Wednesday, December 16, 2015

#1 Best of 2015 - Boston Garden Towers Project

A 1.87-million-square-foot, mixed-use project, with a price tag estimated at over $1 billion, will soon begin to rise over Causeway Street and the Zakim Bridge. The Boston Garden Towers will be constructed on a 2.8-acre parking lot located next to TD Garden, where the old Boston Garden once stood. The three tower project would connect 497 residential units, 668,000 square feet of office space and 235,000 square feet of retail to the sports venue and North Station.

The massive development located at 80 Causeway Street will dramatically alter the face of the TD Garden.

The new complex, designed by architect Elkus Manfredi, will rise over Causeway Street in two new towers: the office tower standing at 495 feet tall, and the residential tower rising to 486 feet. Both towers will be built above a five-story retail base.

A modern glass atrium will connect to a new entrance into TD Garden and to the MBTA's North Station.

Below ground, a four-level parking garage will be constructed to accommodate about 800 vehicles.

“We are creating a new front door to North Station, a new portal to the city,” said David Manfredi, of Elkus Manfredi Architects.

“We don’t want to create a mall; we don’t want to create privatized space. We want to create space that is inviting to the public.”

The $1 Billion + development will include:
  •     40,000 square foot expansion of TD Garden
  •     560,000 square feet of residential with 497 units
  •     200,000 square foot hotel with 306 rooms
  •     668,000 square feet of office space
  •     142,000 square feet of flexible office space
  •     235,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space
  •     25,000 square foot glass atrium hall

Prior to leaving office, Mayor Menino had agreed to provide $7.8 million in tax breaks to help the developers lure the Star Market and build the underground parking spaces for the TD Garden.

The tax agreement will spread the relief over 15 years.

During that same period, the development is expected to produce $32.2 million in new tax revenue for the city.

Developer Boston Properties said the tax agreement was crucial to attracting a supermarket to the property and asserted the project will help enliven the area around the arena.

The massive project will be built in three stages, with the first phase to include the multi-story retail base, a supermarket, a cinema, a 306-room hotel, and the 4-story underground parking garage.

Click images to enlarge

Construction is expected to begin in the Fall.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

#2 Best of 2015 - $1.6B Wynn Everett Casino-Resort

Casino mogul Steve Wynn, whose dazzling hotels line the famous Las Vegas strip, hit the jackpot in the Massachusetts casino sweepstakes to claim Greater Boston's sole casino-resort license. His vision is to turn the former site of a chemical plant along the Mystic River, just north of Boston in Everett, into a sparkling gambling resort.

The proposed $1.6 billion project would include a five-star resort with more than 500 hotel rooms, high-end retail and dining, a ballroom and meeting space.

The development would be spread over 30 acres of Mystic River waterfront with paths open to the general public leading to the harbor and more retail and dining overlooking the riverwalk.

The "family-friendly" casino-resort would take at least two years to build.

The design of the casino-resort would mimic local architecture: "If you like the way the Boston skyline looks, you'll love our building," says Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn. The buildings will have a classic brick look on the lower floors and a glassy Vegas look as the building rise.

The casino developer also envisions a fleet of custom-built catamarans ferrying conventioneers and tourists from Long Wharf in downtown Boston and the World Trade Center in the Seaport district, to his riverfront gambling palace in Everett

click to enlarge
As many as three water taxis would be in service at one time, leaving as frequently as 20 minutes apart.

Wynn Resorts insists the water shuttle service would reduce car traffic over already congested roads to the proposed resort.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission granted Wynn Resorts the sole casino license based on economic factors, opportunities and jobs.

The company’s proposal offered a bigger development plan, strong financing, a large construction investment, and a big projected workforce and payroll.

The Greater Boston casino license is projected to be worth about $700 million to more than $800 million a year in gambling revenue.

In November, Massachusetts voters will decide whether the casino gambling law will be repealed.

Monday, December 7, 2015

#3 Best of 2015 - 52-Story Copley Place Tower

Simon Property Group is preparing for construction of a 52-story tower at 5 Copley Place that would be one of the largest residential buildings in Boston. The project will create 542 residences, a 40,000 SF addition to the Neiman Marcus store, a glass-enclosed garden and 75,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space at the corner of Dartmouth and Stuart streets.  The $500 million private investment will put 1,700 construction workers back on the job. 

Approximately 680,000 square feet of new residential space will be above the existing building, situated across from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Back Bay Station.

The building’s 433 rental apartments and 109 condos will be housed in a slender 52-story tower designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, and include 71 affordable housing units.

The plans call for a lap pool on the 6th floor, a 7th floor sky lobby and deck, garage parking spaces and secure bike storage.

At 569 feet, the skyscraper will be the second tallest residential building in Boston, behind the soon-to-be constructed, Four Seasons Tower.

The project will include a large 40,000 square-foot addition to the to the Neiman Marcus store, followed by a complete renovation of the existing 115,000-square-foot store - which will not close during construction.

It will also include additional space for smaller-scale retail shops and restaurants, with a “public winter garden” at the Stuart Street plaza. The developer has also committed up to $1 million towards new public art and $250,000 to Southwest Corridor Park.

The project will build on the strengths of the existing Copley Place complex at Stuart and Dartmouth Streets and infuse an already successful retail destination with an inspired and dynamic mixed-use development.

