Lowdown on Davis Square Hotel project

somervillefarmersmarketAs we know, David Square can expect a hotel sooner rather than later. Question is, who will be the lucky company to set foot in the Somerville hot spot?

The Davis Square lot, on the corner of Herbert and Day Streets, is assessed at around $1 million, but market forces could — and did — drive the sale price higher. Money from this sale is to go into Somerville’s Capital Improvement Fund for long-term projects. Earlier this year, former city Communications Director Tom Champion stated there was no shortage of interest in the hotel.

“There are a number of factors that contribute to the idea that this is a good site for a hotel. Certainly the proximity to Tufts and Harvard and MIT is one of them,” said Champion. “But there’s also been significant growth in the economy in that area.” He said Somerville is also getting recognized as a general travel destination, “for the crafts-based, make-your-own fun, many-streets-festivals quality of life here.”

As foretold by Champion, several companies were quick to make a bid. The City of Somerville posted five of them on their website, as well as their proposals. Here is a complete look at the frontrunners:

Davis Square Hotel Partners, LLC

A partnership of Sage Management Corporation and Park-Lodge Corporation.

  • 120 rooms.

  • $1,001,4000.

  • 144 parking spaces, including the 61 public spots currently at the Day and Herbert Street parking lot. This project is also considering building an underground garage or leasing spots from a nearby parking lot.

  • “An independent, non-chain affiliated hotel (…) or a flagged hotel, such as an upper-level select-service brand, such as Hilton or Marriott.”

  • To be completed by June or July 2015.

  • In regards to the farmers market, the proposal says, “[We] will work diligently to find a new location, both during construction and post-construction, for the farmers market.”

  • This proposal does not include a restaurant.

Davis Square Partners, LLC

Partnership of Gate Residential and KSS Realty Partners, Inc.

  • 126 rooms.

  • $2,000,000.

  • 110 parking spaces in a two-level below-grade parking garage.

  • A “boutique style hotel.” The proposal says, “Our proposed hotel concept would be an affiliated boutique brand or potentially an independent unaffiliated hotel.”

  • To be completed by Spring 2016.

  • In regards to the farmers market, the proposal says it would relocate the market to the Grove Street parking lot or the Maxwell’s Green property near Magoun Square.

  • The proposal also mentions 5,475 square feet of ground-level restaurant space.

Fandetti/Proch-Wilson Partners

A family firm that converted a firehouse into The Kendall Hotel in Cambridge.

  • About 80 rooms.

  • $1,100,000.

  • About 80 parking spots (60 below ground and about 20 above ground).

  • A non-branded boutique hotel. The proposal says, “The target market for the hotel will be primarily the educational institutions in the area, including Tufts, Leslie and Harvard.”

  • No mention of a completed date or farmers market.

  • It includes an art gallery.

Saracen Properties

A partnership with Saracen PropertiesPyramid Hotel Group and CBT Architects

  • About 125 rooms.

  • $2,250,000, minus site remediation costs in excess of $100,000 and minus offsite infrastructure improvement costs in excess of $50,000.

  • 101 above ground parking spaces (40 for the exclusive use of the hotel and 61 for public use).

  • The proposal states that, “the hotel is targeted as a boutique hotel concept. Although we are currently looking at this hotel as an unbranded boutique hotel, based on our experience we feel the profile of brands appropriate to this infill location include Indigo, Lofts or Hampton Inn and Suites.”

  • To be completed by September 2015.

  • The farmers market would continue to operate in the “weather protected” 61-space public parking garage at Day and Herbert streets.

  • Would seek to collaborate with city on a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement for the parking garage.

 In addition to those four proposals, the Somerville website says another proposal, a partnership with OTO Development, LLC and Palmetto, was withdrawn. –Lucas Parolin