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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #1
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Boston project list: U/C, Approved, Proposed, Renovations

I didn't see a list so here's a rundown of Boston's mini-boom:

Winthrop Square

Construction of 1,000-foot skyscraper urged

February 17, 2006

Mayor Thomas M. Menino yesterday called for construction of the city's tallest building ever -- a 70- to 80-story tower reaching 1,000 feet high on the site of the Winthrop Square parking garage in the Financial District -- to demonstrate Boston's confidence in its future.

'Here, we'll be looking for proposals that symbolize the full scope of this city's greatness," Menino told the city's business community yesterday, in a speech at the Seaport Hotel on the South Boston Waterfront.

''We will insist on bold vision and world-class architecture," Menino said of the tower envisioned by City Hall planners. In a colorful artist's rendering of the skyline the city envisions, two slender spires extend the building high above downtown's two tallest structures, the One International Place building and One Financial Center, both 46 floors.

Ken Greenberg, an urban designer and founder of Greenberg Consultants Inc. of Toronto, said Boston could use another skyscraper, because the 1980s and '90s brought a series of buildings of much the same height. ''I don't think all tall buildings are wonderful everywhere," said Greenberg, ''but there are some places where they can play very significant roles.

''What this building does is it creates a punctuation. I was struck by this -- it adds a little something special, gives a little focus to the eye."

In his speech at the annual meeting of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, Menino said the city's immediate priorities are addressing increasing crime, meeting the challenges of rising costs, and staying competitive in a world economy where Boston is less insulated than ever from global challenges.

But a new signature tower would show confidence about overcoming those obstacles, Menino said, serving as ''a stunning statement of our belief in Boston's bright future."

Greenberg was interim chief planner at the BRA until last month but was not involved in the Winthrop Square plan, and he continues to advise the city on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway design. ''There is something about dense cities that is good -- the life and activity," he said.

With the office leasing market showing significant improvement, developers are expected to line up as the city seeks proposals over the next two months for the location at 115 Federal St., between Franklin and Summer streets.

''We expect proposals from around the world," said Susan Elsbree, a spokeswoman for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. ''Dozens."

The office market is improving in Boston and the surrounding area after a difficult few years, and suddenly there is talk in the Boston real estate community of a new office tower, or even two. Two buildings already permitted and in design are located at Russia Wharf and on Fan Pier. But those are in the range of 30 floors or smaller, like most of Boston's recent buildings.

The Winthrop Square site also could be developed for residential use, or some combination of residential and commercial. Developers are allowed greater height if they include housing. The garage, which is owned by the city, would be demolished.

Building height downtown has been constrained in Boston by a combination of factors, including market demand, opposition from community activists who fight the increased traffic and shadows that towers bring, and a patchwork of complex zoning rules.

Though there are many exceptions, height is limited to about 150 feet in most of the city.

Yesterday's proposal -- about 20 floors higher than the city's tallest building, the 62-story John Hancock Tower in the Back Bay -- would radically redraw the city's skyline. Even at 1,000 feet, however, it is still shorter than other major skyscrapers around the world, including the 1,250-foot-high Empire State Building.

A number of local industry players, including International Place co-owner Donald J. Chiofaro and Landmark Center developer Abbey Group, are interested in bidding on the Winthrop Square site.

''A 1,000-foot tower, really?" said Robert Epstein, chief executive of Abbey Group. ''I like tall buildings. We'll definitely look at it."

A spokesman for Steve Belkin, founder of Trans National Group of Boston, said yesterday that he would consider a bid to develop the site. Belkin owns 133 Federal St., an office building with a key location adjacent to the Winthrop Square garage.

''I look forward eagerly to responding and working diligently with the city to help make Mayor Menino's incredible vision a reality," Belkin, who was traveling yesterday, said through a spokesman.

The last office towers to open in the city -- the State Street Financial Center near Chinatown and 33 Arch St. near Downtown Crossing -- are 36 and 33 floors tall respectively.

The tallest buildings expected to be built on the South Boston Waterfront are likely to be even shorter, because they are closer to Logan International Airport and under flight paths. The two World Trade Center towers are 16 and 17 floors.

Over the past decade or so, community activists have raised vigorous objections to tall buildings. Neighbors of the planned Columbus Center, over the Massachusetts Turnpike between the Back Bay and South End, objected to its height, which was finally approved by the city at 35 floors in 2003.