“The expansion of Neiman Marcus and Copley Place strengthens our retail destination in the Back Bay and contributes to the City’s economic vitality,” according to a press release. “The project will enhance the urban fabric of the neighborhood and be a striking addition to the city’s skyline.”

The project attracted controversy when state representatives accused the Governor of violating a 1997 agreement by signing a revised lease with the developer before city and state regulators could review its impacts on area residents.

Some neighbors have raised concerns, for example, that the project will add to the high winds and shadows thrown off by other skyscrapers in the area.

However, the developer has stressed that the tower would not significantly increase wind in the area, and would only cast minimal new shadows on surrounding open spaces.

It also said it has rotated the tower from its initial orientation on the site and made several other design changes “to minimize environmental impacts, provide improvements to the public realm, and greatly enhance the overall pedestrian experience.”

Built by Chicago-based Urban Investment and Development, Copley Place was at the time the largest mixed-use project in the country. It was criticized by neighbors and some public officials for the way its hulking buildings towered over town houses in the South End.

The original $500 million project eventually included the Westin and Marriott hotels, four office buildings, a shopping mall, 100 apartments, and a 1,400-space parking garage.

The existing building at Copley Place consists of parking, three levels of retail and seven floors of office space.

The new design will transform the brick-paved plaza entrance to Neiman Marcus into a multi-story atrium with a glass facade

The new tower would fill out the last undeveloped parcels in Copley Place, which was initially built in the 1980s over the Massachusetts Turnpike roadway and ramps, and on a former railroad yard.

Simon initially proposed the project in June 2008, but put it on hold when the recession dried up funding for big projects.

The company resurrected the project last year and hopes to break ground in early 2016. Construction is expected to last 3 years.

  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

#4 Best of 2015 - New England’s Tallest Residential Tower

Construction will soon get underway on a $700 million, 61-story tower, to be built on the edge of Christian Science Plaza, at Belvidere and Dalton streets. The new 699-foot skyscraper, which will include 250-room Four Seasons hotel and 180 luxury condominiums, will be the tallest residential tower in New England. The 950,000-square-foot plaza redevelopment project will also include a 26-story residential tower with 255 apartments. Cambridge-based developer Carpenter and Company plans to break ground on the project next week, with construction expected to wrap up in 2017.

The 61-story tower, located at 1 Dalton Street in the Back Bay, will be designed by Henry Cobb, the same architect who designed the John Hancock Tower in the 1970s.

His firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York, also designed the Christian Science Plaza and its signature reflecting pool.

The 712,500 square foot Back Bay tower, along with the adjacent 237,500 square foot residential building, will be located at the corner of Belvidere and Dalton Streets.

The 699-foot building is crafted in the shape of an equilateral triangle with rounded corners, a form designed to complement the adjacent Christian Science Church, which was built in 1896.

One Dalton Street will stand 91 feet shorter than the city's tallest structure, but will surpass the Millennium Tower and the tower set to rise at 5 Copley Square - both slated for 625 feet - as the city’s tallest residential building.

Overall, the skyscraper will be the third-tallest structure in Boston, behind the750-foot Prudential Tower and the John Hancock Tower, which stands 790 feet.

The 250-room Four Seasons will occupy the first 20 floors of the building, and 180 ultra high-end condominiums will be spread across the upper 40. The Four Seasons will continue to manage its existing hotel on Boylston Street.

The new Four Seasons is designed to complement the existing hotel on Boylston Street. It will have smaller ballrooms and conference spaces, offering more of a boutique luxury product

The tower will include two restaurants, two lounges, and a health club and spa.

Its residences are certain to be among the most expensive in the city, challenging the Mandarin Oriental and new units under construction at Fan Pier.

The Four Seasons is designed to complement the existing hotel on Boylston Street. It will have smaller ballrooms and conference spaces, offering more of a boutique luxury product

The project’s master developer is Cambridge-based Carpenter & Co., which also developed Boston’s Liberty Hotel and the Charles Hotel in Cambridge.

The project will fill a void between some of the Back Bay’s most significant properties.

“Right now, the Christian Science Plaza and the Prudential Center sit next to each other, but don’t talk to each other,” said Cobb, a Boston native.

“This project will be a new connection and bring this very important part of the city to life.”

The First Church of Christ, Scientist has been lobbying for a redesign for years.

Much of the reason is financial: Profitable real estate would make the site self-sustaining, so that donations to the church can be put more directly toward its mission.

The church also aims to bring its plaza up to date with a 21st-century approach to urban design, in which active public spaces are key.

The site attracts plenty of sightseers as the Christian Science faith’s international headquarters and a major Boston landmark, but it has not lived up to its potential.

The new project is expected to bring thousands of new residents and visitors to one of the city’s most celebrated landmarks.
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

$281M Seaport Office Tower Will Redefine Skyline

Skanska has broken ground for construction of 121 Seaport Boulevard, a building unlike any of its neighbors — a sleek oval-shaped tower set at a diagonal to the street. The Swedish construction giant broke ground last week at Parcel L2 in Boston's Seaport Square, for a 17-story, elliptical office tower designed by CBT Architects. The 425,000 square foot structure is designed to pop out from the bland and homogenous, rectangular buildings surrounding it. 

The building's design is a response to a call by Mayor Martin Walsh for developers to come up with new and innovative looks for their buildings.

121 Seaport is curved on its sides, with a flat face above its angled entrance, and is set on a more traditional block-shaped base that will have stores and other retail. The top of the base flares out from the tower above it and will host an elevated outdoor deck and landscaping.

