$550M Omni, set to be Seaport’s largest hotel, gets city OK

Full Article: https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2017/12/15/550m-omni-set-to-be-seaports-largest-hotel-gets.html
Dec 15, 2017, 6:21am
By Catherine Carlock, –  Real Estate Editor, Boston Business Journal

The 1,054-room Omni hotel on Summer Street will be Massachusetts’ fourth-largest hotel when it opens in 2021.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency on Thursday approved the 1,054-room Omni hotel planned for a two-acre site on Summer Street across from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

The $550 million project will be the largest hotel in the Seaport District, and the fourth-largest hotel in Massachusetts by the time it opens in 2021. It is expected to feature two 21-story hotel towers atop a connecting podium structure; 120,000 square feet of convention, banquet, meeting and pre-function space; 35,000 square feet of restaurant space; 5,000 square feet of retail space; 8,500 square feet of spa/fitness space and landscape improvements to the site at the corner of Summer and D streets. The 1,054 rooms will range from Omni’s standard “upper-upscale” rooms as well as “innovation rooms” of around 250 square feet.

Early plans for the 1,054-room, $550 million Seaport Omni hotel

The team behind the 1,054-room, $550 million Omni hotel on Summer Street in South Boston has kicked off its formal development-review process. The hotel will be the fourth-largest such facility in Massachusetts when it opens by 2021.

The Massachusetts Port Authority in April selected Omni Resorts and Hotels and New Boston Hospitality LLC to develop the 788,500-square-foot hotel on Parcel D2, which had long been identified as a hotel site.

New Boston Hospitality is an entity comprising Boston-based real estate development and consulting firms The Davis Cos., Spot On Ventures, the Taylor Smith Group and Boston Urban Development, as well as a group of local minority investors.

The project has notably included a much higher participation rate of minority- and women-owned business enterprises than is typical in Boston real estate development. Indeed, project consultant and Little Rock Nine member Ernest Green in May said the Omni project could be a national model for diversity inclusion in real-estate development.

“I’m convinced that this project is going to be recognized as not just another hotel, but a real start,” Green said at a May event. “Please, please, tell everyone this is more than bricks and mortar. This is about people’s lives.”

Brian Fallon, president of New Boston Hospitality, in May said that the Omni development team had set out to include participation from minority- and women-owned businesses.

“Our team is comprised of local leaders in their industries. Each member brings years of experience in the Boston real estate and hospitality industries to the project,” Fallon said. “We will deliver a cutting-edge project, which will be developed using local resources to increase Boston’s convention center business internationally.”

The general contractor will be a joint venture between Winchester-based John Moriarty & Associates and Boston-based Janey Construction & Management Consulting. Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects designed the project in association with Moody Nolan and Stull & Lee.

Architect Howard Elkus, who died unexpectedly earlier this year at age 78, led the design team for the Omni project. Jon Davis, founder and CEO of The Davis Cos. and a member of New Boston Hospitality, told the Business Journal in April that the Omni project would “definitely be a lasting legacy to Howard’s design brilliance.”