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BOSTON-A project that will turn the 19th century Charles Street Jail into a $100 million, 308-room, four-star hotel gets under way today when Boston developer Richard Friedman breaks ground on the hotel located at the foot of Beacon Hill. The hotel, which will take about two years to complete, is expected to open in early 2007. The effort will turn the historic 150-year-old granite structure into a luxury hotel and will include a 16-story adjacent building housing most of the hotel rooms that will be situated on land that was formerly occupied by Buzzy’s Fabulous Roast Beef. Massachusetts General Hospital which bought the land for $2.75 million, will lease it back to the developer.

Designed by local architects Cambridge Seven Associates Inc., the construction will preserve elements of the landmark structure, such as the stone exterior, and also include an underground parking garage that will be shared with the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, a recently opened addition to nearby Massachusetts General Hospital.

The project has faced several hurdles since its conception, including financing and construction issues which drove construction costs up from $80 million to $100 million since Friedman received city permits for the project in 2002. MTM Management LLC of Seattle will manage the property. Friedman, chief executive of Carpenter & Co., which is spearheading the $100 million transformation, also owns the luxury Charles Hotel in Cambridge’s Harvard Square.

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