The curved shape of the new tower will create work spaces that are better suited for collaboration because there will no corner offices, according to CBT Architects in Boston, which designed the building.

That could help attract a wider range of tenants. It’s also set up to maximize views of Boston Harbor, allow natural light deeper into the interior, and minimize shadows on a new park below.

The building’s design is also practical: The MBTA Silver Line tunnel runs under the northeast corner of the property, limiting how much Skanska could build over it. Also, the Seaport District has a height limit of 250 feet because of flight paths for Logan Airport.

121 Seaport Boulevard is unusual by another measure: Skanska is building it “on spec,” or without having a tenant before beginning construction, and the construction giant is financing the $281 million project itself.

It’s also launching the project as prices for top-end space in the Seaport are not rising as fast as just a year ago; rents average $59 per square foot for Class A space.

Meanwhile, the Seaport is expected to have an additional 1 million square feet of new construction coming onto the market in just the next year, and even more soon after that.

The developer was confident the distinctive building won’t have trouble filling up long before its scheduled opening in January 2018.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Trans National Group Plans 740-ft Financial District Tower

A developer has plans to build one of Boston’s tallest buildings in downtown’s Financial District. The 740-foot glass tower will include a 300-room hotel, offices, retail space, a restaurant and 150 luxury condominium units.  Costing as much as $900 million to build, the 900,000-SF skyscraper will add a new showpiece to Boston’s rapidly changing skyline.

The building would be the tallest building in the downtown area and will include a 300-room hotel, retail space, offices, and up to 150 condominiums on the upper floors.

The tower proposal comes during one of the most dynamic periods of construction in the city’s history, as numerous skyscrapers aim to alter the Boston skyline.

At 740 feet, the angular skyscraper would be Boston’s third-tallest structure, behind the 750-foot Prudential building and the 790-foot John Hancock Tower.

An office building at 133 Federal Street would be combined with the new tower at ground level to create a 72,000-square-foot lobby with restaurants and shops.

The complex, called 111 Federal Street will rise on one of the Financial District’s last major development sites, replacing the city-owned Winthrop Square parking garage presently on the site.

Before work can proceed, developer Steve Belkin must negotiate a deal to buy the property from the city.

The dilapidated garage at 111-115 Federal Street will be demolished and replaced with glass storefronts and modern lobbies for the offices and a luxury hotel.

Former Mayor Thomas Menino selected Steve Belkin to redevelop the property in 2006, but the project failed to attract enough tenants amid the economic downturn.

The original plan called for a 1,000-foot office tower, but that proposal was rejected because it would have interfered with air traffic. The new proposal calls for a tower 260 feet shorter.

The building will be one of only a few towers built in the densely packed Financial District since the 1980s. In recent years, tech companies, restaurants and retailers have brought new life to the area.

The project, designed by Boston-based CBT Architects, is expected to begin construction in 2016.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

$1B Redevelopment of Boston's Government Center

Developers plan to construct a huge 528-foot glass skyscraper at the corner of Congress and New Sudbury streets. The curvy 47-story tower would be the centerpiece of a Government Center redevelopment project, where builders are preparing to construct a cluster of high-rises to replace portions of the Government Center Garage.

The project, estimated to cost well over $1 billion, will include construction of three high-rises and three smaller buildings containing more than 2.3 million square feet of commercial and residential space.

The project will begin with a 42-story residential tower with 450 rental and condominium units, followed by removal of the part of the garage that hangs over Congress Street and the construction of the 47-story office building. The developer wants to begin construction early next year.

The new office tower, designed by architect Cesar Pelli, would be an unusually dramatic building for Boston, a city that has shied away from the kind of eye-popping architecture that defines the skylines of other major cities.

In all, the project would result in six buildings containing 2.3 million square feet of commercial and residential space.

Three high-rises would be built on the western portion of the site, and three smaller buildings would be built along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

 A retail plaza would create a new connection between the Greenway and Canal Street.

While the portion of the garage above the street would be demolished, the core of the building at Congress and New Sudbury would remain, preserving 1,100 parking spaces. That part of the garage would be hidden behind the new high-rises.

The development has received approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, but plans for each building must also be approved by the agency’s design commission. BRA director Brian Golden has offered strong support for the project.

“The redevelopment of the Government Center Garage site will reshape the downtown skyline in a way that few projects can,” he said. “We welcome a creative approach to its design and look forward to working with the architecture team to review their proposal more carefully.”

Developer Tom O’Brien, a principal of HYM Investment Group, said the project’s architecture is meant to call attention to the vast change it would bring to the city’s downtown.

He noted that it would remove one of the area’s worst eyesores, a relic of the Urban Renewal Era, and reconnect the Bulfinch Triangle to the North End and Beacon Hill.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects of New Haven is collaborating on the design with CBT Architects of Boston.

The project's primary investor is the National Electrical Benefit Fund.

Boston is experiencing a burst of real estate development, transforming much of its downtown and outlying neighborhoods. A retail and condominium tower is under construction at the former Filene’s site in Downtown Crossing. Additional towers are being proposed at Winthrop Square in the Financial District and at the site of the Harbor Garage on Atlantic Avenue.

