Developer would make air inside Back Bay station breathable in exchange for right to top it with a skyscraper

The Globe reports the owner of the John Hancock building is proposing a deal with the state to upgrade the train and bus station in exchange for development rights atop the station - and that part of the upgrades would include turning part of the station into a mall.



Free tagging: 


Back Bay

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Do something about the druggies and the pervs in the rest rooms and its a deal


I would give my first born

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I would give my first born child as slave labor for the tower if it meant a couple of clean public restrooms.


Just say yes

Boston Properties must live in my head b/c I've been thinking about the same idea.

Give them the keys and let them drive. Excellent idea and a win-win-win (but not a Wynn).

PS. It will be interesting to see how their towers will fit in with the ones that are going to go up just around the corner on Stuart Street.


Will be interesting to see the final proposal

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That station is a hole and have thought for years that it would be nice if they could do something. But this makes 6 new developments in Back Bay alone - granted - several have not even broken ground. But that makes Christian Science Center, Exeter, Simon, Back Bay Station, Stuart and Arlington. There are two office projects fully approved that have been sitting for years (Shreve's and 888 Boylston). I have a feeling several of these will suffer the same fate. Contrary to popular opinion, we are running out of rich people that not only want to own/rent/live here, but that can afford it.


"luxury" is a pretty subjective term....

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Are they talking a doorman and on-site parking? That seems to be what "luxury" means with a lot of these new developments (at least rental units)....or are they talking Manderin/Four Seasons luxury?

Shreve's shouldn't be built.

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Shreve's shouldn't be built. If some broke Chinese elderly housing developer in Chinatown can spend the $$$ to save a few historic but not terribly notable facades why can't filthy rich Ron Druker save the famous and very notable historic SCL facade?


The air in there is AWFUL

I truly feel for the people who work in that enclosed air trap for MBCR/?? and Amtrak. I swear all they have to do is drop a dime to OSHA to improve things there WITHOUT having the station made into yet another mall...


People *have* been

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People *have* been complaining for years. There have been plenty of grants and studies, but the whole place still smells like train exhaust.

FWIW, the enclosed ticket

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FWIW, the enclosed ticket-selling areas seem to have their own ventilation system, with positive pressure to keep out the fumes that the hoi-polloi commuters breathe.


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because the Copley and Prudential Malls aren't enough.

This won't make it past approval. Why? Because the Neiman Marcus tower has already had a long uphill battle by residents concerned about "shadows"

Really doubt anything will happen, except maybe the mall/arcade part.

About time

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In Japan and Hong Kong it is quite common for a major station (or even a minor one) to be fully integrated with some kind of mall or shopping complex + larger buildings. Passengers can stop at the stores on their way to or from the station platforms. In those places, it is also the case that public and private transit agencies profitably coexist, plus they run more reliable service with mind-boggling high passenger loads. Clearly, they know better than us. We should imitate their methods.

BBY is a nasty polluted stinkhole. With private money paying, why not rip it up and do it right.


What did ARRA pay for there?

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BBY was awarded ARRA money to address the ventilation issues (apparently: shovel ready!). At some point I looked it up on the ARRA website and saw that it had indeed been paid out and work was considered complete. What, if anything, was actually done? I'm seriously asking. Nothing whatever seems to have changed. Mayhaps fell down the same well as the Blue Hill Ave transit corridor thing that never actually happened.

And another thing: these deals need to front-load everything "public" facing. Once every part of whatever the developers promise to put in place for general access is completed, then and only then can they pull a permit to complete the "private" portion of the construction (and/or a COA for that part of the project).


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The waiting room did get new air conditioning a year ago or so. Maybe that's where the ARRA money went?