Menino fought a losing battle with Leather District residents who wanted to keep a site known as Two Financial Center, near the 46-floor One Financial Center, from becoming a tower. It ended up being approved at 12 floors.

John B. Hynes III, president of Gale International, which successfully developed the State Street tower, has been critical of an anti-height movement in Boston that has prevented the Boston skyline from extending upward in recent years.

Winthrop Square is ''probably the best office location left in the city," Hynes said last night. ''We're gung-ho on it."
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:19 PM   #2
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Broadlux renovation

Franklin Realty to renovate 99-105 Broad St. into loft-style condos
Boston Business Journal

Franklin Realty Advisors Inc. secured $19.1 million in construction financing to convert an office building in downtown Boston into 44 loft-style condominiums and two street-level commercial units.

The construction loan was arranged by CBRE Melody, the real estate investment banking arm of CB Richard Ellis, on behalf of 99-105 Broad Street LLC, an affiliate of Boston-based Franklin Realty Advisors.

The building, a seven-story brick and beam structure built in 1888, was acquired by Franklin Realty Advisors 18 months ago. The property is a block from the future Rose Kennedy Greenway.

The redevelopment will add two stories to the building, bringing it to nine stories. Construction is scheduled to begin in early December and finish by the end of 2006.

CBRE/Melody's Boston office secured financing for this transaction with TD Banknorth.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #3
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Tower at Filene's

Future at Filene’s looks up
By Scott Van Voorhis
Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Goodbye Filene’s. Hello megadevelopment.

A bidding war is still swirling around the historic downtown retail building, with a New York team trying to nail down the site amid competition from hometown developers.

But whoever lands the high-profile block will probably look to build big — clearing a pair of newer structures behind the Filene’s site to make way for a Big Apple-sized project, according to real estate executives familiar with the deal.

That could mean as much as 2 million square feet of development — enough to fill two Prudential Centers — in the heart of the Downtown Crossing shopping district.

David Begelfer, head of the local chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, sees significant building possibilities.

National retailer Federated Department Stores is now selling the Downtown Crossing block after acquiring Filene’s parent company. The retailer is pushing to close a deal soon and unload the valuable Hub real

“There is a lot of potential in that location,” Begelfer said. “It is right in the heart of the city.”

At play is a city block, bounded by Washington, Summer, Hawley and Franklin streets, that could provide a platform for one of the biggest downtown projects in years.

Built in 1912, the historic Filene’s building covers 60 percent of the site.

But the remainder of the site — occupied by structures with little historic value — is large enough for some significant new development, executives say.

Developers who have looked at the block have considered plans for one or more residential high-rises in back of the Filene’s building, most likely in the 30- to 40-story range. Some scenarios even called for two high-rises, such as a centerpiece condo tower with a smaller office high-rise next to it.

The Filene’s building itself would be renovated and spiffed up to make room for Target, the likely tenant for a pair of floors no matter who lands the deal.

While developers tend to dream big, the 1 million to 2 million square feet in new residential, office and retail space some executives have eyed for the Filene’s block is also a reflection of big bucks the lucky winner will have to shell out to nail down the high-profile deal, executives say.

A Target deal alone would come nowhere close to paying the bills on the $130 million-plus that Federated is seeking.

“There is no question that any developer will want to maximize that site,” Begelfer said.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:24 PM   #4
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Columbus Center

Columbus Center Comes Close to Sealing Financing Deal
By Beverly Ford
February 17, 2006

BOSTON - The developers of a 1.3-million-sf mixed-use project in the South End will wrap up a financing package on the $600-million project within the next few weeks. Arthur Winn and business partner Roger Cassin are close to solidifying private and public funding packages that will allow their firm, Winn Development, to begin work on the Columbus Center project this spring, a source familiar with the project tells GlobeSt.com.

The developers are seeking more than $500 million in private financing along with $30 million to $50 million in public financing to build the massive project, which will span the Massachusetts Turnpike and tower 35 floors above city streets. “Because this is such a complex project, it requires an extraordinary amount of planning to secure the financing,” says the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But once the financing is in place, construction will begin almost immediately.”

A project spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that the development team is “putting the final touches” on the financing, but declined further comment, saying that a confidentiality agreement precludes him from divulging further information.

