Monday, April 28, 2014

Boston Cargo Terminal Project Ready to Cruise

A massive cargo terminal planned for the South Boston waterfront is steaming ahead again after years of delay and a recent downsizing to make the project financially viable. Developer Marine Terminal Operator has secured approvals for its Notice of Project Change for the $220 million, 510,552 square foot Boston Cargo Terminal project in the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood.

Marine Terminal dropped about 50,000 square feet from the three-building complex it wants to build on a 30-acre swath of city-owned Seaport District land that’s under long-term lease to the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The development site is located within the 129-acre Boston Marine Industrial Park.

The new Boston Cargo Terminal project will now include three commercial / warehouse buildings, a 120,000 square foot roof-top greenhouse structure, and 160 on-site parking spaces.

The project will include the construction of new marine industrial space to be configured in three new buildings:

  • Building A - approximately 279,000 sf,
  • Building B - approximately 173,560 sf, and
  • Building C - approximately 58,000 sf

In addition to the new industrial buildings, the project will also include:

  • Construction of a new 4.3-acre bulk cargo handling facility - to be used for an import /export cement distribution operation; 
  • Renovation of a portion of the existing 900 foot North Jetty, and 
  • Construction of a new 400 foot barge berthing space.
  • Public benefits will include the construction of a Harborwalk viewing area.

Arrowstreet is the architect for the $220 million, 510,552 square foot project.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Huge Fenway Center Project Closer to Reality

Boston regulators approved a $4.6 million tax break to spur construction of a new neighborhood near Fenway Park that would straddle the Massachusetts Turnpike and include hundreds of apartments, stores, restaurants, and offices. The tax deal for the $550 million Fenway Center development, negotiated by Mayor Walsh, received unanimous support from the board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The tax break will provide an important stimulus to a project that promises to create 1,800 construction jobs and boost economic growth.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority voted to petition the City Council for approval of a Special Tax Assessment Agreement between the City of Boston and MK Parcel 7 Development, LLC, the developer of the Fenway Center project.

The project has languished for years due to legal and permitting challenges, and the developer has struggled to generate enough funding to move forward.

Fenway Center would be among the most transformative development projects in Boston.

The 1.3 million-square-foot complex will be developed over air rights which span eight lanes of the Massachusetts Turnpike. The finished project will include 550 apartments and commercial space in five buildings between Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street; 1,290 parking spots, open space, and streetscape improvements. Plans also call for a farmers market and a bike-sharing station.

The development was approved by the BRA Board in 2011, but has been delayed due to litigation and rising costs.

Fenway Center is particularly costly and complex because it requires construction of a $45 million deck over the Mass Pike to support its main parking garage and a 27-story tower with offices, apartments and stores.

The project would be the first development to be constructed on air rights over the turnpike since Copley Place was built in the 1980s.

“We are going to cover up the highway and build a new neighborhood out of thin air,” said John Rosenthal, president of developer Meredith Management Corp.

Fenway Center will combine:

  •     Fully funded, energy neutral MBTA Yawkey Commuter Rail Station
  •     1,290 Parking Spaces including 750 shared-use spaces
  •     500 Residential Apartments including 10% on-site affordable units and 5% offsite
  •     170,000 SF of Office Space
  •     Over 90,000 SF of Retail Space
  •     Over 30,000 SF of Parks and Green Spaces
  •     Bicycle Storage and a Bicycle Share Station
  •     Community Space
  •     Daycare Center

The tax relief is structured to help fund construction of the project’s retail spaces, not its apartments. The deal will reduce the project’s taxes over a six-year period during its construction and early years of operation.

After its completion, Fenway Center is expected to generate about $5 million a year in taxes. The developer would also pay the state $226 million to lease the 4.5-acre development site over 99 years.

Currently, the property generates about $152,000 a year.

Click images to enlarge

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Northampton Square Phase II Moves Forward

The second phase of the Northampton Square project, a $154 million development that will bring 371,881 square feet of affordable housing and rooftop open space to the South End, has been approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Phase II will include the construction of Albany Tower, a 26-story tower with 211 luxury apartments, at the corner of Albany and Northampton Streets, and the rehabilitation of the 12-story Harrison Tower residential building at 860 Harrison Avenue.

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The Northampton Square complex is located in the South End -Lower Roxbury neighborhood, one block away from Boston Medical Center and the Boston University Medical Campuses.

Phase II of development contains two main components - the renovation of 860 Harrison Avenue, and the construction of a new residential tower at the corner of Northampton Street and Albany Street.

Albany Tower will include 211 luxury apartments, consisting of one and two bedroom units and 53,000 square feet of office space for the Boston Public Health Commission. The tower is estimated to cost $85 million to build.

Harrison Tower will include 109 residential units. At least 102 of the units created by Phase II will be affordable. Once the project is completed, the site would have close to 64 percent affordable housing.

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The plaza on top of an existing parking garage will be renovated into an open space amenity for residents, including areas of green roof and rooftop farming.

The two approved buildings are part of the 3.59 acre Northampton Square Campus, which includes the existing offices of the BHCC, the South End Fitness Center, the Carter Auditorium, and a 538-space parking garage.

No changes would be made to the garage that currently serves the two existing buildings.

Trinity Northampton Limited Partnership is the developer and The Architectural Team is the architect on the project.

The total development cost for Phase II is estimated at $154 million, and is slated for completion in 2017.

The original complex was built between 1969 and 1973 to house the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing. The Boston Public Health Commission acquired the site in July 1996, and has managed the property since.

In December of 2010, the BPHC selected Trinity Financial to redevelop and manage the various components of the site.

In the fall of 2013, Trinity closed on the financing for the first phase of the redevelopment – the renovations of 35 Northampton Street. These renovations are expected to be completed in December 2014.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Energy Retrofits Now Easier and Faster Than Ever

Download The New Lutron® Energi Advisor™ app from iTunes® 
Lighting retrofits can significantly reduce lighting energy use and meet new energy code requirements. 

With minimal project information, the new Lutron Energi Advisor app, created by Lutron Electronics Co., simplifies energy audits and greatly reduces the time previously required for retrofit system design and proposal generation. 

The Energi Advisor app takes the guesswork out of project proposals and provides users with the following:
- a bill of materials
- anticipated energy savings
- anticipated return on investment
After configuring project information (local electric utility rates, rebates, and labor rates), the app guides users through an energy audit requiring only basic information, such as room size, number of fixtures, type of fixtures, and then produces a complete project design and budget. The app supports multiple options for each project to ensure that budget and control requirements can be addressed without compromising performance.

Get started with the Energi Advisor app today:

- Download the Energi Advisor app for iPhone/iPad from the Apple app Store
- The first time you launch the Energi Advisor app you will be prompted to enter your myLutron account credentials—easily create a free account if you don’t have one already
- Set your preferences and start auditing
Download the Energi Advisor App for Free 

Download Sell Sheet 

Questions about how to use the app?

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are registered trademarks of Apple®, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Photo courtesy of Lutron Electronics Co.