Convention center authority to buy site for hotel

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is finalizing a deal to take by eminent domain land in Boston’s Seaport District where it wants to build hundreds of hotel rooms, the first step toward a massive expansion of the sprawling convention complex, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.

The authority would spend more than $30 million to take a rectangular lot on D Street, across the street from Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, for the new hotel rooms, according to this person. The 5.5-acre parcel is currently owned by Intercontinental Real Estate Corp.

The authority acknowledged in a statement it has been shopping for land around the center but said no deal has been finalized.

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Officials with the authority have long argued that the lack of hotel rooms around the convention center is keeping large trade shows from booking there because their sponsors want attendees to be able to stay close to the Seaport complex.

The development of the hotel rooms would pave the way toward a broader $2 billion expansion of the convention center complex that would also include another large hotel and a doubling of its exhibit space.