The Boston Planning & Development Agency recently approved the development of a 21-story, 230-room hotel in the Leather District. Located at the site of the former Splash Ultra Lounge & Burger Bar at 150 Kneeland Street near the South Station, the hotel will be one of the tallest buildings in the neighborhood.
Gaining approval for the project wasn’t the simplest of processes. The hotel’s developer, Hudson Group, had to agree to fund neighborhood cleanups, infrastructure upgrades, and park enhancements in order to gain approval from the BPDA. The developers also agreed to offer 300 free hotel nights over 20 years to people in need of housing assistance, with the goal being to address short-term housing emergencies that arise due to medical issues, loss of property and immigration displacement.
The building itself was designed by RODE Architects to blend the hotel into the surrounding neighborhood. As such, the design includes a solid metal frame and a transparent skin. Hudson Group has not yet released a timeline for construction of the hotel.
Exploring the Leather District
A small neighborhood located east of Chinatown, the Leather District is situated between Dewey Square and Kneeland Street. Characterized by its nineteenth-century brick warehouse structures with sturdy cast iron columns, the district is home to nine blocks of structures once devoted to the leather industry. As such, many of the structures boast ground floor display windows that were used alongside the offices and workshops.
Since the 1980s, the Leather District has grown to become a mixed-use area offering both residential and commercial space. Some of its most notable additions include the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and the South Station, which is one of the area’s most significant transportation hubs.
Many of the buildings in the Leather District were designed by notable architects such as Peabody and Steams and Willard T. Sears. With its predominate Richardsonian Romanesque style, the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Living in the Leather District
With a population of just around 1,000 people, the Leather District offers an urban feel with easy access to parks and plenty of restaurants. As such, many young professionals call the Leather District their home.
Thanks to the presence of the South Station, the Leather District is one of the city’s most accessible neighborhoods. Residents of the district enjoy the loft living that characterizes the community, while a wide range of industries can be accessed within the neighborhood. These range from small restaurants to large corporations, including the headquarters of the State Street Corporation.
With Chinatown located just a few streets over, residents of the Leather District also enjoy easy access to all that this unique neighborhood has to offer. The cultural heart of Boston’s Chinese community, Chinatown is rich with history, tradition, and culture. No matter the time of the year, Chinatown offers plenty of shopping and dining opportunities to explore. The neighborhood is a particularly exciting place to be during the many Chinese holidays that are celebrated throughout the year, particularly the Chinese New Year.