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Old March 28th, 2016, 03:52 AM   #781
citylover94
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According to the FAA South Station Tower was approved this past February to reach a height of 677 feet.
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Old March 28th, 2016, 04:22 PM   #782
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Good info, I've updated the thread.
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Old March 30th, 2016, 12:58 AM   #783
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Renderings of the Boston Properties Back Bay Station Redevelopment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Downburst View Post
OH HOT DAMN. First reaction is that I'm into it.


https://twitter.com/SteveAdamsTweet/...06446610178049
The tallest building will reach to around 400 feet and the shortest will reach about 300. The boxy one will be around 400 feet or just below it.
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Old April 3rd, 2016, 11:13 PM   #784
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1350 Bolyston shooting up. Taken by me, full sized here -> Imgur
Bonus (Tiny) MT in background
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Old April 4th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #785
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1 Bromfield St 59 stories 709'

http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthor...5-e78f1f04c3d5


here's the first render for what might become Boston's 4 or 5th tallest.



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Old April 6th, 2016, 01:36 AM   #786
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Love the design.
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Old April 7th, 2016, 07:54 AM   #787
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Downtown Crossing's One Bromfield: Is This the Year for the Giant Tower?



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New plans call for approximately 700-foot spire

Plans to replace four low-rise buildings at Bromfield and Washington streets in busy, busy Downtown Crossing with a single tower stretch back to those prelapsarian days before the Great Recession. New York-based developer Midwood Investment & Development bought the parcels in the mid-2000s and set about with plans to construct a 28-story building with around 260 apartments and several floors of retail.

Said recession made quick work of those plans, but Midwood held on to the parcels. Now the company is back with a fresh idea that is just starting to wend its way through the city's approval processes. And it's a corker of an idea: a tower with 300 apartments and 119 condos, as well as two floors of retail and lobbies, stretching to 683 feet at its highest occupiable floor and to more than 700 feet when the mechanical whatnot are factored in.

Such scope would easily make what has been dubbed One Bromfield one of the five tallest buildings in Boston, in New England, really. Its height would rival nearby Downtown Crossing neighbor Millennium Tower, whose success surely inspired Midwood to try, try again.

Yet that particular spire, which reaches around 685 feet at its highest point and which is set to open this year, took a famously long while to get going. And One Bromfield has already been stop and go for nearly a decade. Stay tuned.

[...]
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Old April 7th, 2016, 08:02 AM   #788
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Parking-Less 'Pencil Tower' Would Replace Old Felt Nightclub in Downtown Crossing



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More than 300-foot spire to have 94 apartments, two floors of startup space

Fewer areas of Greater Boston are changing more rapidly and forevermore-er than Downtown Crossing. Additions such as Millennium Tower and the Godfrey Hotel are helping to (perhaps) change the Boston neighborhood into a 24-7 enclave.

Little surprise, then, that a new plan to plunk a 302-foot apartment tower on the site of the old Felt nightclub at 533 Washington Street leans on that storyline. "The project will add to the significant ongoing transformation of Downtown Crossing from a predominantly commercial district to a mixed-use district with a growing resident population," reads the Rafi Properties filing with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The 30-story building would have 94 apartments on top of a two-story restaurant and two floors of office space targeted toward start-ups. Given the relatively tiny footprint for such a tall spire (3,648 square feet), it is being dubbed a "pencil tower" not unlike those sprouting throughout Manhattan right now.

[...]
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Old April 7th, 2016, 08:14 AM   #789
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Back Bay's 40 Trinity Place Proposal Shrinks, Lowers Its Magical Lobby



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Number of hotel rooms drops too, while number of condos rises

It's been ages since we've checked in with the seemingly stalled project to redevelop the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center at 40 Trinity Place in Back Bay. Recall that plans had been put forth for a condo-hotel hybrid rising to 33 floors and containing 220 four-star hotel rooms and 142 luxury condos. The pièce de résistance would be a two-story lobby starting on the 18th floor and looking down on the little people.

The proposal has faced blowback from area residents, including owners in the Clarendon condo across the street, who fear losing their natural light to the spire, and others who worry about the effects of 40 Trinity on wind (yes).

