daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > World Development News Forums > General Urban Developments > DN Archives

Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Thread Tools
Old October 10th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #1
Registered User
Cojapo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 275
Likes (Received): 50

BOSTON | Fan Pier Development News

Fan Pier finally rises
Megaproject begins decades after plan's birth

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | September 26, 2007

When restaurateur Anthony Athanas bought Fan Pier on the South Boston Waterfront in the 1960s, he believed it could be developed over a decade or two into a mixed-use neighborhood.

"My father thought it would be done in the early 1980s, and he always thought it should have been," said Michael Athanas, who with his three brothers now runs Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant.

Instead, almost three decades later and two owners after Athanas, Fan Pier today will finally have a gala ceremony marking the groundbreaking of a massive multibuilding project of nearly 3 million square feet.

The faltering office markets, declining economies, and bureaucratic roadblocks that dashed hopes of previous Fan Pier owners are in the past. Now, the ambitious mix of office, residential, and retail space is designed, permitted, and financed by a developer who is ready to go at the right moment in the market.

Developer Joseph F. Fallon is taking the land he bought two years ago for $115 million, and the plan approved five years ago by the city and state, and starting to build. A soft-spoken but persistent businessman, Fallon started small in the development world, but recently has been a principal in major waterfront initiatives, including the Park Lane Seaport residences and the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel.

"We knew the timing would be right," Fallon said this week, as he watched tents being erected on the site to accommodate the hundreds of people invited to the groundbreaking this morning.

Development on the South Boston Waterfront has begun to pop in the last couple of years, with the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and new restaurants adding to the mix. Access to the area has been radically improved by the addition of the Ted Williams Tunnel and the MBTA's Silver Line.

"The synergy that exists today didn't exist 10 years ago," Fallon said.

Reflecting the rapid comeback in the city's commercial economy, Fallon is starting a 500,000-square-foot, 18-story office building "on spec," with no major tenant in place. That will be followed next year by five-star hotel and luxury condominiums, Fallon said, with development of another half-dozen blocks of retail, residential, and office space coming over the next 10 to 12 years.

The groundbreaking today comes after decades filled with prolonged permitting, lawsuits, and demands by the city, state, and community groups for extensive public space and access.

"Remember all the fights we had on this one?" Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday. "The day finally has come to see Fan Pier rise out of the ground to become a very important part of the city's economy."

For weeks, a promotional helium-filled balloon, 35 feet in diameter, has been hoisting prospective tenants 200 feet above the asphalt, letting them experience views they could lease if they'll commit to paying the $70 or so per square foot Fan Pier's brokers are asking. CB Richard Ellis is the leasing agent.

Anthony Athanas, who died two years ago at 93, had started a successful restaurant in Lynn. Looking for a new location in about 1960, he saw 35 acres of unused railroad tracks, rundown warehouses, and dilapidated piers on rotted pilings in a largely ignored corner of Boston. Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant opened in 1963.

Athanas wasn't a developer, so two decades later he partnered with the Pritzker family of Chicago, which ran the Hyatt hotel empire. But the partners fell out, and in a prolonged and bitter fight Athanas lost control of the land in the early 1990s. About that time, five acres or so of the fan-shaped parcel closest to downtown were taken for a new federal courthouse, which opened in 1998.

Through the 1990s, the Pritzkers planned their development on the 21 acres of land and water between the courthouse and Pier 4 - through ups and downs in the market, sometimes blocked by City Hall, which had its own specific vision for Fan Pier and the waterfront.

But the project that was finally approved included acres of public space and streets designed to be enlivened by retail stores on first and second floors, a sort of Back Bay in nine closely knit blocks. It features a large park, Harborwalk, and marina. The new Institute of Contemporary Art opened last year on waterfront space.

"The whole Seaport public realm plan was probably the best piece of planning the city has ever done," said Kyle B. Warwick, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle, which managed planning for the Pritzkers.

But after years of planning and final approval, the Pritzkers decided in 2004 to sell; several development companies looked at Fan Pier, but Fallon, backed by money from a real estate unit of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., prevailed.

Fallon engaged David Manfredi of Elkus | Manfredi Architects of Boston to refine the nine-block master plan, and Manfredi designed the first office tower. Fallon also hired HKS Hill Glazier Studio of Palo Alto, Calif., to draw up hotel and condominium buildings.

Far from its gritty industrial beginnings, Fallon said, Fan Pier will now be a place not only to work, live, and shop, but also to have fun.

"You can come to sail," said Fallon. "You can come fly a kite. If your spouse tells you to go fly a kite, come to Fan Pier."

Cojapo no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:18 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium