17-23 West Street in the historic Ladder Blocks of Downtown Boston is currently an empty parcel used for surface parking. On March 31, 2023 a Small Project Review Application was filed with the BPDA to propose the construction of a hotel at this site. Find more information about the proposal and the review process here.
The Alliance supports infill projects where no demolition is required. We encourage documentation of the existing site if there are any historic elements visible, such as ghost lines of previous buildings as there are on abutting properties at this site. We also encourage monitoring of vibration and other potential impacts to nearby sites. The Alliance feels that this project is appropriate for this site for several reasons. The height, though slightly above existing zoning, is within the perimeters discussed by the PLAN: Downtown effort and does not have negative visual impacts from the pedestrian level on West Street, from the Boston Common, or from Washington Street. The building does not diminish any historic corridors or viewsheds. We have encouraged the proponent to be sensitive to any shadows or impacts to neighboring properties and make adjustments to minimize those impacts. We feel that a hotel use is beneficial here because it will bring 24-7 activity to Downtown without requiring additional parking spaces, and the project does not include many onsite amenities that would discourage guests from patronizing other restaurants and businesses in the neighborhood. Furthermore, we feel that the design is contextual and additive to the character of the streetscape. We have encouraged the proponent to use high-quality materials and details. Our comment letter is attached below in support of the project.
Highlights from our Activity Log:
- May 19, 2023
The Alliance submits a comment letter to the BPDA, attached below.
- March 31, 2023
A Small Project Review Application is filed with the BPDA, attached below.
- March 14, 2023
Alliance staff meets with the project team to discuss the proposal. Staff encourages high-quality materials and attention to detail in the design, documentation of the party walls that will be obscured by the new project, and monitoring of vibrations and other potential impacts to the abutting properties.