Though he couldn’t give an exact location, City Manager Jay Ash confirmed this week that a fifth hotel has reached a tentative agreement to build on a former industrial site near Broadway at the City Line of Chelsea and Revere.
“I can confirmed that a fifth hotel has a tentative agreement to be developed here,” Ash said. “The Wyndham Hotel and Residence Inn are already open, the TownePlace Suites is under construction on Central Avenue, and the Holiday Inn will break ground if and when the snow melts. Hotel number five will build on the strength of Chelsea’s now emerged lodging market, providing more great jobs, tremendous tax growth and further momentum for even further community investment and revitalization down the road.”
The announcement is a coup for Chelsea and keeps the ball rolling on what has been a prolific expansion in hotel development in the City. While the Wyndham opened a little over 10 years ago, the other hotels have just recently opened or are currently under construction. If built, the fifth hotel would be the fourth hotel to locate in Chelsea over a two-year period.
Ash would not confirm the exact location of the 5th hotel, but he did say that it was on a former industrial site along the city’s border with Revere. Speculation is that the site is on Broadway and, if so, will serve as another powerful “Welcome to Chelsea” statement like the hotel cluster off of the Rt. 1 South exit and the TownePlace just over the Chelsea Street Bridge do.
The previous four hotels will employ 40 or more people, and contribute more than $500,000 a year in tax revenues. Ash is said to be looking at hotel five to help finance approximately $50 million in capital improvements he had identified as necessary in the coming years, including a new school to replace the Clark Avenue School and the badly-needed reconstruction of Broadway.
“We’re not going to borrow ourselves into fiscal troubles, and will, instead, be entrepreneurial in our approach to raise new dollars to support the continued rebuilding and growth of our city,” said Ash. “In some places, officials would just ask for more property taxes from existing taxpayers through a Proposition 2 1/2 override. That’s not our approach here, and, instead, we’re working our economic development and other approaches hard and effective to produce the new tax revenue necessary to support the investments we want to make and our city critically needs.”
Ash said there is no need to worry that Chelsea has too many hotels to support each of them.
“We’re in a regional market and we are thinking regionally,” said Ash, who is a recognized leader in promoting regional approaches to economic vitality. “We’ve figured out something very special here in Chelsea: we’re closer to Downtown Boston and Logan Airport than most of Boston. Add a casino into the mix and I truly believe we can support even more than five hotels, and to that end and with that belief I’m continuing to work.”