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Old December 22nd, 2015, 03:08 AM   #461
odurandina
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squander

verb | squan·der | \ˈskwän-dər\

transitive verb

1. to spend extravagantly or foolishly : dissipate, waste <squandered a fortune>

2. to cause to disperse : scatter

3. to lose (as an advantage or opportunity) through negligence or inaction


Q: how do you go 28 years without constructing even 1 600 foot building?


Is this our last chance at building skyscrapers in Boston??

Don't shoot me, but, going 'tall' may soon become an endangered prayer topic in Boston.... And not only because of politics. If you're hoping things will change soon, you might be in for a very long wait.


updates (up to the minute from the 'source').

Not long ago, i was nervously optimistic about current/future construction in Boston. i have now been brushed back into despair.... no longer optimistic that i will see the Boston skyline saved after all. I'm not saying that it's effectively ruined. But i'm afraid i won't be getting in the 'wow, they saved it' camp either. Urban renewal in Boston sought to build needed density, modern plumbing and heating, and revitalize neighborhoods.... and to that end, they succeeded.

But, after the 1990s, what critical few air-rights parcels remain/ed *(where a few 625~750 foot towers would have made a huge difference in giving Boston a minimal, yet striking, drawn-out skyline) - will soon be lost. With the exception of 3 or 4 nice towers, the current wave is just more Menino era 300-490 foot infill.

We have enough cubed-shaped' buildings everywhere. It's not just that land has become scarce. We may someday look back and say, 'what were needed at this time were a few more 'Skyscrapers' in the mix.'


the critical parcels/current redevelopment situation;

Despite opposition by a few 'unrealistic' folks in the community, the following projects would have made a huge improvement to Boston, and REALLY left the door open for some kind of 'super wow' in the future.

if only the BRA had remained firm... if...

1. just one 600 foot tower actually could have got built at the Boston Garden. It could have and it should have happened. It's not going to happen. But i'm still happy to see 4 medium height towers fill in the West End at North Station.

2. at least one 650~750 foot tower had been built at Government Center. Looks like we might come close with the cylindrical office tower getting near 600 feet or slightly over (once the mechancal screen/crown spire are topped). I'm not completely sold on this theory. It may turn out... There also might be an issue with driving piles to the depths necessary for +200 meters on this parcel due to potential problems with neighboring properties or underground infrastructure. But, if this one gets to 600 feet or slightly above, it will make a huge impact.

3. if Don Chiofaro had said, 'ok' to going along with 600 feet/900,000 sq ft at the Harbor Garage site. We all hope something can be resolved soon, otherwise, it may turn out to be yet, another failure if that craphole garage isn't torn down, and the huge hole in the air above it isn't filled.

4. The current footprint of the Ritz Carlton behemoths. (Surely something could have been done to bring some trees that can tolerate a bit more shade, and tall towers been built).

5. Back Bay Station; Tall isn't going to happen here after all.

6. South Station; I fear cranes may arrive at just about the same time the economy turns sour.

7. Midwood Development/Bromfield Street; I like to keep an open mind, but nervous the MT partners and residents will turn this into the latest bloodbath.

8. 111 Federal Street; BRA officials are hopeful a very tall building gets done here, and the cranes will arrive.


proposed/ or with greater than zero chance of being built etc;

1. Midwood Investment/Bromfield Street diagonally across from Millenium Tower likely to seek in range of 625-740 feet.

2. Harbor Garage/Don Chiofaro 52 stories 600 feet/900,000 sq ft limit/BRA now doing an end around Chiofaro, speaking with Prudential.

3. Equity Residential North Station/a.k.a. Garden Garage/Boston Garden Tower 4 was 46 stories; proposal now sits @ 44 stories 447 feet (after 2 height reductions)

^^This project is going to be approved - unfortunately, it's looking like it will occur after yet another height reduction (the 3rd). The once planned +540 foot tower may need to be renamed Stubby Garden Tower 4 to go along with the other 3 medium height towers, but will form a decent shoulder infill where the skyline meets the Zakim Bridge.

4. 380 Stewart Street/John Hancock Tower #3 26 stories 380 feet (more infill).

5. BACK BAY STATION likely to... sad to learn, that contrary to earlier hopes, the next tall spire will not be riding in on a white horse to help the barren Back Bay skyine. 1 Dalton Street and Coply Tower may be the last significant towers built in Back Bay for a few years.

