By Seth Daniel
A 139-room hotel project on Second Street behind the Mystic Mall is quickly falling into disfavor with some City leaders in advance of a Planning Board hearing this coming Tuesday, Jan. 24.
City Council President Leo Robinson said this week that he will oppose the project before the Planning Board on Jan. 24.
“I just don’t think it’s the right area for a hotel,” he said. “We have a lot going on there. You have the students there and the traffic there and I don’t even know if the site is big enough for the use. I think if we hold off and look for an alternative use, we might be better off.”
The hotel project is brought by Baywood Hotels under Neil Patel and is estimated to cost around $18 million to build at the 200 Second St. site. The site was once the headquarters of limo company Dave El owned by Scott Solombrini.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino has shown tepid support of the hotel, saying in the past that he would only support it if they delay seeking a building permit until 2018. He said he is worried about saturating the hotel market and wants to see the new Broadway hotel on the Chelsea/Revere line get underway and occupied first.
Robinson said he thinks there needs to be an end to some of the planning efforts going on before the City agrees to put a hotel in an area that is mostly industrial and commercial.
“For me, it comes down to me feeling like this is spot zoning,” he said. “We have the Waterfront Study going on and the Re-Imagining Broadway study going on and we have a housing study out as well. My call last January was for us to do a Master Plan. I think we need to put some things on hold until these studies are done and then we can start putting the Master Plan together so we have an idea of what we are looking for and not be in a position of jumping at the first thing that comes our way when maybe we can get something better.”
The hearing on the hotel project will be at 6 p.m. before the Planning Board in City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 24.