A development team last week filed plans for a 25-story, 357-room hotel with 9,000 square feet of room for the James Hook seafood concern on what is now Hook's almost half acre of land on Atlantic Avenue between the Moakley Bridge and what's left of the Northern Avenue Bridge.
Hook and builder Moriarty Partners of Winchester, have been talking about the project since 2013 - five years after Hook's original building was destroyed in a fire. The filing last week sets off hearings and meetings that the companies hope will let them begin construction in early 2022, with completion scheduled for the fall of 2024.
James Hook, which has been selling lobsters and other briny products since 1925, would occupy much of the new building's first floor with both a seafood store and a restaurant.
The filing specifies that the new hotel represents the culmination of 400 years of Boston waterfront history:
This proposal for a new, high-profile, landmark hotel building on Hook Wharf (Project Site) represents today's highest and best use of a premier location on Boston's 400-year-old, continuously-evolving, active urban waterfront. Wharf structures have had a notable impact in the shaping of Boston's waterfront since the 1700s. Over many generations, merchants constructed wharfs and piers along the Boston Harbor to connect Boston by water to the world beyond. As Boston grew, these structures were slowly incorporated into the land, with roads between warehouses and other mercantile buildings radiating from the waterfront into the city. From its early incarnation and growth as a thriving commercial port, its shoreline ever evolving as a result of those commercial demands, Boston's waterfront now provides the opportunity to implement and build upon a succession of planning efforts informed by rigorous public engagement.
The filing says the project will include improvements for the public:
The Project will establish a new Harborwalk connection at the water’s edge while also providing new public open space along the Fort Point Channel between the Evelyn Moakley Bridge and the planned replacement of the Old Northern Avenue Bridge.
The filing also specifies work to benefit both landlubbers and seafarers, including a new Harborwalk segment and open space between the Moakley Bridge and the Northern Avenue Bridge replacement. Also planned: Docks that will not only allow for water-taxi service but will let fishermen tie up and deliver fresh catch to Hook - and recreational boaters to slip into a berth for lunch or dinner at the Hook restaurant or to pick up some food to go for final preparation in their own galleys.
The filing says the developers are looking at ways to mitigate flood issues as sea levels keep rising, not just for the building itself but for the surrounding waterfront.
In addition to the BPDA, the project will also need the approval of the Boston Conservation Commission and the state Office of Coastal Zone Management.
Project notification form for Hook Wharf (38.6M PDF).