The firms behind the redevelopment of the Arsenal Mall have added a 145-room hotel along Arsenal Street to their plans.
Boylston Properties announced that they plan to put a Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton in what is known as Building B in their master plan for what is now called Arsenal Yards.
Jeff Heidelberg, project manager for Boylston Properties, said that the hotel is replacing what was originally planned to be a 79-unit residential building. The difference in the number of hotel rooms compared to residential units is because hotel rooms are smaller than the apartments.
Town Council President Mark Sideris said in the announcement that he welcomes the hotel and Steve Magoon, the Assistant Town Manager and Community Development and Planning Director, said it adds to the economic diversity of the project.
At Thursday night’s meeting about another part of the Arsenal Yards project East End Councilor Angeline Kounelis said she learned about the addition of the hotel late last week. While she said economic development is important for adding to Watertown’s tax base she added that she worries about how much the Town will get from the Arsenal Yards project and whether the increase will cover the cost of the Town services required for the new development.
“I have not been made aware of any much needed increased staffing levels for Police, Fire or DPW; departments that are already stressed to the max, servicing the needs of our community,” Kounelis told Wicked Local Watertown in a piece on the new hotel. “Unless the appropriate staffing increases are factored into the budget, the burdens will only continue to increase.”
Here is the announcement from the Arsenal Yards website:
Boylston Properties, now creating a new, mixed-use Arsenal Yards with retail, restaurants, residences, and entertainment space, announced today that a Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton will be included in the redevelopment, adding to the transformation of the Arsenal Mall and adjacent properties into a dynamic new destination.
The new Hampton Inn & Suites, a brand of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, will have approximately 145 rooms, with retail space on the first floor. It is planned for the northwest corner of the property, along Arsenal Street and adjacent to a parking garage that will serve the hotel, new residents, and Arsenal Yards shoppers and visitors.
The hotel will supply additional rooms to Watertown and the greater Boston area, which will complement the opening last year of Boylston’s nearby Marriott Residence Inn.
“In the process of planning Arsenal Yards, we realized the opportunity to round out the hotel market in this area while providing another dynamic use to the Arsenal Yards project that will create more activity and vitality to the project as a whole,” said William McQuillan, Principal of Boylston Properties. “We think a hotel is an ideal addition to our plans.”
“Arsenal Yards will offer our hotel guests an array of shops, restaurants and entertainment right outside their door.”
Phil Cordell, Global Head for Focused Service and Hampton Brand Management, said, “We look forward to being a part of this exciting and energizing retail, entertainment, apartment and hotel development in Watertown that will surely impress and attract locals and visitors. We cannot wait to welcome guests to the brand new Hampton Inn and Suites and continue to grow our portfolio in the Boston area.”
Steve Magoon, Assistant Town Manager and Community Development and Planning Director of Watertown, said, “A hotel is a potentially exciting addition to the project and brings even more diversity to it. The Marriott was a great addition and has demonstrated the need or demand for new rooms. We hope the addition of another hotel will be just as successful and great an addition to the community.”
Mark Sideris, President of the Watertown Town Council, said, “This is a very appropriate place for a hotel, and I’m happy it’s coming to this area. It’s an avenue to help drive economic development and a great opportunity for Watertown to be welcoming and have places for people to stay.”
Boylston Properties, along with The Wilder Companies and partners, hope to begin construction later this year on the property that will bring fresh retail, residential, dining and entertainment venues to the area, while also providing more green space, bike paths and outdoor gathering areas for the community.
The new hotel and garage will be in the first phase of the redevelopment project, along with half of the planned retail and restaurants, with the hotel opening in Spring 2019.
The hotel will be owned by a new joint venture that is an affiliate of Boylston Properties and Stonebridge Partners, the team that also developed and owns the Marriott Residence Inn on Arsenal Street. The new hotel will also be managed by Stonebridge Partners. The architects for the new hotel will be a collaboration of Prellwitz Chilinski Associates and Group One Partners.
Planning of the new community was undertaken over the last two years with extensive involvement of the Watertown community, as well as city agencies and officials. Handsome historic portions of the original manufacturing complex will be retained, with creative architectural additions, respectful restoration, and sustainability as priorities. Arsenal Yards will be welcoming and highly accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians and have sheltered parking for those who drive or live there.
The completed project, over phases, will contribute significantly to Watertown’s tax base, approximately doubling the tax revenue from the current amount paid to the city.