The development team behind the tower has now submitted a revised plan that has shrunk its proposed height by seven feet to 393, or 31 stories. The number of hotel rooms has been reduced drastically, too, from that 220 to 154. The number of condos, however, has been bumped by 31 to 146. Affordable housing at the site has been scotched in favor of building 39 such units off-site (17 had been proposed on-site).

Also, and somewhat sadly, the proposed two-story lobby would now start on the 15th floor rather than the 18th.

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Old April 7th, 2016, 08:21 AM   #790
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South End's Tallest New Building to Rise as Part of 710-Unit Development



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It's been out there for a while that a major project is planned for a 3.1-acre site centered around 575 Albany Street in the South End. Now we have further details of what will be the tallest new construction in the entire neighborhood, which is undergoing quite a bit of game-change-y development.

Lead developer Leggat McCall, the firm locked in an interminable fight to redevelop the old Sullivan Courthouse in East Cambridge, filed fresh details Monday with the city re: its plans for the site, which is bounded by Albany Street, Harrison Avenue, East Canton Street, and East Dedham Street.

The two-building development is due to include 710 apartments, plus 14,000 square feet of retail space and 40,000 square feet of offices, as well as open space and an underground garage. One of the buildings is slated to be 11 stories and the other 19. That latter would be the tallest new construction in the neighborhood.

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Old April 7th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #791
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Professor Punk, U Da Man.......��, I really appreciate your very informative posts.
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Old April 7th, 2016, 10:31 PM   #792
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A common misconception about highrise planning in Boston will be debunked here;

Even most who are opposed to tall construction in the City will admit that building a skyscraper at 115 Winthrop Square on it's own merits probably isn't a bad thing. But, then they claim that building it will incite widespread overdevelopment that will drastically change the character of the treasured neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, the West End, Theatre and Ladder Districts, Bay Village and beyond.


For those who are unsure if this might be true, or if you're generally concerned that such a scenario might happen,
i'm going to demonstrate why we're not on any type of slippery slope for the scale of building that would drastically change the character of the neighborhoods near the Boston Common, Public Garden, Commonwealth Ave Mall, or Emerald Necklace... i'll provide all the proof and illustrations that show clearly why this state of affairs won't change in the coming years.


Part 1. introduction and some background

Part 2. proof



Running very low on land for highrise construction over 390 feet.

Friends; there is nothing to fear about a slippery slope leading to overdeveloment stemming from one project or other in Boston.

Let's take a look and discover what the future holds.


It takes many years to plan and build a skyscraper, and to bring those offices and residential units to market. The (five) development groups that were (not) selected to build at Winthrop Square have demonstrated an extreme level of confidence in our office and luxury condo market – and the clear desire to invest in building a tall skyscraper in Boston. So then, why don't they just seek the path of least resistance, conduct a careful study – and find a suitable location elsewhere to purchase a property, and build?

Well, they have searched. But, what few options exist, don't pass 'the test' or work into the correct 'formula.' Developers don't see any buildings or open parcels that first, are not protected as historical – but then possess the scale + unique characteristics where the existing structure can be replaced with a much taller structure of greater density and value, ...but then, not go so tall that other 'problems' would arise....


The easy-to-do projects; where a developer can purchase an existing structure (at great expense), then go through the long permitting process (risking failure), discard the asset (demolition), then be able to build the new structure tall enough to harvest an acceptable return–just aren't out there. It's so bad, even 'very hard-to-do' projects are scarce.

The sites either don't possess the capacity (FAR) in sq ft to support 'tall,' can't go tall enough to acquire financing (re; demonstrate profitability well above risk), or for some other combination of reasons the numbers can't be made to work.


In some cases, the 'step up' to height might be too abrupt; either for the neighbors, or for an important historical building that resides too close to the new project. Or the new highrise might be seen simply as too overbearing to the surrounding neighborhood. In other cases, the new tall proposal would cast unwanted shadows on protected parks or historic buildings.

You might be surprised to learn; when developers bring proposals to the BPDA that fall under these categories, they're often rebuffed with a resounding 'no.' Most folks, never hear about these projects.


Understanding the market'
s desire to build tall in Boston vs feasibility...

