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Developers would keep facade of historic hotel on new inn tower at Roxbury/South End line

Proposed rehab, expansion of Alexandria Hotel on Massachusetts Avenue

The new owners of the shambling Alexandra Hotel on Washington Street at Mass. Ave. have filed their detailed plans to build a 150-room hotel on the site.

The plans call for retaining the facade of the decaying, if historic, remnants of the old hotel as a cladding for two sides of a 12-story hotel. Developers Jas Bhogal, Thomas Calus and Nick Colavito say the interior of the current structure is so damaged by a past fire and decades of neglect that it can't be salvaged.

The plans call for a 12th-floor restaurant and roof deck. A cafe is planned for the ground floor.

No parking spaces are proposed for the hotel.

To deal with increasingly warm temperatures expected with climate change, the hotel's cooling system

[W]ill be engineered to be adaptable to hotter summer extreme temperatures and heat waves by running the cooling tower fans faster and ultimately replacing the cooling towers with larger ones to allow the air-conditioning to work at these higher temperatures.

Also, roof surfaces with be covered with reflective materials to reduce the amount of sunlight-caused heat.

Alexandra Hotel project notification form (26M PDF).

The view from across the street:

Alexandra from street level
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Comments

In shambles?

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I love this, absolutely love this. The Rich developers tell all the moronic local people....Ohhh, we bought a building that is in shambles, so you have to let us build a giant tower, blocking your views, exceeding the zoning code, to put lots more tourists into your neighborhood to look at your amazing historic buildings that all of you somehow were able to restore (without putting a 10 story building in your backyard) and turn into one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the entire USA.

And the citizens of Boston will buy this, hook, line and sinker. The rich keep getting richer, Daddy and I laugh and laugh all the time at how stupid people are. It truly is incredible. They will probably even get tax breaks from the government for building it and get to move the Silver Station out of the way, because we rich people can't have government structures for the pubic in their way. Could you imagine getting your limo from the airport and having to interact with the people that get on the Silver line there???? Can't wait for Martin to come in and put in the top Jim Beam. He'll be looking for a place in the south end soon.

I wonder if they will get a suite at Fenway to celebrate their permitting approval???

That lounge up top sounds like a great place to grab drinkies and look down on all the minuscule people below!!!

Like Dick Cheney said, be bold and outrageous and people will just go along with it !!!

They should be required to have a community giving piece of this....maybe a nice fountain and heroin shooting up lounge in the courtyard for the constituents on the Methadone Mile. With two way mirrors so the guests at the hotel can get an up close view of how the other half lives.. It has been proven that a safe place to shoot up is important, this location is catty corner to Boston City Hospital. The developers should be required to give something back to the community, what a unique opportunity to combine the old south end with the new south end comprised of the rich and the poor.

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You also have a lot of intelligent and well-thought-out ideas. I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

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the building would have been sold 15 years ago and we would have a 10 unit condo building.

The long winded comment is clueless. Here's what's up

landmarks commission will not allow development to proceed unless a plan to preserve the facade exists. building has extensive water and fire damage. Will cost over $5 Million to support and rebuild the facade. the only way to generate an ROI is to build higher.

silver line move is money for all parties - silver line causes back up at the intersection especially when two SL buses are clustered which is every 3 hours. name one hotel that has a bus stop in front of the front doors. you can't.

as for the poor suckers who can monetize their 5 story building. Repointing a 5 story brick building is under $100,000, which still leaves plenty of money for a 4-5 condo conversion.

Tell me your address - I'll ask the mobile safe injection van to visit your neighborhood!!!

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Anyone with a name like Trophy Wife doesn't have any clue "how the other half" lives. Go get your botox injection at the Seaport after you get out of Soul Cycle .

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A search for 'rapier-like wit' brought me here.

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...listen to me.

I would rather those tourists be staying in hotels like this, than the ridiculous amount of airbnbs in Boston Proper's neighborhood areas that have contributed to the insanity of the real estate market.

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hideous. But do it anyway because who cares anymore. That is absolutely horrid. As a Roxburyian I would consider this the South End so it's not my neighborhood.

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1. Pretty sure you wouldn't be happy with it no matter what the plan.

2. As you said, it's not your 'hood so your opinion means less than nohing.

3. It IS my hood and I think it looks vastly superior to the sad state that corners been in for decades.

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No. It looks like trash mr internet guy. I'd be happy with the building restored fully or torn down and rebuilt with similar architectural stylings. This looks like a cancerous growth coming out of the back of it's neck. Try to not make assumptions about people you don't know, jerk.

