Friday, February 27, 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 the fall of 2015.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Boston Mega-Projects to Watch in 2015

If you have ever been stuck in rush hour traffic, you know Greater Boston is in the midst of a major building boom. The signs are everywhere, from exposed steel for super tall skyscrapers such as the Millennium Tower to large cranes for massive apartment complexes on the waterfront.
But some of the Boston’s largest projects are still waiting to get underway, including the Fenway Center mega-project and the big-time redevelopment of the Harbor Garage.

Large developments such as the Residences @ Malden Station and the Roxbury Innovation Center show us how widely the real estate boom is reverberating.

Here’s a list of five Big Projects to watch in 2015:

1. Fenway Center

     Commonwealth & Brookline Avenues
     Boston, MA 02215

This much delayed mega-project, with its five buildings and several hundred apartments plus commercial space, may, in fact, finally get under way this year. Developer John Rosenthal is in the midst of a partnership deal that could jumpstart development.

[see ElectricWeb-Boston | June 16, 2014]

2. One Seaport Square 

     1 Seaport Lane      
     Boston, MA 02210

The 1.1 million-square-foot project broke ground in mid-November and will include two 22-story towers, called the Benjamin and VIA, with 832 apartments total. It is the first residential phase of the larger Seaport Square project.

[see ElectricWeb-Boston | Sept 15, 2014]

3. Harbor Garage Towers

     70 East India Row
     Boston, MA 02110

Plans for this long-delayed redevelopment call for two towers, rising up to 650 and 550 feet. The complex will host hundreds of condos and hotel rooms, 700,000 square feet of office space and amenities such as an all-seasons plaza for the public.

[see ElectricWeb-Boston | Aug 28, 2014]

4. Assembly Row

     Artisan Way 
     Somerville, MA 02145

Somerville's mega-mixed-use project is already slated to include more than 2,000 housing units and dozens of retail stores and a new Orange Line stop.

Plans, however, emerged toward the tail end of 2014 to basically double the size of Assembly Row and basically add more of everything.

5. Six New Street 

     6 New Street   
     Boston, MA 02128 

This 4-acre complex broke ground in late December and is slated to create 259 new apartments along the Eastie waterfront with a ton of extras, including a water taxi dock. It's a big win for the waterfront and an indication that more development will follow.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Government Center Redevelopment: 6 Buildings, $1 Billion +

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 later this 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.