Boston ranks 3rd nationally behind New York and Los Angeles in foreign capital investment, beating out San Francisco and Seattle the past 2 years. We also ranked near the top in venture capital in 2016....





In Seattle; there are 42 highrise buildings either proposed, approved, or under construction, (21 underway, topped or completed) that will rise between 400' and 1100' in height.

We are at the central core of a considerably larger business market than Seattle (see the above diagram). Because we are now building so little in the communities along the RT128 belt, the capital to build an astonishing amount of height and space in both office and residential in Boston exists... We build up to a height of about 264' in the Seaport; but the economics of Boston's market supports stacking this space 2x or 3x taller in the Downtown or Back Bay all the way up to 700' and beyond. Yet, developers seldom attempt to build anywhere near this level of height.


Quite the contrary; there are only 4 such proposals for serious height seeking permitting in Boston; In a few moments, you could be persuaded that we might just as well call them 'Our Last 4...'


They are....

1. 115 Federal St (Winthrop Garage); 720~750'
2. 1 Bromfield Street; proposed to rise 705'
3. Parcel 15; 614' above the Mass Pike.
4. The Harbor Garage; 600' (awaiting the new proposal).


*5. Copley Square Tower; 625' was shelved indefinitely by Simon Properties after achieving its final permits to build–but was 'scared off' by the extreme costs of the complex site prep over I-90 (recall a few moments ago when i said, 'or for some other combination of reasons, the numbers can't be made to work.' Copley Tower is one such example).

These projects are not new. Each of them have been in various stages of development for near or better than a decade.


These facts tell us a lot.

Friends, there is no more low hanging fruit. Every site where you can put up a tall building is either built, under-construction, already permitted or under review...

Boston's unique layout of its neighborhoods, historically-protected buildings, parks, waterways, highways, and rail tunnels have left developers with very few options.


When talking in the context of height above 118m or about 390 feet, we're 'wrapping up.' During the current economic cycle, we have transitioned from the hard-to-do, to the near-impossible-to-do, to the totally-impossible-to-do.

We're not getting 2 dozen more big highrises... or a dozen more... or half a dozen more. In reality, the number is probably more like (three or four). They're strung about 2.2 miles of our highrise district. Maybe the number rises by 1 or 2 in a few years.


Overall, we just don't possess the land for this scale of height... and there does not exist the political supervention to determine new spaces for this class of tall highrises within the confinds of Boston.


*(There is an asterisk, but i'll hold off that until the end)–Otherwise, we are about to enter a long pause bereft of anything going taller than about (118m/390') from the neighborhoods to the High Spine.

Two resident highrises are planned that reach a height of about 386' outside the High Spine, and two others are planned that reach about 300 and 336'... but these will be built on 'stump' parcels where the impacts will be moderate. They're spread far about the Fenway, Roxbury and Mission Hill, and won't change the character of Boston. There is no cause for alarm; their proliferation is severely limited by reticent, conservative planning done in the final years of the Menino Administration, and carried over by planners at the BPDA.

After that, we see beneficial infill projects and a few 200~250' apartment buildings aimed at addressing our housing shortage, such as the BHA housing project in Charlestown, Tremont Crossing in Roxbury, a 236' proposal at 47 LaGrange in the Theatre District, and the 199' tall apartment bldg at 212 Stewart St in Bay Village. In a few years, we may see a few parcels re-zoned for up to about 260' in Kenmore Square. You will see height in the 200~250' range done on the 'peaks' of housing projects done at transit hubs throughout the City.


Planning for the redo of Back Bay Station over the Mass Pike is currently underway. But, nothing is going over 400' that will present significant shadow issues at Copley Square.

As we've seen, projects over transit often take years (or decades).


Boston has many social and economic challenges.


Planners are tasked with developing new sources of revenue to meet challenges in our community that go well-beyond solving the shortage of affordable housing or the complex economics that fund the MBTA. The metrics get additionally complicated because so much commercial space is taken up by our colleges–that contribute meager revenue.

There is also the context of the national office market. Boston must hold future business (capacity) in reserve right to the last sq ft; to remain safely-positioned in a dynamic marketplace–and hold serve as a major world innovation city.

