Jul 26, 2014
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Advisory Group to Review Hotel Proposals for Davis Square

Steven Azar, chair of the advisory committee, said the group's work will pave the way for a longer public process.

Advisory Group to Review Hotel Proposals for Davis Square

An advisory group formed to review development proposals for a hotel in Davis Square is expected to convene for the first time Friday to consider bids from five development groups.

Steven Azar, a senior planner with the city of Somerville, is chair of the technical advisory committee established to review the hotel proposals, and he said the committee's work is only the beginning of a longer process.

"We're just figuring out who's the best partner" for the community to work with, he said of the advisory committee's task.

The committee will work to narrow the field of contenders down to two or three development groups, and then it will interview those developers, Azar said.

Interviews will likely take place in February and March, he said.

The committee will then issue a report to the mayor, who will, probably in late March or early April, make a recommendation to the Somerville Board of Aldermen, according Azar. The aldermen will have about 60 days to consider the recommended developer and decide whether or not approve a partnership with that developer, he said.

After that, Azar said, that the public process truly begins. "That proposal will go through a long … community process," he said, indicating there will be design meetings, planning meetings, possible zoning meetings and other chances for members of the public to share thoughts and opinions about the proposal.

"The community as a whole will be engaged when the [project] moves through the city," Azar said.

In regard to the technical advisory committee that's tasked with reviewing the initial proposals, here's a list of who's on the committee:

  • Steven Azar, Chair
  • Rebekah Gewirtz, Ward 6 alderman
  • John Connolly, alderman at large
  • Carla DeLellis
  • Rob Gregory, owner of Redbonbes
  • Rebecca Chase
  • Leo Quigley
  • Hope Klebanov
  • Alan Bingham, member of the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission
  • Sandra McGoldrick, president and CEO of Winter Hill Bank
  • Thalia Tringo, real estate agent

"These are neighbors; they're local business owners," Azar said of the committee members.

Meanwhile, one committee member, Rebecca Chase, has set up a website about the process: herberthotel.net.

You can also review the city's request for proposals.


Five Groups Want to Build Hotel in Davis Square

Davis Square Alderman: Possible Hotel Would Be a 'Boutique' One

City Seeks Davis Square Hotel Proposals by Feb. 4

Aldermen Support Plans for Hotel in Davis Square

Thoughts: Building a Hotel on Davis Square Parking Lot

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