State to try to sell development rights above Green Line, turnpike near Hynes station

The state Department of Transportation and the MBTA said today they're soliciting bids for development above state land at Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue - and say the project is key to making the existing Hynes Green Line station handicap accessible.

Parcel 13 represents approximately 54,500 square feet of air rights over the Massachusetts Turnpike and portions of the MBTA Green Line tunnel across the street from the Hynes Convention Center. Hynes Station does not meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and is the busiest Green Line station not currently accessible to people with disabilities. An average of 8,950 customers each weekday enter Hynes Station, which is also an important transfer point for the busy MBTA Route 1 bus.

The RFP seeks a single, coordinated project development team including both a transit developer to design Hynes Station accessibility and other improvements including new street-level entrances and a developer for Parcel 13.

MassDOT funds supplemented by Parcel 13 air rights rent from a long-term lease with the developer will pay the cost of Hynes Station design, construction, and station improvements.

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Not the first time it's been put out to bid

Parcels 12 and 15 have been approved and will be moving forward. This, the third of the three parcels available (I forget what happened to 14) was first put out to bid a couple years ago with the other 2 parcels but MassDOT, et al, and received just one bid. In Spring 2013, MassDOT rejected the bid for Parcel 13 - 8 months after it was submitted - claiming the developer had missed the deadline for bids ... by two hours.

ArchBoston has the details.

http://www.archboston.org/community/showthread.php?t=2347&highlight=parc...

The good news is, the new request for bids stipulates the chosen developer will be required to rebuild an underground tunnel on Mass Ave and restore the exit from Auditorium (I mean, Hynes) to Boylston Street, the exit that is only open one day a year - Opening Day.

(Oh, don't forget; Berklee is planning a new tower at the corners of Mass Ave and Boylston St, too!)

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Yeah, Massachusetts Station

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Yeah, Massachusetts Station (I think the only station to have gone through three names, four if you count Hynes-ICA) could use a facelift. Remember when some guy tried to paint it pink?

Hopefully this project would include a rebuilding or at least restriping of Mass Ave through there with bus/bike lanes and a much better shelter/reopening of the cross-under from the west side.

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Mass Ave was just restriped,

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Mass Ave was just restriped, when they put in the bike lanes.

What it desperately needs is a fresh coat of pavement. All the lines in the world are no help if your bones are being shaken and your attention is distracted by a rough roadway.

Not surprised

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I would think that the prospect of financing a project involving 1) engineering a large building over complex infrastructure 2) dealing with the T's accessibility issues and 3) dealing with typical Boston neighborhoods that will fight you down to 3 stories so that you cannot pay for (1) or (2)
Equals: Not such an attractive opportunity... Good thought for the MBTA to get someone else to help pay for these improvements in a quid pro quo arrangement... But I'm sure there are other more attractive and easily developed parcels around, no?

Let's hope the developer is

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Let's hope the developer is required to pay for the station elevator before they're allowed to break ground. We wouldn't want a stalled project to leave us stuck with an unfinished torn-up T station.