In the Bulfinch Triangle, Related Beal is building a new headquarters for Converse Inc., and Boston Properties plans to construct a series of towers in front of the TD Garden.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Construction Expected to Grow to $712 Billion in 2016

Economists at Dodge Analytics forecast that total U.S. construction starts for 2016 will rise 6% to $712 billion, following gains of 9% in 2014 and an estimated 13% in 2015. “The expansion for the construction industry has been underway for several years now, with varying contributions from each of the major sectors,” said Robert Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics, in a press release.

“Total construction activity, as measured by the construction starts data, is on track this year to record the strongest annual gain so far in the current expansion, advancing 13%.

Much of this year’s lift has come from non-building construction, reflecting the start of several massive liquefied natural gas terminals in the Gulf Coast region, as well as renewed growth for new power plant starts."

“Residential building, up 18% this year, has witnessed continued strength for multifamily housing while single family housing seems to have re-established an upward trend after its 2014 plateau.

At the same time, nonresidential building has decelerated this year after surging 24% back in 2014, and is now predicted to be flat to slightly down given a sharp pullback for new manufacturing plant starts and some loss of momentum by its commercial and institutional building segments.”

For 2016, the economic environment should support further growth for the overall level of construction starts.

While short-term interest rates will be going up in 2016, given the expected rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, the increases in long-term interest rates should stay gradual. On the plus side, the U.S. economy continues to register moderate job growth, lending standards are still easing, market fundamentals for commercial real estate continue to improve, and more funding support is coming from state and local construction bond measures.

Total construction starts in 2016 are forecast to advance 6% to $712 billion, with gains for residential building, up 16%; and nonresidential building, up 9%; while the non-building construction sector retreats 14%. If the volatile electric power and gas plant category within non-building construction is excluded, total construction starts for 2016 would be up 10%, after a corresponding 8% gain in 2015.

The 2016 pattern by more specific sectors is the following:

• Single family housing will rise 20% in dollars, corresponding to a 17% increase in units to 805,000. Access to home mortgage loans is improving, and some of the caution exercised by potential home buyers will ease with continued employment growth.

• Multifamily housing will increase 7% in dollars and 5% in units to 480,000, slower than the gains in 2015 but still growth. Low vacancies, rising rents, and the demand for apartments from Millennials will encourage more development.

• Commercial building will increase 11%, up from the 4% gain estimated for 2015. Office construction will resume its leading role in the commercial building upturn, aided by more private development as well as construction activity related to technology and finance firms.

• Institutional building will advance 9%, picking up the pace after the 6% rise in 2015. The educational facilities category is seeing an increasing amount of K-12 school construction, supported by the passage of recent school construction bond measures.

• Manufacturing plant construction will recede an additional 1% in dollar terms, following the steep 28% plunge for 2015 that reflected the pullback by large petrochemical plant starts.

• Public works will be flat with its 2015 amount, as a modest reduction for highways and bridges is balanced by some improvement for the environmental public works categories. A new multiyear federal transportation bill is being considered by Congress, and is expected to achieve passage in late 2015 or during the first half of 2016. The benefits of that bill will show up at the construction site later in 2016 and into 2017.

• Electric utilities and gas plants will fall 43% after a sharp 159% jump in 2015. The lift coming from new starts for liquefied natural gas export terminals will be substantially less, and new power plant starts will recede moderately.
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Upcoming Developments Planned for East Boston

Everyone knows that East Boston is undergoing dramatic changes, in part, because of a plethora of long-awaited development.  For several years, buyers and renters have been moving over to Eastie to escape higher costs elsewhere in the city, and soon, these five new developments will get underway to welcome even more new residents to the neighborhood.
 




Clippership Wharf
25 Lewis Street
Boston, MA 02128


Clippership Wharf is a mixed-use waterfront development in East Boston that will include 492 apartment and condominium units along with lots of retail space.

It will also have 300 plus parking spaces and flourishes such as a fitness center and a canoe/kayak-rental.

To further sweeten the deal, Cassin/Winn Development plans to add 1,381 feet of promenade along the Harbor.





 

Loftel Boston
175 Orleans Street
Boston, MA 02128

 
Plans for the Loftel Boston include rehabilitation of a long-vacant six-story building in the Jeffries Point neighborhood, building a two-story addition, then creating 150-room loft style boutique hotel with parking for 65 vehicles.

Boston developer Heath Management plans a “modestly priced” hotel where rooms would average $200 a night or less.

Redevelopment of the historic structure at 175 Orleans Street will cost approximately $20 million.




 

Hodge Boiler Works
111 Sumner Street
Boston, MA 02128


East Boston waterfront is undergoing a dramatic transformation, and this big project will only enhance that change.

DeNormandie Companies plans to redevelop the old Hodge Boiler Works site on the East Boston waterfront and create 95 rental apartments as well as a six-room bed and breakfast and a new marina building.

Plans also call for a café, a 30-slip marina, a new Harborwalk and a parking garage for 75 vehicles.

The developer of agreed earlier this winter to scale back his plans from 119 apartments to 95, thereby knocking off about 80,000 square feet.



 

135 Bremen Street

Boston, MA 02128


Last year, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved construction of a 94-unit apartment complex at 135 Bremen Street, between Grove and Porter Streets in the East Boston neighborhood. Rental units will range from studios to 3-BRs.

Plans for the 127,000 square foot complex include 110 vehicle parking spaces, space for 100 bicycles along with landscaped public space.

The six-floor development is due to have a dozen apartments designated as affordable, as well as 8,300 square feet of commercial space along the ground floor near the Greenway.

