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Hotels approved for convention center area

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Boston regulators have approved construction of two hotels across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the first part of a $2 billion expansion proposed for the South Boston complex.

Construction on the site, situated on a vacant stretch of D Street, will start by the end of the year. The project, which includes a total of 510 hotel rooms, was approved Thursday night by the board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The project is the first phase of a broader expansion that would include another hotel of up 1,000 rooms, public parks, and a doubling of the convention center’s exhibit space. Those latter components will probably require some kind of government funding or subsidies, such as additional taxes that must be approved by the state Legislature.

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