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I'm betting that every single entity associated with this project will gladly agree with you that this is the South End, and not Roxbury. The word 'Roxbury' will probably never be associated in any way whatsoever with the marketing of this property.

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Even the developers themselves say:

The Project site is located within the South End Landmarks District and is also located on the eastern edge of the Roxbury Neighborhood District.

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it's a shooting or stabbing in front of that building. Then it'll be reported as Roxbury.

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Mass Ave is frequently considered the boundary between the South End and Roxbury, with the 7 eleven falling on the south end side. Real estate folks have been claiming the other side as well as the south end creeps farther into Roxbury. But when something bad happens there, all of a sudden it’s Rozbury again. I think Adam gets his neighborhood boundaries right most of the time and admits when he doesn’t or when it’s unclear, and I wasn’t referring to Adam or UHub in my comment, more about the general trend of picking and choosing when it’s south and end and when it’s roxbury (again, not UHub), and how that decision tends to be driven by whether the news is good or bad.

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Boundaries change by the day

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I am so happy ro see this. Every time I walk by I can't help but stop and just look at how majestic it looks. Always loved it no matter how badly it was neglected over the years.

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I always said if I hit it big I would try to get this building.
The idea that it will have this awful look to it like other classic buildings in Boston I.e the churches in the south end turned into Condos. Marty is selling the city

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See page 45 of the PDF, which has a detailed diagram of the new layout of the Silverline Stop.

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There's probably not much to keep inside - maybe it would be nice to leave in a detail here and there - repurpose a mantle, a heavy wooden door, etc..

As for the tower. I don't hate towers. I don't hate the idea of a tower there. I just hate that particular design. It seems dated already.

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Is it cost constraint, lack of imagination or just a combination of both that keeps inspiring the frenzy of uncreative Lego looking construction?

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Which is passed directly to the buyer.

Sure, we'd all love to see an exciting I.M. Pei designed tower incorporating the existing facade.

I'd be willing to bet, however, the developers don't want to sit on empty $3M studios at the corner of Mass Ave and Washington St for the next decade and half.

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People would love to see an exciting I.M. Pei designed building. Unfortunately, all we've gotten so far is 40 years of heinous concrete bunkers.

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nicer from a street-level perspective than some purely modern structure. It removes a longstanding eyesore. It gently relocates the Silver Line stop (unlike the Penny Savings Bank condo conversion did to the outbound Union Park stop, moving it 150 yards away). And it adds a street-level restaurant with a patio and a rooftop bar to the neighborhood. All good news in my book, and I live relatively close by, will have to endure the construction disruption for a while.

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Love it. Just wish it was bigger to cover up that ugly towering thing behind it.

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at street level, especially when walking, the setback and the repurposing of the old building will block a lot of the tower from view. it's how a lot of modern build-ups in new york are done, and it really tends to work well, keeping the street feel the same while building actually city scale buildings.

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fa-cade: an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.

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At this point I do not care anymore how it gets done, just get it done. I drive by that sad reminder of bureaucracy and red tape several times a day and I just want it to be fixed. Turn it into a Target, whatever just fix it.

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That's rewarding landlords for allowing their properties to become decrepit. Allow everything to fall into ruin that the public has to beg for it to be replaced with something even uglier that at least isn't falling apart.

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Really?

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The BPDA requires developers to discuss climate change in their submissions these days. It's of more immediate concern to buildings along the water, of course, but it applies even to inland projects (the developers of a project atop the Mass. Ave. entrance to the turnpike discussed what they'd do to protect their building if Boston got hit by a big flood and the water came up the turnpike).

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Why ruin the zoning for an entire neighborhood - once this goes in, just wait for more! - to preserve the image of an old building. I would rather it be knocked down and something suitable to the scale of the neighborhood goes in, if that is what is needed to combat this developers crocodile tears re ROI.

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historic preservation zone. It's tricky and expensive to do. I think this is the third drop-in of a tower inside a facade: Penny Savings Bank, the Holy Trinity (German) Catholic Church, and now this. I think it's a good compromise that prevents a lot of what otherwise would be tear-downs and modern replacements that result in an ugly crazy-quilt of a neighborhood.

I've seen at least one developer get around it somehow (presumably via graft): the jarringly oversized condo building at the corner of Washington and Worcester Square on the former site of Hite Radio & TV Repair. But mostly the Landmark District Commission has done a good job of keeping the Victorian character of the neighborhood.

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