by Sarah F.J. Braley | May 22, 2017
According to the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which controls about 30 undeveloped acres in Boston, plans to issue requests for proposal to hire a firm to study options for land the MCCA owns around the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
In April 2015, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced that he was "pausing" the expansion of the BCEC and replacing seven of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority's 13 board members. Legislation authorizing the $1.1 billion project had been signed by former Gov. Deval Patrick in July 2014.
"I wasn't really surprised that a new governor with a background in financial management put the project on hold," Pat Moscaritolo, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau said at the time.
Gov. Baker's spokesperson told the newspaper that the authority's upcoming feasibility assessment "will provide valuable information…to ensure that the future of the facility meets the needs of its customers and that taxpayer dollars can be used responsibly."
The Globe also reached out to James Rooney, CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and former longtime head of the MCCA, who said he remains hopeful the expansion will happen. "I remain convinced that Boston can play a more significant role in the global conventions and meetings marketplace with increased hotel capacity and convention center expansion," Rooney told the newspaper.
News of the feasibility study comes on the heals of the announcement last week that the BCEC will be getting a headquarters hotel. The 1,000-plus-room Omni Boston Hotel, on Summer Street in South Boston's Waterfront District, will connect to the center and upon completion will become the city's fourth largest property.