Plans for the development call for the creation of a 180-room hotel, 451 condominium units, 39,400 sf of retail, 917 parking spaces, and 37,150 sf of green space built on three separate lots. A 35-story glass and stone tower will house the hotel, along with a spa and condominiums, restaurant, café, florist and on-site MBTA access.

A second site will contain four 11-story townhouse and condominium buildings with a private health club and retail stores. The third site will contain four, six-story buildings featuring lofts and condominiums and include a 9,000-sf day care center, a 13,000-sf grocery store and a 595-space parking garage.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:30 PM   #5
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The Institution of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Museum

ICA to Open New Waterfront Museum in September 2006

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) will open a new waterfront museum in September 2006 with a full range of inaugural exhibitions and expanded public programming. Designed by celebrated architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the art museum is the first to be built in Boston in nearly 100 years and is destined to become one of the most recognized architectural landmarks in the city. The 65,000-square-foot building, featuring a dramatic folding ribbon form and a cantilever that extends to the water's edge, provides a bold presence for the ICA and symbolizes the museum's commitment to contemporary art and design.

The ICA is now poised to become a leading forum for multi-disciplinary arts. The new museum allows the ICA to expand its offerings in the performing arts, film, media and technology and to present exhibitions of a size and scope never before possible. It will also house the museum's first permanent collection, establishing the ICA as the only museum in Boston devoted exclusively to exhibiting and acquiring contemporary art. The international collection will grow to include works by well-known and emerging artists of the 21st century, representing diverse styles and media.

The ICA will be located on the Boston Harbor waterfront, the city's largest undeveloped frontier and a burgeoning creative center. The ICA will join the new Rafael Viñoly-designed Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Children's Museum, and soon, a continuous 47-mile public walkway along the water’s edge that will connect cultural and historic attractions.
The ICA has long supported artists early in their careers, recognizing creative potential and organizing solo exhibitions that have launched some of today's leading artists. Known for having presented the first museum shows of such artists as Oskar Kokoschka, Andy Warhol, and Cornelia Parker, the ICA will continue its commitment to supporting the next generation of artists through collecting works and organizing breakthrough exhibitions.

The new museum will feature four inaugural exhibitions when it opens next fall, including a presentation of works from the permanent collection. The exhibition Super Vision examines how artists define the distinctive character of contemporary vision and considers the effects of technology, surveillance and virtuality on today's art. The exhibition will present a range of work in diverse media to explore the simultaneous pleasure and threat of contemporary vision, from the super-human to the anti-human.

Other inaugural exhibitions will feature works by finalists for the ICA Artist Prize, an award and exhibition program that recognizes outstanding artists in the Boston area, and Momentum 6, part of a series of exhibitions presenting new developments in contemporary art.

The development of a permanent collection will begin a new era for the ICA, with acquisitions of 21st-century art complementing temporary exhibitions. The core of the museum's collection will be works by contemporary artists featured in ICA exhibitions, many at seminal moments in their careers.

The ICA will greatly enhance its current offerings to present provocative multi-disciplinary public programs, including film and video screenings, dance, music and spoken word performances, lectures, talks and other special events. The museum also will host a variety of outdoor events under the cantilevered galleries and along the waterfront, designed to enliven the area and engage passersby.

The ICA will partner with CRASHArts, a division of World Music, Inc. and New England's leading presenter of contemporary performing arts, to offer music, spoken word, and dance performances. Other highlights of this multidisciplinary program will include film series based on exhibition topics, partnerships with Boston's leading film festivals, and the continuation of concert series devoted to jazz and improvised music.

The new museum will be able to accommodate an expanded educational program for children, teenagers and adults, including hands-on art activities and opportunities for interaction and dialogue with artists. Highlights will include special programs for teens; Family Days, with art-making activities for children to explore with a parent; Wall Talk, a writing program to explore views on contemporary art; and the Artists-in-Residence program, which places accomplished artists in Boston public schools.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:34 PM   #6
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Center for life Science
Floors: 18

At eighteen stories and 700,000 square feet (65,000 square meters), the Center for Life Science Boston is the tallest life science building in the area and a distinctive addition to the Boston skyline.

The Center for Life Science Boston offers "lab ready" shell space that adheres to the most rigorous laboratory building standards, yet can be easily reconfigured to accommodate researchers' changing needs.

The building is designed to accommodate the rigorous demands of the life science industry with the highest quality and capacity mechanical, electrical and structural systems.

