Stuart Street could get 33-story hotel and apartment complex

The Globe reports on plans for the old John Hancock hotel and conference center.



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The architecture looks great and it's nice to see the city is making the developers improve the neighborhood if they go ahead with the project. Although I wonder just how badly the Back Bay needs more luxury apartments

^If the developer isn't

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^If the developer isn't taking public money to build them, why should we care WHAT their motivation is? if they play by the rules, let them build what they want.

The Back Bay is one of the most desireable and expensive places to live in the United States based on property values.

The Back Bay is desirable for

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The Back Bay is desirable for me because it contains mostly 5-story buildings, and 10-story buildings on major streets. And very few 33-story glass boxes like this proposal.


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The issue is over-zoning. Too much of one zone type can be a very bad thing.

You don't need to go far to see why this can backfire. Just go a few blocks over to Downtown Crossing and the financial district. Even with all the new condo high rises, Downtown Crossing and the Financial District is still primarily a commercial center. After 8pm this place is a ghost town. There's no draw. The Backbay on the other hand..

Then the other issue that happens is saturation of the market. Eventually the market will be so saturated with a certian zone type (in this case "luxury" aka "High Wealth"), that condo buildings can't give units away, then the price drop. Now this can go in two directions.. one. Prices drop and living in town becomes affordable. Two. The developer sits on empty units and takes a loss. (Empty Units = Less People = Less Desirable to Buy).

It really is a double edged sword.


It looks great? It looks like a clone of the boring Ritz towers...

Or a Claes Oldenburg

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Or a Claes Oldenburg sculpture of a nostril hair trimmer.