Rumor Mill

Fenway Redevelopment, Plus a Makeover for Hojo’s?

Over the weekend, the Herald reported that the Abbey Group plans to redevelop a stretch of real estate behind Fenway Park on Boylston Street. Along with it, there will be the requisite blocks of shops and offices and condos and whatnot … but what truly intrigues us is news of the makeover of that frighteningly lovable Howard Johnson’s across the street.

Orange-roofed Howard Johnson motels, of course, used to be ubiquitous. The one in Times Square was long past its prime in the best way, a quaint if unintentional homage to 1950s depravity, with milkshakes in styrofoam cups and the thick, stale-sweet odor of cigarette smoke. The Boylston Street version was much the same. But now it just looks abandoned and kind of scary. And so wouldn’t it be cool if somebody stepped in to restore the building to its former faded glory?

We say yes! And so it’s developer Steve Samuels to the rescue. Per the Herald, he plans to build a $250 million complex of 150 residences and nearly 400,000 square feet of offices and stores near Boylston and Van Ness streets, plus he has plans to “redevelop” the Howard Johnson’s there, too.

Rumors are circulating that Michael Schlow plans to launch a diner in the area; maybe Hojo’s could be just the right fit? Minus the lingering whiff of cigarette smoke, of course.

Fenway Area Gets Another Home Run [Herald]

Fenway Redevelopment, Plus a Makeover for Hojo’s?