Planners at the BPDA must offer the guidance in the context that what few iconic spaces such as Winthrop Garage, the Harbor Garage and 1 Bromfield St that remain in development–will become world-renown addresses where people live and work.


The 'big picture' must not be brushed aside when planning at these 'special' sites where we can add significant density. Hopefully these iconic build sites will come to take their place as beloved and unique parts of Boston.


A shortage of parcels suitable for highrise construction doesn't mean we should go trouncing through historical districts like Bay Village or the Bullfinch Triangle to build 140m towers. Local activists continue to have their say – and rest assured; we won't 'go too far.'

But, at those few sites where height is possible, we can't make a mistake then come back and 'fix it' later. At these special sites, building bold is practicing 'good urbanism.' Additionally, building up to 200~250' on peak structures throughout the neighborhoods
allows us the flexibility to say 'no' precisely where we should say 'no.'

...and, isn't that just about everywhere?


------------------------------



115 Fed/Winthrop Garage

A bit over a decade ago, the Menino Administration determined the crumbling Winthrop Square garage was one of the best sites in Downtown Boston ideal for the construction of a tower rising above 400~450 feet. But, Tom Menino also determined this site was very important – because he knew it was one of the only places left in Boston where it would appropriate to build to a true skyscraper eclipsing 200m (656.2 feet). He tacitly declared this site off limits for building a run-of-the-mill highrise tower by declaring exactly the inverse;

On February 17th, 2006, addressing the business community, Menino called for the construction of the city's tallest building ever: topping 1,000 feet at the Winthrop Garage to demonstrate Boston's economic might on the world stage.


''We'll be looking for proposals that symbolize the full scope of this city's greatness... We will insist on bold vision and world-class architecture."

Unfortunately, not long after, the FAA instructed the Menino Admn that they could build only to about 750' but no higher. A short time later, the Great Recession hit, and the project went stale.

The Walsh Administration is carrying on Tom Menino's plan; basically treating the Winthrop Square Garage as a 'legacy' site for an iconic skyscraper. And it should be. The site rises above the very high bar set by the City for a 'true skyscraper.'

Consider a bar of 200 meters. We've built only 3 in our City's history. If you lower the bar to the lowest standard of a true skyscraper (180m), we've eclipsed this threshold only 8 times in the City's history.

We don't have many of these sites left in Boston that rise to this elite status. After running through a long list of criteria beginning with underground right of ways, infrastructure, FAA restrictions, shadow considerations, then, moving on to historic preservation including the historical significance of abutters, step ups, etc, – there's nothing that works.


When you factor the costs to purchase the existing premium asset/s, go through the long process of permitting, toss the asset away (demolition), improve them, pay the taxes, affordable housing linkage, then add the construction costs – when you determine how tall you need to go up to make it work, the number of floors is too high.

The shadow bank is about to be cashed out, and left with a balance of zero. There is one project that would be negatively affected by the changes to the law.




1 Bromfield Street


1 Bromfield casts a sliver shadow on the Burial Grounds, and for a few days each June and a bit into July, it's shadow reaches onto the Common until a few minutes past 9. The total time is likely be about 30 days/year that it would violate the new shadow law. But to offer some perspective, it would amount to nothing close to the annual shadow produced by 115 Winthrop.

In all, maybe it's 1/24th of the total shade that 115 Winthrop puts onto the Common/PG. The shadow plan for 1 Bromfield should have been included in the new law together. Now a the exhausting of the shadow bank could prevent iconic height over what, in real terms amounts to nothing.

This is Sept 20th/March 20th at 9:00 am










It's shadow reaches the Common for a few days on each side of the summer solstice, then quickly recedes.
This is June 20th at 9:00 am. it's probably gone by :20 after.









No precedent


We're learning about the distance required to get far enough away from the Boston Common/PG, not to cast significant shadows.

To understand why even building both towers won't set precident for future construction, consider that just about everywhere else, when you get far enough away from the Common/PG you're backing up into the Mass Pike, Bay Village or the South End.


But you'll see in a moment, that brings a new set of problems.