Construction is expected to start late this summer, and another 12 to 14 months before completion.



 

One Fifty One Liverpool
151 Liverpool Street
Boston, MA 02128

 
Cedarwood Development's plans for 151 Liverpool Street include construction of a new five story residential building with 24 apartments and 35 parking spots at grade-level.

The 38,000-square-foot project will rise a few blocks from the Maverick Blue Line stop and include three apartments designated as permanently affordable.

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

$350M Tremont Crossing Project Planned for Roxbury

Tremont Crossing is a $350 million mixed use development planned for heart of Boston, consisting of retail, office, residential and arts. The 1.7 million square foot project would bring the most sweeping change to the Roxbury neighborhood in decades. Located on an 8 acre parcel across from Northeastern University and the Longwood Medical Area, the complex will feature a mix of large-format retail stacked vertically, small retail shops and restaurants fronting on Tremont Street, office space for MassDOT, 300 market rate apartments, a 200-room hotel, a museum, a large garage facility and a public plaza complete with outdoor art.
 
For years, development has been promised for Parcel 3, a vast plot of land located on Tremont Street in Roxbury near the Boston Police Department’s headquarters and Northeastern University.

Elma Lewis Partners has held onto the development rights for several years without anything happening.

Finally, due to an improving economy and due to Northeastern’s expansion, which brought a new vitality to the area, the parcel will soon become something more than a fenced-off field of weeds.

Feldco Boston, part of the development team behind Tremont Crossing, has signed a letter of intent with BJ’s Wholesale Group to lease up to 90,000 square feet in the 400,000-square foot retail section of the project. This will make it easier for them to get financing for the other parts of the project.

Tremont Crossing will eventually encompass more than 1.7 million square feet of space and include retail and restaurants, office space, a 200-room hotel, parking garage and a 19-story residential tower. Also proposed is a new home for the museum of the National Center for African-American Artists.

Tremont Crossing will include a mix of retail, office, and residential uses: 

•  404,475 square feet of large format retail, which could also have entertainment and recreational uses on 4 levels
•  33,800 square feet of space for smaller shops and boutiques fronting along Tremont Street
•  300 units of residential including studios, one bedroom and two bedroom rental apartments in a 297,800 square foot tower
•  200-room extended stay hotel encompassing 102,250 square feet
•  38,000 square feet of cultural facilities that will primarily house a new museum for the National Center for Afro-American Artists located at the center of the development
•  713,785 square feet of office space above the cultural facility

•  8-story parking structure with 1,502 spaces
•  A large public plaza, complete with sculptures and outdoor seating space

Designed by the renowned firm of Cambridge Seven Associates, the project will be built in an urban style that will be modern, environmentally-conscious and pedestrian-friendly.

Construction is estimated to last 24 months and will create approximately 670 construction jobs and 1,738 permanent jobs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Colossal Boston Garden Towers Project Set to Rise

A 1.87-million-square-foot, mixed-use project, with a price tag estimated at over $1 billion, will soon begin to rise over Causeway Street and the Zakim Bridge. The Boston Garden Towers will be constructed on a 2.8-acre parking lot located next to TD Garden, where the old Boston Garden once stood. The three tower project would connect 497 residential units, 668,000 square feet of office space and 235,000 square feet of retail to the sports venue and North Station.

The massive development located at 80 Causeway Street will dramatically alter the face of the TD Garden.

The new complex, designed by architect Elkus Manfredi, will rise over Causeway Street in two new towers: the office tower standing at 495 feet tall, and the residential tower rising to 486 feet. Both towers will be built above a five-story retail base.

A modern glass atrium will connect to a new entrance into TD Garden and to the MBTA's North Station.

Below ground, a four-level parking garage will be constructed to accommodate about 800 vehicles.

“We are creating a new front door to North Station, a new portal to the city,” said David Manfredi, of Elkus Manfredi Architects.

“We don’t want to create a mall; we don’t want to create privatized space. We want to create space that is inviting to the public.”

The $1 Billion + development will include:
  •     40,000 square foot expansion of TD Garden
  •     560,000 square feet of residential with 497 units
  •     200,000 square foot hotel with 306 rooms
  •     668,000 square feet of office space
  •     142,000 square feet of flexible office space
  •     235,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space
  •     25,000 square foot glass atrium hall

Prior to leaving office, Mayor Menino had agreed to provide $7.8 million in tax breaks to help the developers lure the Star Market and build the underground parking spaces for the TD Garden.

The tax agreement will spread the relief over 15 years.

During that same period, the development is expected to produce $32.2 million in new tax revenue for the city.

Developer Boston Properties said the tax agreement was crucial to attracting a supermarket to the property and asserted the project will help enliven the area around the arena.

The massive project will be built in three stages, with the first phase to include the multi-story retail base, a supermarket, a cinema, a 306-room hotel, and the 4-story underground parking garage.

Click images to enlarge

Construction is expected to begin in the Fall.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

280-Unit Residential High Rise Planned for Kendall Square

The Ames Street Residences is a 200,000 square foot residential high rise with 280 apartment units and 16,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The  project, designed by FX/Fowle, will be a slender 22-story tower by rising in front of the Kendall Center East Garage, overlooking the Cambridge Center rooftop garden. 

There will be a mix of unit types at 88 Ames Street, including micro-units, studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms. Developer Boston Properties will set aside 36 apartments in the new building as affordable housing units.

