Hotel proposed for Hancock conference site in Back Bay
Rendering by the Architectural Team
One of Boston’s most prominent hoteliers on Tuesday unveiled plans for a 33-story hotel and residential complex near Copley Square that would add another high-rise to the Back Bay’s skyline.
Trinity Stuart LLC, a venture that includes principals of the Saunders Hotel Group, said the project will include a 220-room hotel with meeting spaces, 142 residences, parking, and several restaurants. The tower is planned to rise on the site of the former John Hancock Hotel & Conference Center, on Stuart Street, across from the Hancock Tower.
A rendering of the proposed building, to be called 40 Trinity Place, shows a slender glass tower with an angular top. The developers still need approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, but said they hope to start construction by next fall.
“We look forward to working with the city and the community to bring an exciting new locally-owned and operated hotel and residences to the heart of the Back Bay,” said Gary Saunders, chairman of the Saunders Hotel Group.
The Trinity Stuart team also includes Jeffrey Saunders, and real estate executive Jordan Warshaw. The joint venture purchased the property last December from John Hancock Life Insurance Co. for $22.6 million. The site includes the eight-story John Hancock Hotel & Conference Center, which is next to the University Club and across from the 60-story Hancock Tower. The building has since been renamed the Boston Common Hotel & Conference Center.
The Globe first outlined plans for the new tower in March.
If approved, its construction would add to the recovery of the city’s commercial building market, which has a number of large projects now under development. Large residential complexes are under construction in Back Bay, downtown and in the Seaport District.
City and state planners in recent years have sought to encourage development of large-scale buildings in the Back Bay, at times clashing with neighborhood groups about additional traffic and the impact on public parks, among other issues.
A neighborhood panel recently flagged the property acquired by Trinity Stuart as a site that could host a significant redevelopment. The panel of residents and business leaders found that the parcel could accommodate a building of up to 400 feet, or between 30 and 40 stories, which is significantly taller than the 125 feet allowed under existing zoning.
To qualify for the additional height, the developers must show that the project will not increase wind in the area or cast shadows on surrounding parks or historic structures, according to guidelines established by the panel. They also must commit to funding neighborhood improvements, such as public art or upgrades to nearby open spaces.
The Trinity Stuart partners have significant development experience in the area. Warshaw previously worked under developer Ron Druker on the construction of the mixed-use Atelier|505 project in the South End, and the Saunders Hotel Group developed the Back Bay Hotel at the former Boston Police Headquarters. The company also owns and operates the Lenox Hotel.Casey Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.