A luxury-hotel developer is turning a former Howard Johnson’s motel into The Verb, "a music-themed hotel near Fenway Park," reports Craig Karmin in The Wall Street Journal (4/30/14). "Baseball is the dominant theme in the history of Fenway Park, but as we began to dig deeper, we saw a great culture of art, music, publishing, great rock ‘n’ roll clubs and radio stations," says Steve Samuels of Samuels & Associates, "a veteran of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.”
The building actually was "one of the first Howard Johnson motels," (image) and its rehabilitation is "part of a major redevelopment of the blocks surrounding the ballpark, where gas stations, car dealerships and other single-tenant buildings are giving way to high-rise residential buildings, office towers and new stores" (including "the first Wegmans gourmet supermarket in a major US city"). Originally, the plan was to tear down the motel, but Steve says he soon thought the better of that.
"We decided that we loved the building, the bones, the way it sat on the site," he says. Set to open this summer, The Verb "will maintain some of the characteristics of its motel roots, including parking lots next to the rooms," along with "modern touches" like flat-screen TVs. Its "walls will be adorned by fliers, posters and record covers" from the days when The Who and Janis Joplin played nearby, at "now-defunct venues like the Boston Tea Party and the Psychedelic Supermarket." Rooms will start at about $250 a night.