New Developer Eyes Massport Hotel Parcel In Seaport

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09 Sep 2016

As seen in Banker & Tradesman
By Steve Adams

Lincoln Property Co. is seeking to take over a long-delayed 480,000-square-foot hotel and apartment development in Boston’s Seaport District from Stoughton-based Conroy Development.

Conroy was designated by property owner Massport as developer of the 2.4-acre parcel on Northern Avenue in 2009. The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved the 480,000-square-foot project in 2014. Since then, Massport has been in negotiations with the developer, with the board of directors meeting behind closed doors on March 24 to discuss the proposal and other real estate deals.

John Miller, executive vice president for Lincoln Property Co. in Boston, confirmed that the company has agreed to take over the project and hopes to break ground in early 2017. Lincoln Property would self-manage the property, consisting of an 11-story apartment building and 10-story hotel.

“We’ve gone back and forth between limited-service and more of a 4-star hotel,” Miller said.

The $230 million development on Massport’s parcel K across from the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion is part of a wave of potential hotel development in the Seaport.

Six development teams submitted proposals to Massport in April for a minimum 250-room hotel as part of a mixed-use project on Summer Street across from the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center. That project replaces a 1,200-room hotel that Massport shelved after Gov. Charlie Baker put a $1 billion convention center expansion on hold last year. Massport has not designated a developer yet.

Newton-based WS Development has approvals for up to three hotels on 12.5 acres that it acquired last year for $359 million in the master-planned Seaport Square development.

And Wellesley-based Harbinger Development last month submitted plans for a 411-room hotel at 660 Summer St. managed by Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites on a 1.2-acre parcel owned by the Economic Development Industrial Corp. of Boston.

Boston and Cambridge hotels’ financial performance showed some signs of vulnerability during the first five months of 2016, according to research by CBRE Hotels. Revenues per available room declined 0.4 percent, partially because of a decline in large convention business at the BCEC.

Overall, though, Boston’s hotel market remains on solid footing, said Alan Suzuki, a director with HFF in Boston.

“We went through a period from 2009 through 2014 without any new hotels, and the market could have used more rooms,” he said. “Boston is always going to be a strong tourism and convention destination.”

Conroy and Massport’s press office did not return messages. The port authority board of directors will meet on Thursday.