At >$1B, the six developers who responded to the RFP from the BPDA (Boston's construction permitting authority), possess huge capital assets to get into the game of building a skyscraper in Boston.

What is true for the winner, Millennium Partners is also true for the five development groups who were not selected to build at the Winthrop Garage.


Our metro core economy is very strong, and easily supports the construction of additional residential or mixed use towers in the City. What stopped every one of these developers from building at another site? Because there are no suitable build sites. It's just that uncomplicated.

But does that debunk the theory that we're truly (not) a slippery slope toward the proliferation of highrises or skyscrapers in Boston? ....
It certainly would appear to cast doubt. But, to prove it, we'll need to go a bit deeper.

Now, we'll examine several lines of demarcation that eliminate most or all of the land that's not already built, under construction – or proposed. Then we'll quarantine the rest by various means + banal logic.




*(i'll include more illustrations in the coming days when i get into the City's planning for each of the neighborhoods).


Part 2;

Have a look out toward Logan, and Runway 9-27.... The air to the right of this demarcation line is the FAA/Massport's 'airway' into Runway 9-27.






You can't put up a skscraper in the Airway. You can't even put up a 390' tower within most of it. You realize this radically changes the game. You've just taken several hundred of acres off the table for any consideration for the class of height that would raise an eyebrow with preservation nimby's, including nearly all of Chinatown for building anything over 325~360'.


When you step back far enough to remove yourself from shadow restrictions (after the so-called shadow bank is cashed out), you've either backed up into the confinds of Runway 9-27's airway, or the Mass Pike. Cross the freeway, and you've backed into South End rowhouses. We don't build highrises in the middle of South End rowhouses.

That's why we've never had a 'showdown' in this area of Bay Village or the South End–save for the Columbus Center project from a decade ago, which we'll cover in a few moments.

But, first, let's take a closer look at all the land we just eliminated....
















The area shaded in red (below) is eliminated for the class of construction that would bring any type of fierce neighborhood opposition. We've never built anything over 200 feet in this section of Bay Village or the South End, including the New York Streets.






Now look at what's left that's not already built with something of at least 8~10 stories. Remember, if you have to buy something of value, you'll very likely have to build anywhere from 350'~500' to make the economics work. That won't fly at many of those sites because you're already too close to the Common/ Public Garden. But, you're already bumping up on historic neighborhoods containing many historic buildings. You're talking about step-ups going in multiple directions. There simiply isn't enough space for tall highrises.

You've got some parcels owned by Emerson, Suffolk etc. The City won't issue permits for dorms for much over about 199' of occupied height (with very few exceptions), so that eliminates even more build sites. Maybe 240' is doable on a few other parcels for non-educational resident construction. No big issues there.

The more historic the abutter, the more of a cautionary step-up that you'll need to get to being set back far enought to properly accommodate height. Are we going to start doing any tall highrises in any part of Bay Village, or next to Beacon Hill rowhouses? Nope. Ain't happening (ever).

What about the Theatre Dist? MP built the Ritz Towers. We owe a huge debt of thanks to Tom Menino for allowing folks to have access to living in the center of it all. We're also done doing height above 90m in the Theatre District. Does anyone want to moan about the lasts 1 or 2 going 200~240'?

Bay Village has 1 proposal at 199', and there's a proposal of 236' in the Theatre District. There is also the pencil tower project at 533 Washington that goes a few feet higher. What other land is in play? Everything's built. The rest of everything is historic, like Beacon Hill. We have 1 or 2 more proposals in Chinatown for 240 and 289' respectively. But, those parcels are well back from the Common/PG. Then there's Parcels 25 and 26. The height is limited to one or two at 300' (max) next to the steam vent at the train yard. Yawn.

Let's examine a few other possibilities.

1. 380 Stewart Street. That's going to 390'. As you'll note in this graphic, it's at a safe enough distance not to cast shadow on the Public Garden and Comm Ave.

as you can see in this illustration, the tower will be low, and set quite a ways back from the Public Garden, and cast nil shade.....






There's no cause for concern about a 390' tower in this part of Boston in the High Spine....

2. 1 Bromfield. it's at a safe distance from the Common for shadows, and will only cover a sliver of Uranus on the coldest day of Winter....

