The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for the City of Boston voted on May 9th to approve the request by LIMAC Realty, LLC to erect a new hotel at 86-88 N. Washington Street. The ZBA approval follows a supportive vote by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) in March 2017.
Property owner Thomas MacKay plans to build a 68-key, 13-story hotel at 88 N. Washington Street on the corner of Valenti Way. The project structure would be 128 feet tall (plus mechanicals), occupy 36,000 sq. feet and cost $16.5 million to develop. Coined “88NOWA”, the hotel will have a first floor lobby, a second floor mezzanine, and 11 levels of guest rooms. The no-frills hotel is said to serve the $180/night price point and with perhaps a small cafe on the 2nd floor. Most floors will have 5 micro-rooms, about 200 square feet with one queen bed.
The ZBA unanimously approved the variances required, including building higher than the 100 foot zoning height limit. Community feedback resulted in a reduction of 19 feet of height from the first proposal with fewer hotel rooms.
The developer emphasizes the benefits of replacing the corner parking lot eyesore at the site which is adjacent to the 160 foot high Murano building. On the other side of the location, is 90 N. Washington Street where Ward 8 restaurant is located on the ground floor.
The developer will make a $36,000 contribution to the City of Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department to be used for the Parcel 2 “Valenti Square” park upon issuance of the building permit for the proposed project. Parcel 2 is the small triangular plot of land across the street from the property where cars u-turn to get to the airport tunnel entrance.
Continuing to oppose the hotel project is the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) in the letter shown below. The resident group contends the hotel introduces several dangerous precedents and threatens public safety. With the flurry of development activity in the Bulfinch Triangle / North Station area, NEWRA points out the hotel would make a congested intersection even worse for pedestrians on N. Washington Street. Further, the group says the hotel is still too large for the small corner parcel and strongly opposes the overhang of the public sidewalk.