6. South Bay Tower; hopeful we will see a tower make an impact at this site in the next 5-10 years; (perhaps during a phase that sees many 180~260 foot appartment buildings in Roxbury, Fenway, Jamaica Plain, etc)...


approved, under-construction, topped, +/- cladding or completed;

1. 111 Federal Street/Winthrop Garage 740-780 feet (BRA gave tacit approval for "very tall..." currently weighing multiple redevelopment proposals)

2. 1 Dalton Street/Four Seasons 61 stories 755 Feet (under comstruction)

3. Millennium Tower 55 stories 685 feet (topped + cladding completed)

4. Copley Place Tower 52 stories 625~650 feet (w/ mechanical screen, in early construction phase)

5. SOUTH STATION 41 stories 621~650 feet (has BRA approval w/ many question marks regarding the timetable and track expansion)

6. Government Center (cylindrical) office tower 38 stories 528 feet + mechanical screen/crown spire (has BRA approval to reach 600 feet. screen/spire could top at that height or go slightly over.

7. TD Garden Tower 1 (office tower) 33 stories 495 feet (BRA approved)

8. TD Garden Tower 2 (resident tower) 45 stories 486 feet (has BRA approval for 1 tower to reach 600 feet)

9. Government Center (residential) Tower 45 stories 480 feet [mechanical screen could put the roof at +540 feet (BRA approved)]

10. Avalon North Station/121 Nashua Street 38 stories 450 feet (topped w/cladding a few weeks away)

11. 40 Trinity Place 33 stories 400 feet to the roof (approved; construction to commence shortly)

12. The Point Fenway 30 stories 344~365 feet (under construction)

13. 45 Stewart St/AVA Theatre District 29 stories 336 feet (completed/occupancy near full)

14. Radian Boston 26 stories ~300 feet (completed/occupancy over 50%)


Despite rumours of a coming holocaust, Don Chiofaro never proposed any development that would reduce the number of parking spaces available to the New England Aquarium [once the new underground garage beneath (what will now be a single tower) was completed]. The Aquarium isn't the 8th wonder of the world. The City of Boston will never allow visitors to get lost attempting to find the big tank full of snarky see creature employees. This is Boston: THEY WOULD HAVE BUSSED THEM IN from locations all over the city.


After the above building sites are gone, I stumble attempting to locate where they will put the next tower, or series of 550-790 foot skyscrapers in Boston.

sticking to this premise...

Quote:
Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
It turns out, the Nimby's may have won after all.

a not-so-happy ending to building tall n Boston ?

I read a lot of comments hoping a few very tall buildings will soon, go up in Boston.

Sadly, after so many +280~400 foot structures being added in the past few years, i believe we're down to just a few places where 500~+700 foot towers can be built. As fantastic as such a state of affairs may seem, imo, the situation going forward looks somewhat grim.

We've added a lot of density in the last 15 years. Think those Ritz Carlton things are nice? Their construction may someday be included as part of a short sighted, if not reckless chapter of building in Boston... There were too many stubby rectangles built (under 450) feet during the Tom Menino years (+ the permits issued before he left, w/ those properties coming into the market, now).

I think a few more big towers on just a few prime parcels would have made a huge impact on Boston's barren skyline, and added critical supply to the market. Instead, precious land was pissed away by Tom Menino's admn caving in to nimby's. Then, i see a lot of 4, 5, 6 story buildings popping up, (seemingly everywhere), where 260~300 foot towers could have gone.

So, what comes after our exciting, present-day build out?

Want to go tall in the Back Bay? Ain't happening without a lot of pain. Those ugly Christian Science buildings will require pallets of ($$$). What about the South End? nope; can't build tall there.... worse than Downtown. the land area south of I-90 is **250~300 ft limit/flight path back all the way to Roxbury, along parts of the Fenway and beyond... build tall south of Chinatown? no. it's within the **200~250 ft flight path (like the Seaport).

We're left with Don Chiofaro's (Harbor) Garage, South Station, Back Bay Station, less than ideal South Bay parcel (if deemed suitable would be a great location to add office space to the market), Kendall Square, another few spots in Cambridge, maybe a few doglegs in Downtown and some nuclear options in Back Bay.

Once again, you have the Menino years to thank for this disaster.