3. St Anthony's Shrine. after 115 Fed is done, we might be able to tuck a shorter tower in there that effectively rests inside the shroud of 115 Fed's shadow. HYM had struck an accord with the Friars for a possible swap for a future school. There's currently no proposal. Maybe this we revisit this in 20 years.

4. The former Lafayette Place/Jordan Marsh superblock and the building with all the communications gear. No. That's like, pentagon stuff tied in with MIT and Harvard. Ain't getting redeveloped in the next couple of decades, at least.

5. Now, we're heading toward Lord and Taylor and Parcel 15. Lord and Taylor is a legit skyscraper site for about 480', max before you're getting into serious shadow over the Comm Ave mall. (snoze.....zzzzzz). Again, even if we ever build here, it won't negatively affect the beloved Back Bay neighborhood, or hit the Public Garden with new shadow.

6. Parcel 15; the last of the last at the far western outpost.

7. Dalton St Garage; done in by the current Parcel 15 project. Dalton Garage becomes a critical piece of infrastructure set aside many years ago for this purpose.

9. CSP & Midtown Hotel; Friends, We could put up a skyscraper at the south end of Christan Science Park where the above ground section of the garage currently exists EXCEPT that we Ain't..... we ain't putting a big tower up at the Midtown Hotel, either....

10. Copley Tower is KAPUT....

Anymore highrises out on the horizon? Parcel 15 looks like it could happen. Embrace it for the fantastic urban planning it represents.

Can we put this utter nonsense about slippery slope to skyscrapers garbage to bed once and for all?

In Part 3, we'll play debunk the parcel in the Theatre District, Bay Village, etc.... fan out, leaving no stone unturned for historic, school property etc, except that you already know..... if there's nothing proposed, permitted, under-construction or built already, the forward march of time isn't going to change the laws of physics and economics.

remember Seattle?

goodnight
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Old April 13th, 2016, 09:42 AM   #793
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10 New street Apartments


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Old April 14th, 2016, 05:46 PM   #794
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MIT construction


Construction by hansntareen, on Flickr
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Old April 15th, 2016, 05:55 PM   #795
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
Praying that this one isn't cut down. Boston needs towers of this height; not necessarily much taller (yet), but if the city is eventually going to accommodate more people--which it should if wants to remain globally competitive--the bar of what constitutes "normal tallness" has to be raised to make room for as many ~100-200m towers as possible. Particularly considering how few plots will actually allow height, it's crucial to get it wherever we can....
well stated....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
...I wish it would get a supertall at some point.

Of the Big 12, 8 will have supertalls by 2020:

Atlanta
Chicago
Houston
Los Angeles
Miami
New York
Philadelphia
San Francisco

The only ones lacking will be Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Washington
Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
Well, we can say almost with certainty that DC won't be getting one. Detroit might, by some miracle, at the end of our lifetimes. Dallas will probably depend on whether or not the city can sufficiently decouple its economy from the energy industry.

Boston, however, has the present demand for one. We all know it's just a matter of getting all the relevant parties to agree to a supertall, and that's where more skyscrapers of varying height will help, by getting stakeholders to see the positive role that they can play in the city's overall development. Once people adjust to more 200m+ skyscrapers, it'll just be that much easier to push a supertall through.
You can make a technical argument that Boston has the demand for a supertall. However, i don't know if the numbers work. Since 1971 when the JHT topped out, we've built our tall office towers in the 36-46 story range. Someone with whom i put faith, said recently, that it was determined some time ago that 60-65 stories is close to the limit for Boston. Our recent condo towers are near those limits – but, building over 60 stories gets more expensive, quickly.

With respect to demand, with several, high floor space/mid-rise towers going up in the Seaport, we don't yet have tenants for the 2 office towers approved for 1 Congress and TD Garden... then add to that, all the luxury condo towers planned.... maybe this saturates the market, or proves all the more that very tall construction is viable in Boston.

There was a +15 minute exchange between BRA board member Theodore Landsmark and the representative of 40 Trinity yesterday about the project nearly having to be scrapped due to the severe cost challenges of building at this site. And we're talking just about 40 Trinity! Landsmark added that he'd like to see their lengthy exchange become 'viewable' (my words) such that the people become better informed about the severe cost challenged nature of highrise construction in Boston.

