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Monthly Archives: March 2015

BBJ: Why Ted Tye Is Bullish On A Hotel At Ink Block

Catherine Carlock
Real Estate Editor-Boston Business Journal
February 27, 2015

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The Ink Block project on the edge of Boston’s South End neighborhood has steadily been gaining momentum, with a 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods and apartment buildings One Ink and Two Ink opening in January. In addition, Three Ink is slated for a March open and another 83 condominiums are on track for September.But a hotel hadn’t originally been a part of National Development’s plans for the block. Earlier this month, the Newton-based developer announced plans to add a 200-room AC Hotel by Marriott on a 1-acre parcel at 223 Albany St., a plot acquired by Ink Block Four LLC in September for $21.3 million. The hotel will boost development costs for the entire project to about $250 million. Boston Business Journal Real Estate Editor Catherine Carlock caught up with Ted Tye, managing director of National Development, to learn more about the hotel.

So you see a hotel as a logical next step. A part of transforming this area is creating this very vibrant street along Harrison Avenue and ultimately Travelers Street. A hotel is a nice next step, and when you try to create a new place — or a transformative type of location — the speed and velocity of that development is very important. You need to have a there there in order for this to happen pretty quickly. And so you can’t build all of the same things; you’ve got to vary your uses.

What convinced you to expand development plans? There were a couple of parcels within the block that we did not own, and we were recently able to acquire them. We were able to acquire a little over an acre of land and add it to the plan.

Why choose a hotel for the block? This was a very industrial, not exactly a friendly place to be, until we started this wave of development. A hotel fits really nicely into that. Having 200 keys in the hotel, the hotel guests will be able to take advantage of all of the amenities of Ink Block and what will ultimately be four or five restaurants. We’ve created a really walkable block, and it has a nice scale to it, and it makes it a nice place for someone to come and stay.

Why select an AC Hotel by Marriott? That flag is very new to the U.S. market. AC was just a great fit with the Ink Block aesthetic — it’s chic and edgy and has a real design edge to it. It has its roots in Europe, and they’re very design-oriented, and they have become Marriott’s entry into the boutique hotel market. There are not any in Boston, and it’s a relatively new concept, but a perfect fit to what we’re doing.