The residential development has been debated for more than a decade, and was originally planned for the site now occupied by the Broad Institute’s new building at 75 Ames Street, located across the street from the site.

The project will now stand on a vacant lot on the south side of Ames Street, between 4 and 5 Kendall Center.

Boston Properties aims to transform Ames Street, between Main Street and Broadway, from a service street to a more active, pedestrian friendly streetscape with active ground floor use on both sides of the street.

The project includes a significant commitment to bicycle transportation with the addition of 296 secure, on-site, weather protected spaces accessible by residents and retail employees.

There will also be an additional 38 short-term bicycle parking spaces along Pioneer Way.

The city had initially asked Boston Properties to subsidize half the cost of a monthly bus and subway CharlieCard for the first 12 months of residence for all tenants, and also to fund $50,000 for Kendall Square transit improvements.

The developer’s counter-offer was for one month of CharlieCards.

After month of wrangling, both side agreed that for each resident, Boston Properties will provide three months of a subsidized CharlieCard and one year of Hubway membership.

The developer will also contribute $50,000 towards transit improvements, construct a Hubway station and install two electric vehicle charging stations.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

UMass Construction Projects to Continue Through 2018

Construction at the University of Massachusetts shows no sign of slowing. Several new buildings are on the horizon, including the $52 million, 87,500 square foot Integrated Design Building, and the $85 million, 104,000 square foot Physical Sciences Building. With the amount of bulldozers and blocked walkways already around UMass, students are wary of further construction projects making it difficult to get around the campus. However, three new buildings are already in the design phase with construction at the Amherst campus expected to continue through 2018.

Another new campus building is planned to begin construction this year – the Integrated Design Building, which will house the department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning department as well as the Architecture and Design and Building Construction Technology programs.

On approximately 87,500 square feet, this building will house classrooms and studios, computer labs, lounges, meeting and teleconferencing rooms, materials-testing lab, green-building lab, wood shop, digital fabrication lab and outdoor work area.

The building will also feature a cafe, exhibit space, a library, multifunction spaces, a covered indoor courtyard on the first floor and an outdoor courtyard complete with green roof on the third floor.

The $52 million project is scheduled to begin this summer and is expected to take two years to complete, with a 2017 opening projected.

Already in process is the Physical Sciences Building, located near North Pleasant Street and West Experiment Station. This building will be used for research laboratories for chemistry and physics.

The project is being funded by the state with about $85 million. It is part of a campus master plan that was initiated several years ago in order to fulfill the campus’ mission to upgrade its science facilities and be more competitive with scientific research.

Work includes construction of a new 3-level Physical Sciences Building, housing laboratory and office space.

The building will have a basement, accommodating physics laboratories with high bay capacity sitting on foundations that will telegraph very low levels of vibration.

The 104,000 square foot project will provide labs, lab support, and offices for 20 faculty and approximately 130 students. The interior labs will be designed to provide the greatest possible degree of flexibility.

Construction of the Physical Sciences Building is expected to be complete in January 2018.
 
Click to enlarge

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

$350M Mixed-Use Development Planned for Roxbury

Tremont Crossing is a $350 million mixed use development planned for heart of Boston, consisting of retail, office, residential and arts. The 1.7 million square foot project would bring the most sweeping change to the Roxbury neighborhood in decades. Located on an 8 acre parcel across from Northeastern University and the Longwood Medical Area, the complex will feature a mix of large-format retail stacked vertically, small retail shops and restaurants fronting on Tremont Street, office space for MassDOT, 300 market rate apartments, a 200-room hotel, a museum, a large garage facility and a public plaza complete with outdoor art.
 
For years, development has been promised for Parcel 3, a vast plot of land located on Tremont Street in Roxbury near the Boston Police Department’s headquarters and Northeastern University.

Elma Lewis Partners has held onto the development rights for several years without anything happening.

Finally, due to an improving economy and due to Northeastern’s expansion, which brought a new vitality to the area, the parcel will soon become something more than a fenced-off field of weeds.

Feldco Boston, part of the development team behind Tremont Crossing, has signed a letter of intent with BJ’s Wholesale Group to lease up to 90,000 square feet in the 400,000-square foot retail section of the project. This will make it easier for them to get financing for the other parts of the project.

Tremont Crossing will eventually encompass more than 1.7 million square feet of space and include retail and restaurants, office space, a 200-room hotel, parking garage and a 19-story residential tower. Also proposed is a new home for the museum of the National Center for African-American Artists.

Tremont Crossing will include a mix of retail, office, and residential uses: 

•  404,475 square feet of large format retail, which could also have entertainment and recreational uses on 4 levels
•  33,800 square feet of space for smaller shops and boutiques fronting along Tremont Street
•  300 units of residential including studios, one bedroom and two bedroom rental apartments in a 297,800 square foot tower
•  200-room extended stay hotel encompassing 102,250 square feet
•  38,000 square feet of cultural facilities that will primarily house a new museum for the National Center for Afro-American Artists located at the center of the development
•  713,785 square feet of office space above the cultural facility

•  8-story parking structure with 1,502 spaces
•  A large public plaza, complete with sculptures and outdoor seating space

Designed by the renowned firm of Cambridge Seven Associates, the project will be built in an urban style that will be modern, environmentally-conscious and pedestrian-friendly.

