Encore Boston Harbor wants to develop a second, large hotel on vacant land across from its site in a few years.
Until then, they are hoping to put in parking.
Encore Boston Harbor is petitioning Everett City Hall to allow a zoning change for temporary parking of around 840 cars up to three years on the opposite side of Broadway from their site – a condition they hope will be allowed while they plan and permit another large 500-plus room hotel development to compliment the resort casino.
The Everett Planning Board recommended the change at a meeting July 23 in a 5-0 vote.
“It’s no secret that there will be some re-development on that site across the street,” said John Tocco of Encore, referring to the area that now hosts construction parking. “We’re looking at something very similar to the amenities at the site but without the casino – more retail, more meeting space, more hotel rooms and potentially more entertainment space. In the meantime, we’d like to look at other ways to activate that land. As any property owner would do, we’re looking for ways to position it while its going through the re-development process.”
That way being proposed is to change the zoning in the Lower Broadway area of Everett to allow parking for up to 36 months. The zoning change would sunset so that it isn’t a permanent situation, he said.
Tocco said there are two ways to handle the property across the street – which he stressed is separate and apart from the resort casino site. He said a developer can fence off the property and wait while they go through the permitting stages. Or, he said, they can look to clean it up, provide a temporary use and then retire that use when the development is ready to come online. That, he said, was the case when Boston developed the Seaport area from parking lots to buildings.
In this case, they believe that there will be a large demand for parking in the first six months after the casino opening, the usual rush of something new, Tocco said.
“What we hope to do is clean up the site, put in some lush landscaping and continue that Boulevard feel,” he said. “The site has served us well as a temporary parking facility for construction workers and we think it would serve the community well as another parking option for the community to go check out the HarborWalk or the site. We know in the first six months or so when the rush is on, it will be good to have more opportunities to park in places that are not in front of people’s houses, people’s businesses, or just driving around aimlessly looking for parking.”
They would be looking for around 840 parking spaces, and a 100-space lot on Robin Street for ride-share vehicles to pool. Tocco stressed that the condition would be for only 36 months.