XSS Hotels recently acquired the Sheraton Framingham, which was put up for sale through an auction in December 2020. The New Hampshire-based company is partnering with senior living developer Monarch Communities to reconfigure part of the iconic site. Choose Framingham caught up with Managing Partner Michael Glynn of Monarch Communities to learn more about their plans.
First, tell us a little about Monarch Communities and the kind of communities you build?
Monarch has several things that make us unique in the senior housing industry. Unlike most senior housing companies that specialize in one or two parts of the process, Monarch, with our affiliates, is vertically integrated across development, design, construction, operations and ownership. This means that Monarch is able to control and be accountable to quality and commitments across the entire process from initial concept through long-term ownership and operations in a finished development.
Another differentiator for Monarch is our dedication to our employees’ wellness. Monarch believes the happiness and well-being of our team members flow through to residents and the larger community, and invests extensively in creating a healthy work environment.
Monarch builds service-enriched senior living properties with a variety of options across independent living, assisted living and memory care. The Monarch property in Framingham will have a smaller, more boutique approach, which will include only independent and assisted living.
What role is Monarch Communities playing in redeveloping the Sheraton Framingham site?
Monarch is partnering with XSS [Hotels] to return the site to its former glory. The hotel is outdated in size and function and is not economically sustainable as it is today. Rather than demolishing the rear of the building to “right-size” the hotel, Monarch is proposing to repurpose the building and provide a much-needed service to community elders – providing approximately 120 units of assisted living and memory care units.
What is Monarch Communities’ vision for the site?
The Sheraton Framingham is an outdated hotel in size and function and the new ownership group is proposing to bring in significant investment to take it out of disrepair and return the property to economic vitality.
XSS Hotels, a hotel developer that is among Boston metro’s most prolific and successful hospitality companies, will reduce the size of the hotel by more than one-third while updating it with a dynamic makeover with modern design and amenities. Rather than demolish the excess area in the rear, XSS is partnering up with Monarch Communities to repurpose a portion of the building as an assisted living residence.
The 105,000 square foot, 120-unit Monarch assisted living residence is proposed to have a south west facing courtyard and entrance plaza which is framed by the newly renovated residential wing and Sheraton Hotel. The exterior renovations will include replacement of the existing stucco and the expansion of the first floor to provide additional resident amenity space. The first-floor pub and dining facilities will extend beyond the existing footprint toward the courtyard and provide an activated exterior patio overlooking the main entrance. The lobby features a monumental stairway to lower-level salon, fitness and wellness facilities. The backdrop for the staircase intends to be a focal element to the entrance and could host a vegetated green wall and other accents.
Fully-renovated assisted living studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units will be located on floors 1 and 3 through 5. Memory care units are provided at the second floor with dedicated amenities and a porch and activity space that overlooks the main entry courtyard.
The front portion of the building that will remain a hotel is receiving an extensive exterior renovation as well as upgrades to its lobby, guest floors, and function facilities. The 200-guest room, 185,000 square foot Sheraton will feature 38,000 square feet of conference and pre-function space and a new function terrace. A new Sheraton Club Lounge will be added to the lobby. Exterior renovations will modernize the building, while complimenting the iconic look that has made the Framingham Sheraton a local landmark. New cementitious siding will replace the existing stucco and wood trim. Guest halls will receive upgrades to the guest room entry doors and lighting, while units will receive new finishes and a complete bathroom renovation.
Why do you see Framingham as the right place for your next development?
Framingham has a significant unmet need for senior housing. Repurposing a portion of the hotel will allow Monarch to deliver an option for seniors at a great value.
What do you like most about Framingham?
Framingham represents some of the best of Massachusetts. It is the gateway to the Boston metro area and has the marathon; it has diversity and is a great place to live and work.
What interests you the most about this project?
The project is bringing out community pride and is becoming a unifying force. With the idea of bringing this landmark back to life, we can feel the excitement and relief from Framingham businesses and residents alike. Many people have shared with us their fond memories of the hotel and want to see it brought up to modern standards so it can continue to be an asset and symbol of pride and utility for the Framingham community. The adaptive reuse of senior housing represents a sustainable approach to development that will be unique to Framingham and a way to celebrate its community elders.
What are the next steps in development?
The City Council will need to decide if it wants to enable this project to move forward by allowing the assisted living use in the zone. If all goes well, Monarch and XSS are prepared to process all permits quickly and begin the renovation by the end of the year.
Anything we missed?
Thank you for your interest in our project.
You can see more coverage of Monarch Communities and their vision for senior housing here and here.