Convention center picks hotel operator
Rent projections disappointing
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STARWOOD HOTELS has beat out Hyatt in the bidding for a two-hotel development across the street from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, giving the BCEC access to hotel rooms for convention guests.
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority board voted unanimously Thursday morning to authorize Executive Director Jim Rooney to enter negotiations with Starwood’s developer CV Properties.
“This room block agreement is, for some people, a showstopper,” Howard told the board Thursday. He said it was “without precedent.”
For the BCEC, the hotel development is part of the plan to eventually substantially expand the convention hall in the South Boston Seaport, an expensive proposition but one that supporters say is necessary to keep Boston among the most competitive cities for convention business.
Baltimore-based Starwood, which runs the Westin, Sheraton and W luxury hotels, has 1,089 properties and 322,300 rooms around the world, according to its website.
The developer, CV Properties, has selected Suffolk Construction as its contractor and Elkus Manfredi as its architect.
The only other developer vying for the bid, Carpenter & Co., which was partnered with Hyatt and hotel developer Highgate, was resistant to many of the terms the MCCA required, including the construction schedule and the room-block agreement, Davis said.
“They took exception to many of the key terms,” Davis told the board.Neither developer offered rent that met MCCA’s hopes. A 10-year projection that included the assumption the hotel is sold in the tenth year showed Hyatt’s proposal generating $1.6 million and Starwood’s proposal generating $3.4 million.
Paul Sacco, a board member who is CEO of the Mass. Lodging Association, abstained from the vote.