|By Greg Turner, Boston
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 01, 2012--The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority has completed a $33 million acquisition of land near the South Boston exhibit hall for a hotel development.
The quasi-public agency said the 5.6-acre site along D Street will support two mid-priced hotels with 400 to 500 rooms. Construction could start at the end of next year, with the hotels opening in 2015.
The land, sold by Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. of Boston, could also be built out with parking garages tied to a proposed $2 billion expansion of the convention center.
"This is a huge and very real step in our expansion plans, and one that sets the ball rolling," said Jim Rooney, executive director of the convention center authority, in a statement today.
The land acquisition will be paid with money from the Convention Center Fund, which was created in 1997 through the legislation that authorized the Southie convention hall.
The hotels would likely be privately financed and operated. The convention center authority estimates $2 million in annual hotel ground rent and parking fees.
The project is expected to generate 370 construction jobs and 175 permanent jobs.
The convention center planned to take the land by eminent domain to prevent the previous owner from developing housing there, but Intercontinental CEO Peter Palandjian agreed to a "friendly" taking.
Intercontinental had purchased the land in 2005 for $22 million.
(c)2012 the Boston Herald
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