The easy and semi-hard parcels are gone. Now, all that remain range from next-to-impossible on up. You're dealing with labor costs, a bureaucracy and a process that has simply grown to nightmare proportions. In New York, you're probably a couple of tiers above Boston for the value of completed construction.

to make One57 work, they had some of the highest real estate prices in the world to work with... I realize they paid much more for the parcel than you'd have to do in Boston. Still, i believe you'd have a tough time making the argument to finance a similar, 1005' tower in Boston. i believe we'd more likely be getting taller in baby steps. look at the current valuation for the JHT. Now, build it. An economic model for acceptable return vs risk might drop our skyscraper ceiling to as low as 800~825'. Does that number sound low? maybe.

If Boston added a supertall in Back Bay, it might make the skyline look stunted.... Despite the recent drama over the Garden Garage, the West End might be the ideal place for a 'new tallest.' There's a few turd buildings that can come down. And the FAA limit appears to take you slightly over 900' - a good height for Boston.

After the current proposed highrises and whatever few 190~225m towers go up, it doesn't look like we will see any +150m tall construction anywhere in Boston for the forseeable future. i don't think we'll even see anything top 137m.

Every parcel is either proposed for mid-rise or high rise construction, is approved, under construction or topped.' After that, every build site is either FAA height restricted, a historic building, is extremely cost-challenged due to the value of the property +/- cost to demolish, extreme engineering, creates unwanted shade, requires zoning relief, or a nimby/political nightmare because it gets too close to something deemed sacred..... Study every parcel that remains without a proposal for significant height carefully... Put yourself in the nest of the developer - and you'll be able to debunk them.

When and where is the next tall building going to be? Probably nowhere. 111 Federal St and 1 Bromfield are the very last options. Outside of the Harbor Garage tower possibly getting done, the number of tall buildings coming after this cycle is zero. Unless someone decides it's time for the big monoliths (downtown) to start coming down or one of the next-to-impossible garages in Back Bay is solved, Boston has reached the end of tall construction.
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Old April 16th, 2016, 06:53 AM   #796
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What the hell is the "Big 12?" Besides a football conference with 10 teams.
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Old April 16th, 2016, 08:15 AM   #797
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I think they mean 12 largest metros but I'm not sure even that is correct so who knows... Also the idea Boston is out of space for tall buildings and can't support a supertall tower is crazy. I wouldn't expect an office tower to go that tall, but residential towers could definitely make the finances work out for them. That person has some good info on current projects, but there analysis of Boston's future for tall buildings and there outlook on development is about 100 times more alarmist and negative than is called for. I am not saying they are totally wrong or that it isn't and won't be a challenge to build tall in Boston both now and in the future, but it is not like it won't happen and there are more spots for tall buildings downtown and in Back Bay than they are willing to acknowledge.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 10:59 PM   #798
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i was in a hurry when i posted; please see above edits.... i cleaned it up somewhat.

Of the few parcels that remain in Boston not currently sitting with proposals under review, approved or under construction....

80-120m: not sexy, but, we're still going here. They aren't that hard, and Boston is now forced to build upwards. I expect we'll top 60~65 more low towers (including more than half probably going outside of the high spine) than what are already proposed, approved or under construction in the next 15-20 years.

120-137m: very rough waters, but it wouldn't surprise me if a few, such as 45 Worthington get done.

Taller than that; we've hit a wall...

For getting above 200m, 180m or just 137m... the matter isn't really hard to delineate;

Of the few parcels that remain in the Fenway and Back Bay not currently sitting with proposals under review, approved or under construction – you're really looking at parcels that would put the nimby/s over the fire. Get close to the Holy Grail/Fenway Park 3rd rail and see how things go... We could try to test the waters at 1065 Boylston. Fair test, as this and the site of the Hynes Convention Center Garage and the Christian Science Garage are the most "doable" of the available land immediately abutting and just 'off' the Back Bay High Spine. Let's propose a 665' tower (a 550' tower was proposed for this site in 1997).... i think the BRA would send you back and tell you to propose something much closer to the plans for Parcels 12 & 15 (~400'/Weiner Ventures)... in addtion to the necessity of re-zoning, 1065 Boylston could bring a swarm of nimby activists.

