W Boston Hotel owner faces financial woes; files for bankruptcy

The hotel has only been open a few months, but developers of the upscale W Boston Hotel and Residences are already facing financial problems. The owners filed for bankruptcy this week – a severe blow to the recently revitalized theater district area where the 28-story W Boston stood ground.

The W Boston was a welcome addition to Boston’s downtown theater district, which had been under construction for years working on the restructuring of worn facades and dilapidated buildings. The sheer glass exterior of the W Boston added a light to the darkening theater district streets giving Bostonians a reason to venture back to their old stomping grounds, which once hosted some of the best night life events and late-night clubs in the city. While the lights still shine bright on the theater marquees, there’s a dim shadow cast on the future of the W Boston.

According to documents filed in US Bankruptcy Court in Boston by SW Boston Hotel Venture LLC, a subsidiary of Sawyer Enterprises, the owners list liabilities of $100 million to $500 million.

The Boston Globe
reported that several months ago, in an effort to help the ailing hotel group complete the project, the City of Boston provided a $10.5 million loan to the developer, claiming it would take another $234 million to finish the project. However, troubles began way before the opening.

The high-end touches and amenities added to the residences and hotel rooms were purchased on the assumption that people would the price for the W brand. Unfortunately, not everyone bought into the trendsetting digs.

As of the filing, the W Boston Residences are only 10 percent sold. The Globe reports the condominiums have sold for as much as $1.9 million for a three-bedroom and $345,000 for a studio. According to the W Boston website, hotel rooms average around $300 a night, depending on the day of the week.