NEWRA Opposes 88 North Washington Street Hotel

By Phil Orlandella

The hotel will be built on a private parking lot bound by North Washington Street, Valenti Way and Beverly Street and will be 15 stories high plus basement.

The number of rooms will be 74 and amenities include a lobby and second floor Café. The hotel operation will provide valet parking using neighborhood facilities. Drop-off is proposed at the curb on Valenti Way.

Service and delivery entrance will be located on North Washington Street at Medford Street. Loading zone will be shared with other area business.

Several representatives from the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) at a scheduled public hearing call for by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) expressed opposition to the construction of a hotel at the corner of North Washington Street adjacent to the North End.

They expressed concerns of additional traffic on the streets that access to the hotel and the environmental problems they will create.

Other concerns raised were:

  • The hotel greatly violates Zoning. Building height exceeds allowed height by 44 feet. Floor area ratio (“FAR,” a measure of density) exceeds allowed FAR by 194 percent. This is a continuation of overbuilding with no provision for open space.
  • The site is too small for the proposed hotel use. To be profitable, the building must extend beyond existing street lines and into the public way, creating even greater density impact and setting a dangerous precedent for future development along North Washington Street.
  • The building will obstruct views and will add to wind and pollution impacts in the North Washington Street corridor.
  • The overbuilding and planned additional large projects and towers at Government Center, Bulfinch Triangle and North Station will worsen already serious traffic and public transportation problems that have gone unaddressed by the City and State. There should be no additional BRA project approvals until traffic and public transportation demands are addressed. There should be no additional construction starts until the Chinatown/North Washington Bridge replacement is completed in 2020.
  • Deliveries and drop off will increase traffic problems on areas streets, especially Valenti Way.
  • Provides no parking. Will increase demand for limited existing parking spaces at area lots and garages.
  • The building will constrain the inadequate and congested sidewalk at the intersection, further compromising pedestrian waiting, passage and safety. Any project there should include widening and clearing off the sidewalk space.
  • The project does not provide public or community benefit. There are too many hotels already planned in the area.

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