Weeks after plans for one of Boston’s largest new hotels were announced for a site near the Boston Convention Center, convention center officials are seeking design proposals for development of its 30 acres of undeveloped land in the Seaport District.

Plans are moving forward to build two towers for a luxury hotel across from the Boston Convention Center in South Boston’s Waterfront District. On April 13, the Massachusetts Port Authority announced it had approved a lease agreement with Omni Resorts and Hotels to build a 1,050-plus room hotel on Summer Street. Of the six proposals for the hotel project submitted last April, the $550 million Omni proposal was chosen from among three finalists.

“As Boston’s Seaport continues to develop and bring new economic growth and prospects to the City of Boston, we look forward to what this important project will mean for the neighborhood,” said Gov. Charlie Baker (R). “Our administration looks forward to working with all stakeholders involved to develop this property for hotel, retail, restaurant, and outdoor use to further support the Commonwealth.”

In the same vicinity, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority plans in two weeks to broadly circulate design requests for proposals nationally to consider options for a master plan to develop 30 acres of undeveloped land owned by the authority.

“This is a feasibility and fact-finding mission,” says Nate Little, communications director for the authority.

The land—located in one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets—was once considered for a $1 billion convention center expansion, but Baker put those plans on hold in 2015.

“This [plan to issue RFPs] is a preliminary study to figure out what we need and what we can afford,” Little adds. 

The Omni developers plan to build the hotel on two acres and expect it to open in early 2021. The “one-of-a-kind” hotel towers designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects will include an 8,500 sq-ft spa and fitness center, an event terrace, an elevated pool deck, a fine dining establishment, a casual dining, bar, and 40,000 square feet of retail space. The 80,000 sq-ft hotel towers will include 120,000-sq-ft of meeting and event space, including a 25,000-sq-ft grand ballroom claimed to be the largest in any hotel in Boston.  

A covered walkway along World Trade Center Ave. will extend to the MBTA Silver Line station and a pedestrian bridge will connect the hotel lobby to the South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center. The 1,550-space parking garage for hotel guests, to be located in the transportation center, will include electric vehicle charging stations, bike share and car share options directly adjacent to the Silver Line station.

David Gibbons, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, says the Summer Street project…will be a key selling point as we compete to bring events to Boston from around the world.”