Chain Forge Hotel Files Documents With State Environmental Regulators

May 4, 2018
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Imagine two ballrooms with 25-foot ceilings and exposed industrial trusses, a 6,000 sq. ft. luxury restaurant, 220 new hotel rooms, a brand new historic museum and all just yards away from the Navy Yard’s historic park.

That’s the picture painted in new submissions to the state by the Chain Forge hotel project in the Navy Yard, where a new push is being made to get to construction after many years of delays.

“The project will restore a historic property that has been vacant since 1974, and is deteriorating through non-use,” read the filing. “A critical component of the hotel redevelopment will be the historical exhibit area located in the lobby atrium. The exhibit will allow visitors and guests at the hotel to view 38 pieces of historical machinery owned by the United States National Park Service, and retained onsite as an exhibit…The hotel will be an amenity unlike any other currently located within the Charlestown Navy Yard, providing the surrounding community and visitors to Boston with lodging and dining options that do not exist at this time.”

One piece of information regarding transportation and parking could be a concern for the neighborhood, though it isn’t new information.

There will be no parking at the hotel, despite having 220 rooms and two large ballrooms. The estimates are that they will require 88 parking space on average. To counter that, they have contracted with the Moran AutoPort to use a valet to access more than 200 spaces at the “underutilized” terminal’s parking lot.

“Parking will not be provided on-site, although there will be a pick up/drop off areas for guests and visitors,” read the report. “The proponent shall have the option to lease up to 200 spaces, if needed, at the underutilized Moran Terminal Airport facility, utilizing valet services.”

The traffic plan lists that an adjusted number would see about 940 new traffic trips to the area. A transportation demand plan has been committed to, and will be discussed through the environmental (MEPA) process.

Meanwhile, the filings detail all of the parts of the rehabilitated building, describing three main parts of the hotel – the Head House, the Smithery and the Connector. One floor of hotel rooms will be added to the top of the Smithery, but it isn’t expected to be able to be seen from the street.

The Head House will host the bar/restaurant, which will be open to the general public and to guests. It will also join to the Connector, where the main lobby will be located – having a front door onto First Avenue.

On the second floor of the Head House and the Connector will be two ballrooms, three meeting rooms and a pre-function space.

“The ceilings in the Head House ballrooms will be over 25 feet in height and will expose the existing steel truss structure and one historic overhead crane,” read the filing.

In the Smithery/Shed portion of the building, there will be five stories of hotel rooms, with the first story housing the historical Chain Forge exhibit. That will be made up of artifacts from the National Park Service, but maintained by the hotel.

The fifth level of that part of the building will be the only new construction added to the project.

“This level of the hotel, to be created by the partial demolition and the reconstruction of a portion of the building that was added in 1948 and the addition of a new fifth story, is the only addition to the original building structure,” read the filing.

The project is brought by CV Properties, and will not begin the state MEPA review process, which oversees everything from traffic to drainage. City permits are also moving forward, with the project going before the Conservation Commission last month.