Construction is estimated to last 24 months and will create approximately 670 construction jobs and 1,738 permanent jobs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Boston's Colossal Mass+Main Tower Project

City lawmakers have voted to approve zoning changes that will allow construction of a 195-foot tower overlooking Jill Brown-Rhone Park in Central Square, citing the need for more housing and affordable housing. To ensure passage of the special zoning, developers Normandy Real Estate Partners and Twining Properties offered to make 47 of its 232 units available for rent below market rate. The builders plan to raze the existing single-story Quest Diagnostics laboratory later this year in favor of the 19-story residential tower. Ground breaking is expected in early 2016 with a goal of first occupancy beginning in spring 2018. 

Twining Properties and Normandy Real Estate are preparing to construct Mass+Main, a 19-story residential tower located at the edge of Central Square, near the Red Line stop. The development will also a seven-story, mixed-use building.

Community benefits range from highly sustainable mixed income housing, to new retail with a local emphasis.

The builders plan to  convert  the  former  Quest  Diagnostics  lab  buildings  and  lots  on  the  block  bounded by  Douglass Street,  Massachusetts  Avenue, Columbia  and  Bishop  Allen Drive, into  a  mixed income  residential  community  with vibrant  ground floor  retail and  new  public  passages  connecting  Lafayette  Park  to  Bishop  Allen  Drive.

Constructing the taller building (195 feet) along Massachusetts Avenue will minimize  any  shadows    cast over the  park  on Columbia  Street, and  will  cast  no  shadows  on  Lafayette  Square Park. The  second  building  along  Columbia  Street  would  be just  70  feet  high,  and cast no shadows.

Office  buildings  up  to  80  feet  tall  are  allowed  under  existing  zoning with  a Special  Permit. Kendall  Square  allows  up  to  300  feet  and  North  Point  is  above  220  feet  in  certain locations.

In order to secure a vote in favor of their special zoning request, developers Twining Properties and Normandy Real Estate Partners agreed to make 47 of its 232 units available for rent below market rate. Of that 20 percent, most would be considered affordable; the remaining seven would be considered middle-income.

  • Project sweeteners offered include:Permanent affordability for three additional housing units through Affordable Housing Trust Funds, bringing the total to 50.
  • Giving the city the front part of 65 Bishop Allen Drive for the creation of even more affordable housing when the city identifies a “transferee,” and so long as the developers get to keep the rear portion of the lot for parking and get their special permit. 
  • Promises to set up an advisory committee to give input on which retailers get ground-floor shop space created by the Mass+Main project, and programming for the seasonable public market that would be given a home. 
  • At least 8 percent of units in the proposed tower will be “micro-units” between 350 and 550 square feet, whose tenants won’t get to apply for a residential parking permit for a car.

Twining  Properties  specializes  in  mixed use,  urban, transit oriented  development with  a  strong  emphasis  on housing and  is  well known  in  Cambridge  and  Boston. Twining, working  closely  with  the  East  Cambridge  community developed  two  apartment  buildings,  local restaurants along  the  Broad  Canal  in  Kendall  Square. 

Normandy  Real  Estate Partners  is  a  leading  real estate owner  and  operator,  with  deep  local  ties, and  invests  in  properties and  communities  for  the  long term.  They are committed partners with the neighborhoods they work in.

The partners  hope  to  break  ground  in  summer  2016  with  first  occupancy beginning  in  spring  2018. Their goal is to reach full occupancy by early 2019.
  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Developer Plans Huge Affordable Housing Complex

A Boston developer plans to build a block-long $225 million residential building directly above the Interstate 93 tunnel, a site between TD Garden and the North End that was left over from the Big Dig. Related-Beal is proposing to construct the 14-story tower with 239 apartments, each priced at rents well below the going market rates. The project would also include 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and a 220-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

Construction in booming Boston has fallen into a familiar pattern: large mixed-use buildings stuffed with expensive apartments, with developers kicking in only a handful of units as affordable housing. Advocates and officials worry that if the trend continues, Boston will become a city of the very wealthy and the publicly subsidized poor.

Developer Related-Beal recently unveiled a dramatic proposal that bucks the trend: a 14-story, block-long $225 million building on a prime downtown parcel near TD Garden with 239 apartments, each priced at rents well below the going market rates.

A little more than half of the units would be so-called workforce housing for middle-income tenants, with the rest aimed at low-income residents.

“This is a new model we hope will be replicated in Boston and other cities around the country,” said Peter Spellios, the company’s executive vice president. “We had an opportunity to do something unique and creative to address the extreme lack of affordable and workforce housing downtown.”

The average cost of the apartments would be $2.50 per square foot each month, the company said, compared to a market rate of around $4.50. Unusual for downtown, the project would include three-bedroom apartments to accommodate larger families.

To qualify for the 132 workforce apartments, residents would have to earn between 120 and 165 percent of the median income, which for a two-person household in Boston is $78,800, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The remaining units would be reserved for residents earning between 30 percent and 120 percent of the median income.

The location, a vacant lot directly above the underground Interstate 93, between TD Garden and the North End, is a leftover from the Big Dig.

The project would also include 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and a 220-room hotel, most likely a Courtyard by Marriott.

The surrounding Bulfinch Triangle neighborhood is as hot as any in Boston; just glance across Causeway Street to where the company is building Lovejoy Wharf, a $230 million complex featuring a new headquarters for Converse and 100 luxury condos.

Related-Beal is able to make the numbers work at lower rents because of the unusual nature of the property. The company owns a sliver of the site, while the bulk is controlled by the state Department of Transportation, which can lease it out for less than what a private owner might charge.