Study the FAA restricted zones; it's almost over. This is why 111 Federal Street is going to the max height limit. If the BRA seems a bit hasty to be open to going tall at the Harbor Garage site, again; this is one of the last places to add a significant amount of density to a luxury waterfront market that's starving for it. By the same reasoning, all the big proposed projects need to go very tall. When the three big parcels at South Station, Back Bay Station and South Bay are eventually developed, they should also reach their respective height limits.

After a very long, long, long, long, long time... like after the South End, Fenway and adjacent parts of Roxbury are built out, and 100~150 million dollar parcels in Boston's High Spine are deemed as 'underdeveloped,' Properties along Boyleston Street, or Huntington Ave such as the Greenhouse Apts (1982) ect may be eyed as the next places to go up... but this type of destruction seems a few world's removed from the current market.

** these are the original heights i used in my original post. Citylover was kind enough to demonstrate i was off a little, but not enough to where you're able to make a significant impact on the Skyline with big, picturesque towers.
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Old December 23rd, 2015, 06:05 PM   #462
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^You have quite a bit of doom and gloom going on. I only agree with one area of it, the (potentially) lost opportunity at North Station. Considering it will likely take a minimum of a year for that tower to get out of the ground, there's still a chance it gets some of its height back.

Consider this: Boston just finished its 3rd 200 meter building, with another on the way at CSC and potentially 2 more imminently (1 Bromfield and Winthrop Square). So the skyline could be tripling its amount of 200 meter buildings in 1 cycle!

Also, you have some heights wrong, because Boston seems to announce most of its heights to the "highest occupied floor" and not the actual architectural top. As such:
Congress Street/Gov't Center cylindrical office tower will be much higher than 528'. The top floors itself seem to be around 550', and most estimates on archboston have this thing around 620'.
Congress Street/Gov't Center will also be higher than the listed 480'. In fact, diagrams show it as 547' to the top.

So in that sense, the North Station area will actually be connected to the main financial district skyline by an ~620' and 547', which should hopefully take a little bit of the sting off the North Station residential. (currently 495')

Also, the 447' Equity North Station tower would currently be ~485' to the top. The annoying thing for me is that the 2 North Station towers will be 486' for the office, and 495' for the residential, so in close proximity will be 3 towers within 10' of each other, plus the 449' Nashua Street residences. Too stumpy of an entrance!

South Station, the Aquarium Garage, and Back Bay Station are 3 potential towers for the next cycle. (not going to happen here, but that's OK)

Ultimately, we are looking at in the very near future:
~755' CSC (new 2nd tallest in city)
685' Millennium as the current new 3rd tallest, soon to fall to 4th and beyond
625' Copley Tower which will be 5th when built
547' Congress Street supposed to be underway soon
~365' The Pierce (The Point) which will be a new tallest for its area and possibly usher in taller buildings for Fenway/Longwood

Plus another 2-3 450'+ at North Station.
Plus Winthrop Square and whatever is built at 1 Bromfield, which gives us the possibility that Millennium Tower will be the 3rd tallest building in a 1-2 block radius!!!

Plus whatever happens at the Volpe area in Cambridge, which will certainly be a new tallest or 2 for Cambridge, potentially 500'+.

Essentially, the current boom may account for upwards of 6 of the city's 8 tallest buildings by the time it peters out in the 2020-2022 range. Even if the bottom drops out (economically) we should be able to get 3 new buildings out of Boston's top 5 by then. So no, the sky is not falling, and there are still a number of places where very tall towers are possible. (granted, the number is dwindling a bit)

This is the biggest building boom the city has ever seen and the wrong time to lose your optimism over our skyline. Give things a chance to play out. It's possible that this cycle is just setting the stage for things to come, and we will see something eclipse the Hancock in the next cycle if Winthrop Square fails to get that far. (again, remember, things are proposed at the highest occupiable floor meaning that 780' may actually be 800'+)

By the way, it turns out Atlantic Wharf (next to the Fed) is actually 436' and not 395', so hey, another 400' tower for Boston and we didn't even have to wait for it! On a more bummer note, Radian is only ~300', maybe a couple feet under, but I think more than made up for by the Atlantic Wharf revelation!
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Old December 23rd, 2015, 08:32 PM   #463
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WOW IMPRESSING
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Old December 23rd, 2015, 08:45 PM   #464
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Cool building!
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Old December 24th, 2015, 10:52 AM   #465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
^You have quite a bit of doom and gloom going on.... Consider this: Boston just finished its 3rd 200 meter building, with another on the way at CSC and potentially 2 more imminently (1 Bromfield and Winthrop Square). So the skyline could be tripling its amount of 200 meter buildings in 1 cycle!

