Council Approves Development at Old Shaw’s Site

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

With a vote of 8-3 the City Council approved a new development of an extended-stay hotel and apartments at 205 Revere Beach Parkway, the former site of a Shaw’s grocery store.

The project is slated to include a 132-room extended-stay hotel and 195 apartments. As a result of the project, more than $3.6 million is earmarked in state grants for water infrastructure work on Revere Beach Parkway. All total, over a five-year period, the city will see more than $12 million in taxes and fees.

At the August 22, Council meeting, the developers proposed the project and the council tabled it with a vote of 7-4 with Councillors Arthur Guinasso, Robert Haas Jr., Patrick Keefe, Steve Morabito, Jessica Giannino, Ira Novoselsky, and John Powers voting in favor. Councillors Joanne McKenna, Charlie Patch, George Rotondo and Anthony Zambuto voted no.

Monday night Zambuto changed his vote to ‘yes’ and said he was voting for the next generation.

“I do what’s best for the City of Revere,” Zambuto said,.

The council chamber was packed with people for both sides as the debate and public speaking forum lasted for three hours.

Haas explained the project had been tabled at the August 22 meeting to see if there could be further negotiations between the City and the developer. The developer did reduce the number of apartments. The developer also agreed to invest $100,000 in Donnelly Square improvements in Beachmont. Another three percent of the project cost will be invested into a city trust fund.

“This will be the first hotel complex built in Revere since I was mayor 20 years ago,” Haas said. “I think we should go forward with this.”

Mayor Brian Arrigo said he knew this is a project packed with emotion. He noted his no vote a year ago when the same developers proposed a larger project with only apartments. Now with the addition of a commercial component, the reduction of rooms, and the investment in infrastructure, a public greenway, crosswalk upgrades and traffic signals he could see the benefits.

Arrigo said the work that the developers have done in other communities, such as the AC Hotel at Wellington Circle in Medford is an example of the modern, upscale work the developers need to do in Revere.

“I appreciate the fact that historically, Revere has never got the best deal so there is some well-deserved skepticism. That is a trend I stand before you tonight to change,” Arrigo said.

“What happens at the Shaw’s site will send a signal throughout the region of Revere’s economic viability,” he added.

He added that developments such as Market Street in Lynnfield and Assembly Row in Somerville don’t happen without some sort of residential components.

McKenna, who represents Ward 1, said she always thought the development was too big but she believes in the process and doesn’t want to show that developers can’t work with Revere. She added that she respected the developers and appreciates their generous offer of $100,000 for Donnelly Square.

Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky said the project is in his ward. He said the benefits will come back to his ward. He added that the traffic improvements and technology will be very important. The work to be done won’t cost the city.

Ward 5 Councillor John Powers cited the success of the Comfort Inn, with 95 percent occupancy and a $1 million in taxes back to the city. He noted that there are four hotels in the city.

“We are right now on the cusp of a fantastic situation,” Powers said.

Councillor at-Large George Rotondo opposed the project stating that apartments “make babies”. He said he disputes the figures and found it hard to believe the $12.5 million over five years would come back to the city.

Former Mayor Dan Rizzo who also spoke at Monday’s Council meeting said Arrigo stated in his campaign speech that Revere doesn’t need anymore residential and “now he’s proposing residential.” He turned his speech to the political side, referring to his administration. “We didn’t approve one residential development. We had Harley-Davidson, Market Basket and revitalized Northgate Mall.

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  • This is great for the city of Revere and sends a message that developers must be held to a higher standard, both to increase community benefits and include non-residential components in a project. Finally getting rid of another blighted, abandoned, underused parcel that continued to fuel Revere's maligned reputation. Glad the Mayor supported and Council approved this project.

  • Doesn't "extended stay" units refer to hotel rooms that are occupied by individuals or families who have been unable to financially sustain occupying owned or rented properties they lived in formally? If yes, what would be the time limit on such "extended stay" arrangements? Is that not just a more modern, 2016 way of saying "boarding house" living arrangements? I am just wondering about what kind of customer base this will attract, and how that will affect and reflect on the economic and image potential of the city. And what about vehicles associated with the customer base here? Where will it go, and how much more can its likely effect on that already crowded road area impact the region negatively? I know, people will say it's T-accessible--I get it. But there will be many residents there, as well as those visiting them, who will also have vehicles. I would have rather seen one major high-tech or other profitably contemporary business go there.

    • NO . Extended stay hotels are usually for business travelers who have to stay in a city for 3 , 4 or sometimes 8 weeks for business. Many upscale hotels have extended stay suites to accommodate business travelers. They have a discounted rate because they are occupying the room for such a longer period of time. These are not " boarding houses" for low income people. I doubt they could afford hotels rates that would be 2x the cost of getting an apartment.

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