The design anticipates tenant technical needs and avoids conflict between office areas and labs, especially for hazardous material or confidential protocols. Also, the design easily absorbs upgrades for specialized tenant needs, while keeping the initial base
building cost competitive.

Monitored security card readers and alarms, together with round the clock security personnel, are the foundation of the building’s advanced security system.

With numerous energy efficient features, the building will earn a LEED environmental rating for sustainable buildings.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #7
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45 Province Street

Historic site regains stature
Work to begin early next year on Province Street high-rise

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | October 14, 2005

Construction will begin early next year on a 31-floor tower along Province Street downtown, bringing fancy homes back to the historic Boston street more than two centuries after some of the city's most prosperous families settled there.

Since the 1950s, 45 Province St., half a block from Old City Hall and across a narrow alley from the Omni Parker House, has been occupied by a 13-story brick parking garage and the pint-sized Littlest Bar.

Now The Abbey Group of Boston -- partners who ran music clubs in Kenmore Square in the 1970s, graduated to developing property in the 1980s, and who have become part-owners of the Boston Celtics -- are building 150 luxury condominiums near the heart of Boston's business district.

The garage, which hugs the old granite steps that go awkwardly up to Bosworth Street and Cafe Marliave, and which employs what in the 1950s were state-of-the-art vehicle elevators, will be demolished. As previously reported, The Littlest Bar, doing business since the end of World War II, will close.

That will clear the way on the shallow quarter-acre site for 25 floors of condos over nine floors of above- and below-ground parking, plus a large, three-level restaurant.

A 31-story spire is tall for the low-rise neighborhood. Abbey Group chief executive Robert Epstein said the 60-by-250-foot site isn't commercially viable without such height, and a City Hall ever in favor of housing agrees.

''This is an absolutely appropriate place for that level of density," said Boston Redevelopment Authority spokesperson Susan Elsbree. ''It will bring the vitality and 24-hour character we want to the neighborhood."

The architect, Simeon Bruner of Bruner/Cott of Cambridge, said both the materials -- glass and tan terra cotta prefabricated panels -- and the ''stepping down" of sections of the building to four different heights help it fit the character of the neighborhood.

''The issue for us was how to design a building which was two-thirds of the entire length of the block and not have it be monolithic in a historic district," said Bruner.

The firm has had a lot of time to think about that. Bruner/Cott started designing a 13-floor office building for the site in 1988. But the market for office space evaporated, and when the developers took a shot at a hotel and residences in the 1990s, that didn't work either.

Then came the current, seemingly endless residential boom -- and the city's willingness to let developers go higher. The Abbey Group didn't want to just re-create the past with brick.

''There's a confluence in Boston of glass and masonry," Bruner said. The building he designed ''relates old materials to new and is somewhere in the middle, but clearly new," he said.

The 45 Province St. residences have no formal name or image for marketing purposes yet, but Province House is a name with a rich Boston history.

Until 1833, Province Street was known as Governor's alley, on back side of the Province House mansion, so-called because it was the residence for Colonial governors.

Peter Sergeant, a London businessman and also a judge in the Salem witch trials, built the home in 1679 but quickly yielded to governors with names like Gage and Howe, when they found it comfortable. The roof at one point carried a landmark copper wind vane in the shape of an Indian with a bow and arrow.

Province House was later a tavern and minstrel theater, before being torn down in the 1920s.

For much of its existence, Province Street itself was 10 feet wide with 15-inch sidewalks. In the 1920s, amid allegations of political payoffs, the city widened it to what pedestrians experience today. The developers will expand one sidewalk a little more and add landscaping and new street lights.

Epstein and his brother, David, who is also his partner and president of The Abbey Group, which also created the Landmark Center out of the old Sears building in the Fenway, stood on Province recently gazing at the parking garage. ''This is a gem of a block destroyed by what was here," he said. ''We are going to make the landmark of the future, not replicate the past."

There will be parking for 294 cars, about the same number being eliminated in the existing garage and adjacent surface lot. Some will be available for the public.

The Abbey Group, including partner and chief financial officer John Svenson, distinguished itself in the 1980s by rehabbing Back Bay residences with spiffy, high-quality interiors. The Orpin Group of Easton, and Celeste Cooper of New York are designing the interiors of 45 Province St., which will include outdoor space with more than half of the units.

