Rendering of renovated Alexandra Hotel
The decrepit Alexander Hotel on the corner of Washington Street and Mass Avenue may finally (after so many false starts) have the backing it needs to be restored to its former glory. Earlier this month the BPDA (Boston Planning and Development Agency) approved developer plans for the redevelopment of the historic Hotel Alexandra.
Above is a photo of what developers are proposing to do, which includes restoring the facade (see photo below for what it originally looked like). The developers will also include more floors so the building will go from five to thirteen stories and have approximately 150 hotel rooms as well as a ground floor restaurant and cafe space and a rooftop level bar / restaurant.
Alexandra Hotel – October 1899 | Source Wikipedia
The Hotel Alexandra was built at the end of the 19th century; first opening their doors to the public in 1875. Despite its beautiful and distinctive look, the hotel began to fail in the first half of the 1900s and has been permanently vacant for more than twenty years.
I first wrote about this project in the fall of 2017 but since then with the exception of a public meeting held last spring, there has been very little news about the proposed mixed use complex that will span nearly 2 acres on the border of the South End and Chinatown. Little news until last week when the developers announced they had received $105 million in construction financing.
For those unfamiliar with this project the Shawmut Avenue/Washington Street Block project will include three new buildings and represents a collaborative effort between the developer and two Chinatown community organizations. All combined the project will include more than 500 residential units, 230 parking spaces as well as space to house two religious sanctuaries with combined seating for 1,130 people, a gymnasium, fitness rooms, offices, classrooms and meeting spaces for religious education, recreational and social services uses. The new buildings will also have new space for retail.
AIDS Action Taste of the South End
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 || Tickets start at $150.00
Boston Center for the Arts, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
This is easily the best tasting event of the season. Sergio and I started attending this event nearly 20 years ago when I worked at AIDS Action and it is one of my favorite charity events to attend.
For one night in March, AIDS Action brings together 40+ South End restaurants for a delicious evening of bite-sized servings, live cooking demonstrations, silent auction, as well as wine tastings and beer sampling. Admission includes unlimited sampling and complimentary fine wine, beer and more.
Tickets have been on sales since late last year so if you’ve yet to purchase your tickets don’t delay since the event generally sells out before the night of the event. For more information visit tasteofthesouthend.org.
Alexandra Hotel – October 1899 | Source Wikipedia
The Hotel Alexandra was built at the end of the 19th century; first opening their doors to the public in 1875. Despite its beautiful and distinctive look, the hotel began to fail in the first half of the 1900s and has been permanently vacant since the early 1990s. The most recent owner, The Church of Scientology, bought the building in 2008, hoping to convert it into a local headquarters, but the property’s poor condition and lack of funds ultimately led the church to sell.
New owners have proposed bringing the historic building back to life as a boutique hotel. Their plans include making this into a twelve story building, creating space for a ground floor restaurant and café and a rooftop level bar/restaurant. They will also look to restore the hotel’s facade. Want to hear more about the developers’ plans? Attend the Wednesday, January 9th public meeting. You can also submit your comments here.
Alexandra Hotel Public Meeting
Wednesday, January 9th || 6:00 – 7:30PM
Boston Water & Sewer Commission Building
2nd Floor Training Room || 980 Harrison Avenue
For more info email Michael.A.Sinatra@Boston.gov
A 164-room boutique hotel called The Revolution, opened last week, in the former YWCA building at 40 Berkeley Street.
The hotel’s name and decor draws upon Boston’s pioneering past, in particular through artwork and music, which is quite obvious the minute you check out their website (link shared below), follow their Instagram Account, revolution_hotel or Twitter, revolution_bos.
The hotel offers shared rooms for the more budget conscious travelers. Some rooms right now start at just $100 / night, but these “quad rooms” (from the photo I saw here) are more reminiscent of an upscale hostel. More traditional hotel rooms are also available for travelers like the King Room shown below.
The Revolution Hotel
KIng Room at The Revolution Hotel – Boston
Photography by Sarah Storrer
Earlier this week Boston’s newest Tiki Bar and the South End’s latest watering hole / restaurant opened. Shore Leave opened to the public in new space beneath the CVS across from the Ink Block on Monday, November 19th. The entrance to this new restaurant is located down a little side street between Washington and Harrison Avenue at 11 William E. Mullins Way.
11 William E. Mullins Way
Dinner 5PM-11PM / Bar 5PM-1AM
The owners of the delicious Italian restaurant, Bar Mezzana, are the people behind Shore Leave. The subterranean location was originally expected to serve as storage for the CVS but as you can see from the beautiful photo from Eater Boston, the island decor makes you feel like you’re somewhere tropical. The cocktail menu offers drinks for the individual, couples as well as groups. And the food, as you might expect, has a distinct Asian / South Pacific flair, with options like Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Filipino BBQ Ribs and Dan Dan Wontons.
You may check out their menu by visiting their website (shared above) and can read more about the new restaurant in the recent article from Eater Boston.
Last week GTI Properties in the South End issued a press release, sharing plans for the Power Station which opened in 1896 but fell into disrepair in the last century as the neighborhood and much of downtown Boston languished. However, in recent years, it has served as a parking garage and on occasion as a special event venue like my photo from Illuminus Boston in 2014 shows.
After the SoWa Winter Festival concludes renovations are expected to commence, converting this historic building into an open-concept event space, providing the South End (and Boston) with one of the coolest places to host an event. The renovations, which will start in mid December, will retain all the elements that give the building its charm – the vaulted ceilings, massive windows and “the industrial brick and beam glamour”. The renovations will bring additional comforts like bathrooms, heat, running water and more.
With ample parking available, its proximity to both I-93 and the Mass Pike and just a short 10 minute walk from the Orange and Red lines on the MBTA, one can expect this will become a popular venue for many events so stay tuned. As I learn more details, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.