Massachusetts political leaders made their way to South Boston on Monday to kick off a five-year building process that will end with the largest hotel Boston has ever seen.
The unveiling ceremony comes one month after the Massachusetts Port Authority approved a multi-million dollar development project in the Seaport District.
The agreement will allow development of two towers by Omni Resorts and Hotels, the same luxury hotel company that operates the Omni Parker House in downtown Boston.
Of the six proposals submitted to Massport in April 2016, it was Omni, and the company’s $550 million investment in the project, that won over the hearts and minds of a selection panel.
The 1,054-room hotel will take up two acres on Summer Street and D Street in South Boston. Slated to open in 2021, the two new towers will stand amid luxury condominiums, rising businesses and a healthy variety of convention spaces in the waterfront, including the World Trade Center and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Like its neighboring buildings, the Omni hotel will dedicate 120,000 square feet of its total 800,000 square feet to hosting events.
The addition of more meeting space will further develop the Seaport as the Innovation District, the city and state’s newest haven for growing businesses and entrepreneurial ideas.
New Boston Hospitality will collaborate with Omni on creating a hotel that is mixed-use space. The towers will host public spaces, including retail shops, as well as “casual dining,” a bar and an event terrace.
Reports have suggested there may be a skating rink attached to the hotel as well. But the new Omni’s main attraction may be its 25,000-square foot grand ballroom, which will be the largest such room in Boston.
The tall buildings will be connected to the Seaport’s Transportation Center, which Massport says will open in 2018.
The new center, part of the city’s Go 2030 transportation plans, will include vehicle charging spaces, and bike and car sharing options in addition to the Silver Line station next door.
More than 1,500 parking spaces – a coveted amenity in Boston and the Seaport – are planned for the transportation center.
“This new hotel will serve visitors while adding to Boston’s strong credentials as a premiere destination for the global economy,” Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. said in a statement.
Some, including Steve Hollinger, the man behind the @FortPointer Twitter account, criticized Massport for not seeking input from the South Boston residential community on the new hotel development.
As a self-sustaining agency that owns much of the land in the Seaport District, Massport can act more independently than other government agencies, such as the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
On Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to visit the site of the new Summer Street hotel towers with Glynn, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito.