New Hotel Proposed for Arsenal Mall to be Discussed by Planning Board

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A rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn & Suites to be built in Phase 2 of the Arsenal Yards project.

A rendering of the proposed Hampton Inn & Suites to be built in Phase 2 of the Arsenal Yards project.

The Planning Board will discuss the second phase of the Arsenal Yards project, which includes a hotel to be added in a new building planned for what is now the parking lot of the Arsenal Mall. 

Phase 2 focuses on Building B, which is on the west sided of the site, next to the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates offices. Along with the retail space on the ground floor there will be a hotel and a parking structure (see architectural drawings here).

Developers Boyslton Properties announced they plan to build a Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton with 150 rooms. The six-story hotel replaces the 79-unit residential building originally planned for Building B. It will have a garage with six levels, including an underground level.

The plans got mixed reviews from the public during a community meeting held in May. See the documents submitted to the Town can be seen here (click on Phase Two Building B in the left column).

The meeting will he held on Wednesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall, 149 Main St., Watertown.

2 thoughts on “New Hotel Proposed for Arsenal Mall to be Discussed by Planning Board

  1. David gamble has done a design guidelines review of the new hotel proposed for Arsenal yard. He has again recommended simplifying the façade “10 materials in present design” He recommended this earlier for the special permit and Arsenal Yards made some effort but with the new hotel they went back to their more exuberant expression. The new staff report for the hotel does call for “minor” façade changes referencing Gamble’s review. The special permit requires Design Guidelines compliance which Arsenal Yards claims to have followed. In reality the proposed buildings on arsenal street make no effort to respond as a good visual neighbor to the existing architecture but only to “scream for attention” not unlike the new hotel down the street. These reports can be found on the town website, at documents, plang dept, projects, arsenal yard, phase 2 building B, at “3c” Design Peer and “2” staff report. .

    Bob Lauricella

  2. The Watertown Arsenal, established in 1816, is on the National Register of Historic Sites for both its rich history and its distinctive architecture. Shouldn’t new construction added to or inserted into those historic environs exist in harmonious visual conversation with the design of the original buildings? The proposed design for the Hampton Inn would be gaudy and out of place. Please Google Hampton Inn facades; you will see that Watertown is being offered a flashy, boxy, generic modular design based on Hampton Inn’s handful of templates used nationwide. It could be on a Manhattan street corner or next to a Florida theme park. Is that tacky design mashup really the face we want Arsenal Yards to present as a first impression? You will also see that in a few places — look at the Berry Farms buildings in Tennessee — the Inn and Suites franchise has been far more subtly incorporated into the historic milieu. Why are we not insisting on that happening here?

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