A pool will top the nine-floor wing, nearest School Street, with an adjacent fitness facility, and a rooftop terrace on the tallest building will offer unchallenged 360-degree views. Even ''the lower-level units are higher than in most any residential building in the city," said Robert Epstein.

Opening is scheduled for spring of 2008; prices haven't been set.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #8
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Parcel 24

Asian CDC, New Boston Submit Only Proposal for Parcel 24

By Adam Smith

The Asian Community Development Corporation and New Boston Development Partners together submitted the only proposal for Chinatown's Parcel 24, a strip of land along Hudson Street that is now a highway ramp.

The deadline for submissions set by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which owns the parcel, was March 15.

"We will take an initial look at the proposal and if it appears to meet basic submission requirements, then we will continue with the full-scale evaluation of the proposal," said Steve Hines, chief development officer of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.

The team's proposal is for a 315-unit project with a maximum height of 20 stories near the corner of Kneeland and Hudson Streets, and a minimum height of four stories near the far southern end of Hudson Street. A total of 70 units would be rental housing and 245 units would be condominiums. A "significant number" of the housing would be affordable to middle- and low-income earners. A total of 70 apartment units are slated to be affordable as are 99 of the condo units. The project would include about 5,000 square feet of retail space, 6,000 square feet of space for "community uses," and a total of 165 parking spaces.

The evaluation of the proposal, said Hines, would include getting comments from the Chinatown Parcel 24 neighborhood task force, the mayor's central artery completion task force, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city's development agency.

Hines said "it's difficult to say" how long the evaluation process will take.

Jeremy Liu of the Asian CDC said on the day of the deadline that he hoped the proposal would show the community that the team wanted to stick to the ideals of the Chinatown "vision" for Parcel 24. For several years, a coalit ion of Chinatown groups have met to design a "vision" for what they feel should go on the 70,000-square-foot strip of land. The coalition favored a housing project with a large amount of low-income housing, including condominiums. Over the years, the Asian Community Development Corporation led much of the advocacy around development goals for Parcel 24, but recently stepped down from that role so it could compete to develop the parcel and fundraise for the project.

Up until the 1960s, Parcel 24 was home to many Chinese and Lebanese immigrants before their homes were taken by the state and razed to make way for a highway ramp.

When asked to comment on why no other developers bid on the project, Hines said: "I really wouldn't speculate... I never expect anything. We put the request for proposals out and it's a free market and they have an opportunity to bid on it."
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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:46 PM   #9
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Intercontinental Hotel

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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:49 PM   #10
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Boston Museum Project

For the past several years, a diverse group of individuals and organizations with deep attachments to Boston have been developing plans for a new institution that can give voice and expression to our city, an institution that will offer the opportunity to reflect on and commemorate the city's past, to forge new community bonds and build new energies for the future. Envisioned as a gateway center for the city and region, the Museum will enhance the visitor experience to Boston and the quality of life for residents of the city.

The Boston Museum Project is pleased to announce that we have been awarded by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority the official designation as developer of Parcel 12 on the new Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Parcel 12, adjacent to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, is an ideal site for the project. This area, which attracts over 20 million people per year, is a perfect location for travelers and residents to find the stories and the pathways that connect the extraordinary historic and cultural treasures of the city and region. As both a great city museum and the hub of a transportation and information system, the Boston Museum will at last make Boston a coherent place to visit.

The Boston Museum will be a new kind of cultural institution: part museum of history and part theater; a public forum for discussion of ideas and a civic center for city events; a point of destination and orientation for visitors to our city and a locus of ever-evolving cultural activity for residents. It will tell all our stories - Native American, European, African, Latin, Asian - so that we and our many millions of visitors a year can confront our most fundamental questions: Who are we? What is this place we live in? Why does it matter?
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Old February 25th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #11
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Russia Wharf

Stalled Russia Wharf project gets a boost from BRA
By Chris Reidy and Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff |
November 15, 2005

The Boston Redevelopment Authority took steps yesterday that could help advance Russia Wharf, a large condo-and-office project near Fort Point Channel that has been stalled by a law-suit.

The lawsuit was filed by Extell Development Co., the developer of a nearby project, which is challenging Russia Wharf's zoning variances.