Secondly, the companyl has loaded a significant portion of the cost, including the lease, onto the hotel portion of the development.

And finally, the company shrewdly tailored its proposal to qualify for a laundry list of federal, state, and local tax credits.

The developer is even planning to use the $6.75 million it promised to put toward affordable housing during approval of its Lovejoy Wharf project in this new development.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Giant Expansion Planned for South Bay Shopping Center

The owner of the South Bay shopping center in Dorchester is planning to expand the complex by another 10 acres, resulting in construction of five new six-story buildings containing 475 apartments, 130 hotel rooms, a cinema, and stores. South Carolina-based developer Edens Inc., which owns several other East Coast shopping centers, wants to start building the first phase of the adjacent South Bay Town Center, in 2016.

The two-decade-old Dorchester shopping complex is no one’s idea of traditional city development. But it bustles as shoppers from Boston neighborhoods seek out the same low prices and broad selection that major chains offer suburban consumers.

Edens’ 9.9-acre mixed-use residential project would plunk 475 apartments, a 130-room hotel, a 65,000-square-foot cinema with 12-screens, multiple restaurant spaces and 113,000 square feet of retail space as well as three parking garages.

A total of 1,066 parking spaces would be included in the project.

The project will encompass 10 parcels on Allstate Road, West Howell and Enterprise streets, and Baker and Field courts — largely vacant, commercial/industrial land and parking lots south of South Bay Center.

Each of the buildings would be mixed-use, except for the hotel—which would stand alone. Edens also plans to add new roads and open space around the new buildings.

The shopping center developer said the social and economic activity generated by the project could be an impetus for “positive change to abutting, antiquated commercial and industrial properties” in the area between Massachusetts Avenue and the Southeast Expressway.

Public officials seem to agree that the new development would surely rejuvenate an area of Dorchester, which is riddled with vacant lots.

“The goal … is to provide a high-quality, pedestrian-oriented experience similar to other shopping districts such as Cambridge’s Harvard Square.”

The company has operated South Bay since 1998 and expanded it to Massachusetts Avenue in 2006. The first phase was built in the early 1990s on the site of a former Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse, after plans for a biomedical facility there failed.

Existing buildings on the site include the closed Kam Man food market, a closed two-story office building, vacant shipping and loading facilities and the Aggregate Concrete plant.

The expansion plan replaces the concrete plant and adjacent buildings with apartments and stores.

Several big-box retail stores already do business at South Bay, including Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Olive Garden and Panera Bread have restaurants on the property.

Edens also plans walkway improvements to connect South Bay Center to commuter rail service at Newmarket Station, as well as bus and subway service at Andrew Station on the MBTA’s Red Line.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Five New Developments Planned for East Boston

Everyone knows that East Boston is undergoing dramatic changes, in part, because of a plethora of long-awaited development.  For several years, buyers and renters have been moving over to Eastie to escape higher costs elsewhere in the city, and soon, these five new developments will get underway to welcome even more new residents to the neighborhood.
 




Clippership Wharf
25 Lewis Street
Boston, MA 02128


Clippership Wharf is a mixed-use waterfront development in East Boston that will include 492 apartment and condominium units along with lots of retail space.

It will also have 300 plus parking spaces and flourishes such as a fitness center and a canoe/kayak-rental.

To further sweeten the deal, Cassin/Winn Development plans to add 1,381 feet of promenade along the Harbor.





 

Loftel Boston
175 Orleans Street
Boston, MA 02128

 
Plans for the Loftel Boston include rehabilitation of a long-vacant six-story building in the Jeffries Point neighborhood, building a two-story addition, then creating 150-room loft style boutique hotel with parking for 65 vehicles.

Boston developer Heath Management plans a “modestly priced” hotel where rooms would average $200 a night or less.

Redevelopment of the historic structure at 175 Orleans Street will cost approximately $20 million.




 

Hodge Boiler Works
111 Sumner Street
Boston, MA 02128


East Boston waterfront is undergoing a dramatic transformation, and this big project will only enhance that change.

DeNormandie Companies plans to redevelop the old Hodge Boiler Works site on the East Boston waterfront and create 95 rental apartments as well as a six-room bed and breakfast and a new marina building.

Plans also call for a café, a 30-slip marina, a new Harborwalk and a parking garage for 75 vehicles.

The developer of agreed earlier this winter to scale back his plans from 119 apartments to 95, thereby knocking off about 80,000 square feet.



 

135 Bremen Street

Boston, MA 02128


Last year, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved construction of a 94-unit apartment complex at 135 Bremen Street, between Grove and Porter Streets in the East Boston neighborhood. Rental units will range from studios to 3-BRs.

Plans for the 127,000 square foot complex include 110 vehicle parking spaces, space for 100 bicycles along with landscaped public space.

The six-floor development is due to have a dozen apartments designated as affordable, as well as 8,300 square feet of commercial space along the ground floor near the Greenway.

Construction is expected to start late this summer, and another 12 to 14 months before completion.



 

One Fifty One Liverpool
151 Liverpool Street
Boston, MA 02128

 
Cedarwood Development's plans for 151 Liverpool Street include construction of a new five story residential building with 24 apartments and 35 parking spots at grade-level.

The 38,000-square-foot project will rise a few blocks from the Maverick Blue Line stop and include three apartments designated as permanently affordable.