Community Government

Three of Four At-Large Councilors Oppose Lewis Wharf Hotel Project

Three of the four At-Large City Councilors have written letters to the Boston Redevelopment Authority opposing the proposed Lewis Wharf hotel development. Michelle Wu, Ayanna Pressley and Stephen Murphy have come out against the project by proponents JW Capital Partners and Moriarty & Associates. (See letters below.) The office of City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty has indicated that Flaherty will not take a position at this time. The city councilors are up for re-election on November 3, 2015 along with candidate Anissa Essaibi George, who has written her own letter opposing the development..

The three city councilors at-large are joined in their opposition by District 1 Councilor Sal LaMattina as well as State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and State Senator Anthony Petruccelli. [See Elected Officials Take Stand Against Lewis Wharf Hotel Project].

Mayor Marty Walsh has not yet taken a position on the Lewis Wharf project. According to the BRA project manager, after the comment period the BRA will consider whether to bring the proposal to its board for a vote as part of the Article 80, Large Project Review. State approval, specifically in accordance with Chapter 91 regulations, would then be required to permit the project. The developer has stated that its proposal, at 55′ high and 50% open space, is 100% compliant with all existing city zoning and state guidelines.

October 15th is the public comment deadline. Comments can be emailed for the record to

Sent: 10/9/2015 3:38:31 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Lewis Wharf Opposition

Dear Neighbor,

Having an open dialogue with constituents is the best way to ensure that your needs are represented. The clear opposition expressed in letters, emails and in meetings by so many long-term residents of the City of Boston to the proposed development at Lewis Wharf is evident. This proposed development would diminish the historic charm of Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood, instead of enhance it. I would like to ensure all of my concerned constituents that I too, am opposed to the development. I am in full support of the neighbors and abutters on this matter.

Thank you for reaching out.


Stephen J. Murphy
Councilor At-large
Boston City Council
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

Office: (617) 635-4376


Update: October 16, 2015

We have received the following opposition letter from Annissa Essaibi George, Candidate for Boston City Councilor At-Large.

7 Replies to “Three of Four At-Large Councilors Oppose Lewis Wharf Hotel Project

  1. I’d like to say THANK YOU!! to Councilors Murphy, Wu and Pressley for submitting their letters of opposition to the BRA for the Lewis Wharf hotel complex. You join 1,094 (and counting!) North Enders and other Bostonians who have signed the Save Our North End Waterfront petition in saying “NO HOTEL at Lewis Wharf!”

    1. When will this developer finally acknowledge the unprecedented amount of widespread opposition and come back to the community with a substantially revised proposal, or better yet, withdraw his illadvised plan altogether?!?!

  2. I think it is wonderful that all these politicians stepped up to the plate for Waterfront Residents
    regarding the Lewis Wharf Hotel Project, but we all know if the Revenue is going to take in over
    $7 million dollars, I will be in shock if the Mayor refuses this deal. Quality of Life doesn’t seem to be
    a Priority in this City, and that has been proven over and over again. The North End Residents can
    all attest to this; very sad, but oh so true.

  3. to Joan of Arc: The quality of life in the NE is fine, and definitely one of the more cohesive neighborhoods. As a peninsula, we are surrounded by water. A cozy self- contained area. Crime rate down. An Olympic-sized pool at waterside. One of the best schools in Boston. History at every turn of the head. A user-friendly neighborhood with banks at every corner and fantastic restaurants. The Greenway and proximity to downtown section of Boston. Our people protect the area. The North End is the place to be.

  4. JAMISON, I guess it depends on what lens people view quality of life through. You have touched on a lot of valid and positive points which we are all aware of. We are the few privileged who can afford to live here.
    Unfortunately the gentrification of this once migrant family enclave, has certainly changed the fabric of our community. The North End residents of yesteryear were not able you enjoy the luxuries we have here today, they were poor families, generations of families that lived, worked, and played in this historic neighborhood.
    It was a daily struggle just to feed and provide the most basic of amenities for their families.
    Strangely the less they had, they seemed to have a wealth of possessions that seem nonexistent today.
    Today’s North End is a transient neighborhood, most properties have absentee landlords, who have to rent these units to college students and Airbnb. Some students, not all are running wild parties into the wee hours of the morning with no regard for their neighbors or the elderly. the new shared economy explosion has been very profitable for Real property owners. The streets of the North End are dangerously over crowed with tourist.
    Yes we all love capitalism, but it does have its cost on a community.
    So maybe my lens is not as clear as yours, or I just view quality of life a little differently.
    The Waterfront, in my opinion, is the best place to live, which is in walking distance to the North End,
    but has a calmness that the No. End no longer has.

  5. Joan of Arc: Yes, the old neighborhood is changing. Its charm and accessibility to downtown lure a new breed. My post focused on the amenities of the NE. You point out that it is the quality of life that truly matters, and I agree. Although there are fewer Italians (perhaps 30% of residents) one feels their presence. Throughout history, changes to wonderful places have been cyclical — and perhaps this phase will catapult the NE to a new life. It takes a stiff upper lip for me to walk the street, dodging tourists and outdoor cafes. Yet I enjoy seeing familiar faces and feeling free to pop into a shop to say hello. Where else? I lived in Italy and nothing can replace the quality of life there, and as my sister emailed last week, “we’re sitting in a piazza having gelato at 11:30 p.m” and that is a quality of life that touches me.

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