Under a BRA proposal outlined yesterday, it would be easier for developers near the downtown side of Fort Point Channel, including Russia Wharf's developer, Equity Office Properties, to pursue an alternative to the variance process.

Instead of applying for variances from existing zoning rules, neighborhood developers could ask to have their projects designated as planned development areas, or PDAs. PDAs achieve many of the same goals as variances but offer an additional advantage.

A PDA ''is more difficult to overturn in court than a zoning variance," said Matthew Kiefer, a real estate attorney with Goulston & Storrs.

Yesterday the BRA scheduled a hearing to consider Equity Office's request to have Russia Wharf designated as a PDA. If that request is granted, the project might be able to move forward despite the lawsuit.

BRA officials described yesterday's PDA proposal as ''the next logical step" in a long-term planning process for the neighborhood, and not one undertaken strictly to help Russia Wharf. Making it easier to obtain PDAs in this part of the city will benefit not only many property owners but the public because a PDA gives the city more control over developers on where to place such public amenities as parks and open space, BRA officials said.

Critics contend that PDAs amount to spot zoning, where existing rules mean little. ''I can't believe they're doing this in the middle of a lawsuit," said Shirley Kressel, an urban planner and frequent critic of the BRA. ''This deprives people of their judicial rights."

Equity Office declined to comment, as did Extell, which filed suit against Equity Office and which is developing a nearby hotel and condo complex called InterContinental Boston and The Residences at the InterContinental.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 10:03 PM   #12
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Gateway Center

Neighborhood rising
10-acre project would include housing, library annex, supermarket

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | December 11, 2004

A new neighborhood the size of the minicity envisioned for Fan Pier could materialize over the next decade or so in an area between South Station and Chinatown that is now mostly a maze of highway ramps.

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority yesterday received a single proposal, from Boston Residential Group LLC, for a 3.1 million-square-foot project to transform about 10 acres known as the South Bay, an area south of Kneeland Street and the Leather District.

The proposal includes mostly housing, with the tallest structure a 67-floor, 800-foot-tall tower on the southeast corner of the site.

The bid envisions about 1,700 condominium and rental residences, plus almost 600,000 square feet of office and commercial space. It would include about 2,000 parking spaces and would include a public library annex, a recreational facility, a supermarket specializing in Asian foods, and a park on Kneeland Street, a portion of a total of more than 200,000 square feet of open space and public amenities.

The park is billed as the southern end of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the 30 acres of open and public space that are replacing the old elevated Central Artery.

The proposal, for a new neighborhood called Gateway Center, addresses the ''critical need for housing and the needs of the Chinatown and Leather District communities," the developer, Curtis R. Kemeny, the chief executive and president of Boston Residential, said in a press release. The housing is planned in three residential towers and two midrise residential blocks.

The single bid is the end of a long-anticipated process in which the Turnpike, as steward of the Big Dig, is redeveloping former construction sites, restoring some of the urban framework missing since the elevated highway was built in the 1950s, and generating revenues from leases or sales of land to help pay some of its $2 billion share of the highway project.

Stephen J. Hines, the chief development officer of the Turnpike Authority, said the proposal is for a long-term lease of the land.

He said the authority would be evaluating the proposal and getting community reaction in January, with a decision of whether to accept the proposal probably coming in February. Hines declined to discuss the financial details of the proposal, which are likely to be complicated and tied to the future success of the development. Developers were offered the option of purchasing the land or leasing it. Boston Residential chose the lease option.

Although the authority always likes to have competing bids for land or air rights it puts up for development, Hines said, ''We're pleased that we received a proposal."

Boston Residential is a privately held development and management company that owns and manages about 1,200 luxury apartments, primarily in Boston and the western suburbs.

The company was founded only this year, but the families of the two principals have been in the real estate business for years.

The development of the land, controlled by the Turnpike Authority, will follow guidelines and a new set of zoning rules set out by the City of Boston, following more than a year of meetings where neighbors from the surrounding community told officials what they want.

''The way we're envisioning it is it becoming an extension of the surrounding community, Chinatown and the Leather District communities, down into that zone," said Marc Margulies, chairman of the 17-member South Bay Task Force Planning Committee, which was appointed by the city.

Lawrence Rosenbloom, a Leather District resident and member of the task force, said he was pleased that someone had responded to the challenge.

For a developer, Rosenbloom said, ''It's very ambitious, in ways that are similar to the South Boston Waterfront," though he added that it is in some ways a superior location because it is adjacent to South Station.

