A massive convention center hotel is likely after all

The Boston Globe | By Jon Chesto
October 19, 2016

conv-hotelA year ago, the Massachusetts Port Authority pared back its ambitions for a huge hotel in South Boston after Governor Charlie Baker shelved plans to expand the convention center across Summer Street. But now Massport is poised to get a giant hotel after all, one with more than 1,000 rooms.

And, in an important change from 2015, no public subsidy will be needed to build or operate the hotel.

A team that includes hotelier Robin Brown, the Boston real estate developer Davis Cos., and Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts has emerged as the top bidder for the project, according to people with knowledge of the bidding.

Massport is negotiating more precise details on the hotel project with the team, the people said, and is expected to formally award the project within three months.

Terms of the lease with Massport are not known. Nor was the exact number of hotel rooms disclosed, but it exceeds 1,000, which would make the hotel among the largest in the city, the people said. Some rooms would be micro-units — smaller, less-expensive rooms aimed at millennials.

Members of the development team declined to comment, as did Massport, saying the procurement process is still underway.

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