Also, you have some heights wrong, because Boston seems to announce most of its heights to the "highest occupied floor" and not the actual architectural top....

Essentially, the current boom may account for upwards of 6 of the city's 8 tallest buildings by the time it peters out in the 2020-2022 range. Even if the bottom drops out (economically) we should be able to get 3 new buildings out of Boston's top 5 by then. So no, the sky is not falling, and there are still a number of places where very tall towers are possible. (granted, the number is dwindling a bit)

This is the biggest building boom the city has ever seen and the wrong time to lose your optimism over our skyline. Give things a chance to play out. It's possible that this cycle is just setting the stage for things to come, and we will see something eclipse the Hancock in the next cycle if Winthrop Square fails to get that far. (again, remember, things are proposed at the highest occupiable floor meaning that 780' may actually be 800'+
Great post!! Thanks for reminding me that many of the tall projects are presented to the public @ the top floor deck height (we won't say why this is done even though we know why)... so, i corrected a few of the numbers per your estimates, but stayed where i think what i have are ~correct... Yes, 600'~620' at Govt Center would get the cat _____... Therefore, i cut back on the doom a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
South Station, the Aquarium Garage, and Back Bay Station are 3 potential towers for the next cycle. (not going to happen here, but that's OK)
I am told, by someone i'm comfortable referring to as God, that Back Bay Station isn't going tall (as in +600'). The politics to go very tall there is positive, but the site appears to be saddled with an irresolvable 'problem' that outflanks Boston Properties and the BRA... the nature of which, should strike yet another 'oh Jesus' to the people that want to see Boston rise...

There might still be a chance for the Harbor Garage site to get started in this cycle. BRA wants the impasse with Chiofaro resolved yesterday. The good news is they agree; going tall with one 600 tower is not only reasonable, if not appropriate here to add significant density and build the neighborhood - while still leaving ample open space to abut the Greenway and to allow a large walking path to the Aquarium. If this tower goes up, maybe a facelift for the Aquarium might be possible in the not distant future. If Chiofaro thought he would get two towers....

Despite that the South Station Tower will probably be the last to join the party, the plan to add +1,000,000 square feet of capacity appears to be a settled deal. The Post Office facility will be moved/modernized, then they'll do the track expansion and set the new footprint for our soon-to-be cherished +621 foot tower.

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/south...sion/home.aspx

Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
...the (potentially) lost opportunity at North Station. Considering it will likely take a minimum of a year for that tower to get out of the ground, there's still a chance it gets some of its height back. ...Also, the 447' Equity North Station tower would currently be ~485' to the top...

So in that sense, the North Station area will actually be connected to the main financial district skyline by an ~620' and 547', which should hopefully take a little bit of the sting off the North Station residential. (currently 495')
Yes, i see your point about reaching 485'. Makes sense, as the drawings give it the appearance of a building closer to 500'... of course, the other towers' are given by the BRA as roof heights, with the 600 foot residential tower cut down during closed door meetings several weeks ago. 'they' sounded pretty adamant that height isn't coming back... and the Equity 447' looks like it's coming down a 3rd time, but approval will be announced in the coming days/weeks. I fully agree; with the Congress Street going significantly high, we'll have a nice downslope with moderate density... with the waterfront getting pulled in - if the Aquarium Garage tower is realized... then finally, the West End infill on the other side at the banks of the Charles.


Plenty of good reasons to be optimistic, after all.
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Old December 26th, 2015, 08:30 PM   #466
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Old December 27th, 2015, 10:14 PM   #467
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Old December 27th, 2015, 10:15 PM   #468
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Old December 28th, 2015, 01:34 PM   #469
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Old December 28th, 2015, 01:34 PM   #470
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Old December 28th, 2015, 01:35 PM   #471
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Old December 28th, 2015, 01:36 PM   #472
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Old December 29th, 2015, 10:07 PM   #473
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Old December 29th, 2015, 10:08 PM   #474
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Old December 31st, 2015, 04:44 AM   #475
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 08:02 AM   #476
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Old January 4th, 2016, 02:00 PM   #477
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Old January 4th, 2016, 02:01 PM   #478
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Old January 5th, 2016, 04:40 AM   #479
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Old January 5th, 2016, 04:41 AM   #480
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