The planning study accommodated the desire by Chinatown residents for affordable housing ''at all income levels and different-sized units," Margulies said. Employment and employment training are supposed to be part of the package promised by developers, ''items for the economic benefit of the adjacent neighborhood."

The proposal from Boston Residential is primarily for existing land, not for air rights over the ramps that proliferate on the southern end of the South Bay site. But the master plan includes a vision of what could be built in later phases.

The southern end of the new neighborhood is envisioned as a gateway from the south as the Leonard P. Zakim-Bunker Hill Bridge is a door to Boston from the north.

But, under the first half of a master plan overseen by consultants Goody Clancy and hammered out over the last year, buildings would rapidly decline in height on blocks closer to Kneeland Street -- where the maximum height would be about 110 feet.

The need for vehicular traffic in South Bay is expected to be minimal, because it is so centrally located for public transportation. -- next to the South Station Transportation Center.

''We're using the proximity of this site to South Station and the nexus of all these roads to benefit development," said Margulies. ''That's what transportation-oriented development is all about."
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Old February 26th, 2006, 12:10 AM   #13
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I want a major like boston's one to my city
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Old March 21st, 2006, 04:46 AM   #14
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Well I have been busy for awhile and haven't finish compilating the list so here are some more.

The 695ft South Station Tower

Final reports filed for 1.8M-square-foot South Station project

Boston Business Journal
March 1, 2006

Hines and TUDC LLC have filed final impact reports with the state and city for the 1.8 million-square-foot mixed-use project proposed at South Station Transportation Center.

The development partners filed an environmental impact report with the state and the final project impact report with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The final reports respond to issues raised by the state and city in permits filed in 2000 and 2002.

The filings represent a major step forward in the development of the site, according to an announcement by the development partners.

The documents represent revisions to the proposal in response to comments and concerns raised from such neighbors as the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The revised project includes a proposed 40-story office tower, a 13-story hotel and residential building and a nine-story office building to be built on air rights between the back of South Station and the bus terminal. Hines has proposed $40 million in transportation-related improvements to South Station. The transportation improvements would connect the train station and bus terminal and expand the terminal by 40 percent.

David Perry, senior vice president at Hines, said in a statement the South Station project will generate approximately 2,600 jobs during construction and approximately 6,000 permanent jobs in the hotel and office buildings after completion.

Linkage payments will total approximately $10 million, and real estate taxes are anticipated to be approximately $12 million per year, according to the statement, which said the total private investment in the project is expected to exceed $800 million.

The plan to redevelop South Station first came about in 1963. In 1984 the MBTA, BRA and Federal Railroad Administration announced the plan to redevelop the site into a major transportation and commercial center. In 1991, the BRA designated TUDC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tufts University, as the developer of the air rights above South Station.

TUDC selected Hines to be its co-developer in October 1997 and later selected Cesar Pelli & Associates Inc. of New Haven, Conn. as the design architect.

Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide with assets valued at $11.7 billion. Hines has been active in the Boston real estate market since 1980, and is the developer and property manager of 500 Hundred Boylston and 222 Berkeley St.

The 25 story W Hotel

Hotel project revived
But now it's slated to be a hip, new W instead of Loews

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | March 1, 2006

A long-dormant plan for a 25-story hotel on a parking lot that occupies a central Theater District location is being revived and could go into construction this year, the developer said yesterday.

Formerly approved by the city as a Loews hotel, the project at Tremont and Stuart streets now is tentatively slated to be a hip and modern W hotel of about 220 rooms, with 100 luxury residential condominiums on the upper floors.

John P. Connolly, vice president of development for Sawyer Enterprises, said nothing has been formally filed with City Hall, but ''We are in the process of reprogramming the project. The envelope of the [proposed] building will stay essentially the same."

The building, on a 26,000-square-foot lot between Warrenton Street and Tremont Street, would have its entrance on the long side of the building, along Stuart Street. A small private way, Seaver Place, would separate it from the Shubert Theater.

Connolly, who promised a four-star hotel on the site, would not confirm that the W flag has been chosen. ''There are certain issues that are confidential," he said.

But others associated with the project, none of whom agreed to be quoted by name, referred to it as a W.

''They're in talks with W Hotels about that," said Jane Lehman, director of public relations for W Hotels Worldwide, which has 20 locations, mostly in the United States, and is expanding around the globe.