One cool project that very likely will be back in the not too distant future is Columbus Center over the Mass Pike... likely, but, it'll require significant tax relief. (unfortunately, you can't call it new – as it's just being re-introduced). Hopefully, The BRA can sell the people on the tax relief part in order to get the 420' tower originally planned, done.

Unless you're talking about one of the big monoliths, everything that's left Downtown are either built or older, pristine buildings that no one wants to touch.... I've heard the area between Portland St and the Greenway is a no-zone for tall. Maybe that changes. I'm not sure that it should.... Then, everything down Washington and Columbus are FAA.... That means you're basically left with the Harbor Garage and the West End. I believe there's still a very good chance Don Chiofaro pulls out a miracle and something gets done. The West Enders are angry, but their neighborhood is the TRUE wild card for the future of tall building in Boston. Can we get them 'in the mood for +220m? Or if we threaten to rub them out – maybe they'll move.

So, when i speak negatively about new proposals reaching over 450~500' – short of some extraordinary proposal to demolish/split something massive like Dalton St Garage or 1-3 Center Plaza – whatever plays out in the next 2-3 years should tell you a lot. Why? Because Boston is a HOT zone for huge projects. i believe the answer is between 0-3 +450. And likely, not much taller. still, the easy answer is 'zero.'

the good news is, when the monoliths are finally addressed, many of the nimby have moved on. My theory is a good many of them are getting old (massively subjective speculation). The monoliths could open up space and economic realities that require going very tall.


*for anyone less familiar with Boston, the 'monoliths' are represented by a tragically misguided part of the Urban Renewal era in the 1960s and '70s that gave us; City Hall Plaza, the State Services Center bldg, 1, 2, 3 Center Plaza, (the low-rise section) of the JFK Federal bldg, and the Govt Center Garage. GCG is the first of the monoliths approved for a +$2B/2.4M sq ft redo.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 06:33 AM   #799
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My two cents is that if the market can support it, it will get built and the evidence I have seen says that there is plenty of demand for more space and tall buildings in Boston. It has always been hard and there has always been limited areas to build tall in Boston this isn't anything new and it hasn't stopped too many projects especially recently from being built.

I don't have anything against you Odurandino, I just feel compelled to provide my own very different perspective on the situation in Boston.
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Old April 18th, 2016, 11:52 PM   #800
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Some background;

The Harbor Garage continues to spoil the aesthetic of one of America's truly magnificent urban neighborhoods...











Pretty bad isn't it.



After the garage is redeveloped, we'll see 50% that cement gone....

This is what 55% site coverage looks like; the actual project will be 50%

You combine it with the front entrance patches + Imax GONE, and now you've created almost as much green space as the playing field of Fenway Park.







The City and State consider Long Wharf a national monument. That means no new shade before the 23rd of October. So Don Chiofaro's tower must be located at the south end of the Garage parcel, with a north/south orientation similar to the JHT.

On the ground, visibility to the harbor is horizontal. If a tower gets built 14 stories or 54 stories, at street level, the view of the waterfront and harbor running back up Milk and India Street/s is the same.

If you walk to the end of Milk Street, you notice the nice patch of green at Central Wharf... Recall that the tower will be located on ths south side of the parcel – leaving this side as open space. So, now you see it; With this plan, the Greenway would segue onto an aggregate large park.... but most-importantly, the Harbor now opens completely in the background welcoming the pedestrian from the historical district.

This is why the single tower idea works.


Placing the lawn on the north end of the Garage parcel reveals a surprising result.

Next, you use one section of Milk Street adjacent to the Garage as it's new access ramp, and the remainder as a fire lane for the Aquarium, or simply put all of Milk St around the loop in front of the Aquarium below grade and all the parcels are united. Checking off the space of the IMAX Theatre's footprint, reveals the full potential of the site.

Mr. Chiofaro, the City and the Commonwealth can create a very large, uninterrupted space nearly out of thin air at the front of Central Wharf, the Harborwalk and Aquarium.
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