17 thoughts on “Redevelopment of Arsenal Mall Now Includes a 145-Room Hotel

  1. Clever (or sleazy), move by the developer. By changing the plans from residential to a hotel, they don’t have to set X number of units aside for affordable housing.

  2. I agree with Henry K. Where were Watertown officials when this swittcheroo was done?
    Also, the world does not need another non descript , ugly Hampton Inn. At least let’s makes sure it’s an ambitious design that dramatizes and complements the history and other buildings. The new Marriott is really awful. Let’ not look like Rt 9 in Natick and Framingham. How about having little pride and pushback.

    • Agree with Bruce. The Marriott is chintzy looking. If this is the best this developer can do, then he oughtn’t be allowed to change his plan.

  3. To Angie Kounelis’ points, has anyone seen a cost/benefit analysis showing what we are getting for all the development versus the impact on town services? I have a feeling no one in the town, our exalted numbers man Town Manager, or the unelected de factor mayor, Steve Magoon, or our volunteer government head, Mark Sideris, has asked for this. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Who is minding the store while it’s being robbed? I’d like to see this kind of analysis before we give away Arsenal Mall to that sleaze McQuillan, wouldn’t you?
    Don’t bet on it. A hotel looks like “diversity” to our planner, yet another exciting addition to our “community”! Hotels don’t bring community. It’s just all a done deal.

  4. Can you imagine the amount of extra traffic another hotel will bring? Residential is one thing, a hotel means even more traffic! And the MBTA buses are already standing room only in rush hour.

    • Right you are Bruce, especially about the MBTA buses. Despite the Arsenal Corridor Planning, I would not expect meaningful solutions to these problems in the near future. We need a whole lot more public transportation. There seems to be no rush on the part of the town, or the Commonwealth to make sure that happens. When will the TMA shuttle begin operations?

  5. I have a feeling the new apartments across from Toyota of Watertown will be subsidized housing within five years.

  6. In regards to mciro’s comment about “what we are getting for all the development versus the impact on town services”, I asked this very question at the Planning Board Hearing for the Arsenal Yards on January 11 and in fact, I asked for specifics, because, up to that point, I had heard no mention from anyone about what this development will cost the city in terms of additional needed services and other factors and no one had ever asked. I also responded with further comments to Charlie’s Article on January 12, http://www.watertownmanews.com/2017/01/12/planning-board-approves-master-plan-for-renovating-arsenal-mall/. The response I got from the Planning Department at the meeting was nonspecific with no details as to anticipated costs; the only thing said was that overall there would be a benefit. There are a number of other Cities and Towns that have requirements within their zoning that Cost/Benefit Analyses be done for developments over a certain size or that will increase traffic above a certain level. Some cities and towns require analyses to be done by an outside company contracted by and paid for by the developer. This is something that Watertown should be doing. Even if we don’t require this to done by developers, our Planning Department should at least be calculating the costs and providing this information to the public. If we are to make good decisions about development in Watertown, we need to have all the information, not just pieces of the puzzle and sales pitches from the developers.

  7. I assume a change from residence with affordable units to a hotel is a major change and the special permit will need to be amended. This will give the community an opportunity to comment on this change.

  8. If one looks at the rendering of the new hotel on the Hampton Inn release, it appears that the setback of the upper floors does not occur on the hotel design. This change of the setback must be something that the planning department and board should be commenting on.

  9. The announcement from Boylston Properties seems to imply they’ve already made all the arrangements for this hotel, but they haven’t gotten approval for this change to the plans yet. Zoning requires them to get approval for the change from the Planning Board.

  10. When the Watertown Arsenal committee was formed -.headed by John Airasian to develop the Arsenal with Mark Sideris member – this committee was established by vote of the Toen Council with Mark Sideris voting Yes. It was voted 8 councillors yes and 2 councillor No –
    Through a resolution voted by the council it gave this committee complete atonomy to market the Arsenal property without any input or approval from any agency ot Anyone-town council – town attorney , boards – they could do anything -lease, sell etcc
    Most important vote this committee had was to choose the developer. As at large councillor rrpresent

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