News of the new hotel in the Theater District comes only weeks after the city reached an agreement with a development team to create a lively and colorful ''gateway" building for the area, across Tremont Street from the hotel site and next to The Wilbur Theatre.

The slender building there, on a small lot now occupied by a trailer where tickets are sold, will house commercial activity on the lower floors, including a restaurant, and residences above.

W Hotels, described by Lehman as boutique-like, with the service of a luxury brand, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which also owns Westin, Sheraton, and other brands.

The 390-room Loew's Hotels Inc. facility that Sawyer Enterprises proposed in the late 1990s drew opposition because its height and size were out of scale with nearby Bay Village, a residential neighborhood of more modestly sized buildings. Following an agreement that limited the size of additional development nearby, the hotel was approved by the Boston Zoning Commission at 25 floors, or 274 feet, in August 2001.

But that was about a month before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

''We had to set it aside for awhile," Connolly said. ''The hotel market just died completely. Financing for hotels even with condos would not have occurred for 18 months to two years."

Now the hotel market is recovering, but most new inns are being built along the residential-hotel model, including the Mandarin Oriental complex under construction at the Prudential Center, the InterContinental on Atlantic Avenue, and the Regent at Battery Wharf in the North End.

''The new iteration of how to get hotels built today is a combination of residential and hotels," Connolly said.

He said he hopes to file documents with the city soon, to win approval for condos in what had been approved as hotel and retail, with performing arts space on the fourth floor to have been used by Emerson College. Construction could begin by the end of the year, Connolly said.

The hotel building will have two levels of parking underground, with 140 spaces. It will be only a block or two from MBTA stations on the Green and Orange lines.

Previously, Sawyer Enterprises built Niketown Boston, on Newbury Street.

The architects for the Theater District project are Jung|Brannen Associates Inc. of Boston, as architect of record, and a smaller firm, William Rawn Associates Architects Inc., also of Boston, doing the design. Bovis Lend Lease will manage construction, Connolly said, but he was ''not ready to talk about" who will do interior design or be marketing agent.

Connolly said no rendering is available for the building because it is being updated. Costs are also being reassessed; the estimated cost in 2001 was $150 million.

Jung|Brannen and William Rawn Associates declined to comment, as did the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

David Rosen, vice president for public affairs at Emerson College, said he ''thought the project was dead."

''I'm glad to hear it's back on track, but I'm pretty sure we have nothing to do with it," he said.

Emerson is moving forward with a $77 million plan to redevelop the Paramount Theater on Washington Street and adjacent properties and to include performance space there.

''A lot of the new space there is what would essentially have been in the Loews," he said.

But Connolly said that, in lieu of leasing space to Emerson, his firm would be making a $1 million donation ''for cultural uses in the Theater District through the BRA."

Last edited by DarkFenX; March 22nd, 2006 at 03:52 AM.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 04:55 AM   #15
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The 336ft The Clarendon

The Westin Hotel

The 25-story Crane House and Pavilion

Albany Fellows

Macallen Building

Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel

North Station Tower

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Old March 21st, 2006, 05:20 AM   #16
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I think that deserves to be called more than a "Mini-Boom", especially considering that just about everyone of those projects looked damn good. Is there a better rendering of Winthrop Square available?
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Old March 21st, 2006, 06:27 AM   #17
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Wow!!!!!! there is alot going on in Boston I really like the Parcel 24 project.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 12:16 PM   #18
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Boston sure mankin' itself heard. I think South Station is my favourite, but Winthrop certainly isn't bad either. 300m+ is always a winner with me
politics n.pl. [From Gr. poly-, many and ticks, degenerate, blood-sucking parasites that transmit disease]

A bureaucrat is a device for turning coffee into frustration.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 06:18 PM   #19
la is pritty
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boston looks like it will be very cool soon. much to low to the water for me to want to move there, but my first visit ever will be comeing up this summer i do belive. damn you siggraph for leaving LA this year!!
go silver line go!!!
...go aqua line go???

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Old March 21st, 2006, 09:43 PM   #20
USA until further notice
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Can't believe the South station project is still on after all this time, i had long forgotten about it. A great thing though when and if it goes ahead, the Pru and JH tower will feel like they have a new member in the Tall family dpt.
Go Boston!
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