Seaport hotel plan is approved

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December 15, 2017 | DEVELOPMENT — TIM LOGAN

Seaport hotel clears hurdle

A Seaport hotel that some are hailing as a new model for big development in Boston cleared a key hurdle Thursday. The Boston Planning & Development Agency approved a plan by the Davis Cos. and Omni Hotel Group to put a 1,054-room hotel on Summer Street near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Along with creating a large hotel to serve the convention market, the $550 million project has drawn note for the significant involvement of minority investors and construction contractors — rarities in big-dollar Seaport development, as a Globe Spotlight Team investigation showed this week. The emphasis on diversity helped Davis and Omni win development rights for the site from the Massachusetts Port Authority, which owns the property. But several at Thursday’s meeting said the approach could serve as a model for other, privately owned projects in Boston, too. Some proceeds from the development will be shared among six neighborhood and education-focused nonprofits around Boston. Davis and Omni hope to start work next spring.