|By Thomas Grillo, Boston
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 09, 2011--A development team including Hub restaurateur Darryl Settles is planning to build a small hotel with an upscale restaurant on Arlington Street next to the former Renaissance Charter School in what is now a vacant brick building.
Construction of the 19-room Boston Boutique Hotel is expected to start next spring with an opening planned for 2013. Settles, owner of Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen, the Columbus Avenue eatery known for its Southern food and live jazz, is collaborating on the $7 million project with David Schwartz of Barkley Investments in Boston.
"A boutique hotel seems like the perfect use for the building," said Schwartz. "It just didn't lend itself well to condominiums. The design will be modern but comfortable."
Mark Slater, former president of the Bay Village Neighborhood Association, said his members supported the project with a 95 percent favorable vote.
"It's been an unused, derelict building for years and we think the transformation of the building to a hotel and restaurant will improve the gateway to Bay Village," he said. "We think having that location lively and well-lit is what the neighborhood needs."
The development team paid $2.4 million last year for the three-story property, once owned by the Unitarians. The city approved a two-story addition atop the building that will be set back from busy Arlington Street.
The Dartmouth Co. is looking for a restaurant to lease the 2,000-square-foot, first-floor space. A deal with the South End Buttery Cafe fell through after the owner got tired of waiting for the space to become available, Schwartz said.
"The Buttery was supposed to take the space, but the zoning process was lengthy and the owner found another space," he said.
Next door, Dean Stratouly of the Congress Group said he is close to a financing deal that will allow him to redevelop the charter school into 130 apartments and ground-floor shops.
(c)2011 the Boston Herald
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