrooms during hours of operation.)
– A positive note to the design team that they are aren’t presenting another tower project!

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