Local organizations and residents are hoping that the Boston Planning and Development Agency will approve a local hire jobs creation agreement in place between BEST Hospitality Training Program, WS development and the hotel operator prior to approval of the Seaport Square Development by the city agency.
BEST Hospitality Training Center – an independent non-profit – is looking to partner with WS Development and would ideally like to work with David Leatherwood of Norwich Partners (The Envoy, ONYX, Residence Inn Seaport) who they’ve worked with in the past. In letter written to the BPDA, Marie Downey, Southie native and Executive Director of BEST stated, “David Leatherwood of Norwich Partners is ready and willing to partner with BEST and WS on such a proposal. David’s vision includes a hospitality training center on-site that would be focused on South Boston residents and geared toward individuals with Down Syndrome as well as other key groups traditionally underrepresented in the hospitality industry.”
Marie went on to say to CIS, “I grew up in South Boston and It was a quality job as a food server in a downtown hotel that changed the course of my life more than 30 years ago. We all need opportunities.”
Ed Flynn, candidate for District 2 City Council – who attended a recent meeting to discuss the potential Seaport Square Hotel, feels the people of the South Boston need to see a commitment from the developer to ensure a benefit to the community.
“I would like to see more opportunity for employment from the South Boston community in the hotels at the Seaport Square Development. The opposition was clear at last week’s meeting and the community is calling for a guarantee for how this project will benefit the working men and women here in South Boston,” said Flynn.
In addition to a hotel space ,WS Development has proposed a new plan for the mammoth project which includes 9 blocks of development with 10 new buildings of mixed office and residential buildings and more than 100 new storefronts. Recently WS Development made CIS news for questions and concerns arising around a new theater complex and access to greenspace.