Motor Mart garage to become more of a Condo Mart tower

The owner of the Motor Mart garage in Park Square will be seeking city permission to add 17 stories of residential units to the structure.

In a letter of intent filed with the BPDA last week, CIM Group says it wants to add roughly 280 apartments and condos atop the existing nine-floor garage - the largest car garage in the world when it opened in 1927, and which once offered helicopter service from its roof.

To integrate the "structural core" of the residential tower, CIM would build have to reduce the number of spaces in the garage from 1,058 to about 600. CIM will also add new commercial space on the ground level.

The company expects to file a more detailed set of plans within 30 days.

Motor Mart letter of intent (59k PDF).



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This is awesome. More

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This is awesome. More housing, less parking (fewer cars! less traffic!) and a more active park square



Although it's normally nice when parking gets replaced with more useful facilities, the Motor Mart isn't a normal parking garage. It's actually pretty classy as these things go. Built in a time when form wasn't ignored even for basic things like parking lots.

I won't object to the repurposing of the space, however, this garage always was a good example of how a parking deck can have nice architecture itself. As an example, it will be missed.


Can't Wait for Renderings

Since the 1927 building is already aesthetically pleasing (compared to most garages), I'm eager to see the renderings. Hopefully, they will be more inspired than the plans for the Dock Square garage, which fails to add new ground floor retail on the Greenway side of the building.

The addition of ground floor retail to this garage plus the significant reduction of parking spaces suggests that this project will be much better from an urban design perspective.


Not to say no...BUT

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I used to park in this garage. it is always full on weekdays and fairly certain on weekends as well. To go from 1058 to 600 spaces means that 458 frustrated people in cars will be searching the streets for meter parking that is already VERY limited.

There are already 3 well known restaurants in the first floor of this building: Legal Sea Food, Maggiano's and Fleming Steak House, as well as a car rental location. Are they going to have to move, close, or live with the work of building a new building on top of what they are already in? What else is there space for?

It is a very beautiful building, not an eyesore. The whole building was basically rebuilt in the late 90's..I know because I worked for the company that did the work and I had a lot of time invested in that building. Is it old fashioned, YES, but it has CHARM.

Do they think that NOBODY in those 280 apartments is going to have a car? I don't. BE SMART...ADD parking not subtract it. I don't object to more apartments, although this area seems to be overrun with them, but I do object to building without planning for more parking. This area does border on the theater district and every small parking location that used to be there now has an apartment on it and NO public parking.


If the parking is that in demand,

then the owners would be able to make more money keeping it as parking than they would renting it to other users. That they will probably be able to make more money on apartments even after the costs of redevelopment and loss of some money-making spaces just says that we need housing for people more than housing for cars.


Not sure how I feel about

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Not sure how I feel about this. I generally approve of housing and disapprove of large parking garages. But I'm also not such a fan of towers. Anything over about 10 stories can be dehumanizing to the neighborhood.

At least this garage has a pleasant street frontage on all sides. With any luck that won't change. One of my main complaints about most residential towers is that they create awful back alleys that are totally barren at street level.

Commercial space??

Since pretty much everything except the auto entrance ramp is now commercial space, I'm curious what they will be 'adding'? (And will all existing businesses be thrown out during construction? question about

By on question about what was to happen to existing tenants is not answered. Those tenants have been there 20 years +/-.


Yes still vacant and is

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Yes still vacant and is actually part of FLEMINGS. I worked there for 2.5 years till the company moved.

The original 4 story Motor

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The original 4 story Motor Mart was razed in 1927 and was replaced with the current award-winning Art Deco garage. It was reportedly the largest parking facility in the world at the time and could hold 2000 cars. The Motor Mart Garage is a reinforced concrete, five-sided, stripped classical modern structure designed by Ralph Harrington Doane and J. Frederick Krokyn. It features a double helix ramp design The ramp design is still rarely employed in large urban garages due to space constraints. Yet at the Motor Mart it allows patrons to rise two vertical levels while circling the garage only once, and combined with our Clearway Path travel lanes (no ramp parking), speeds vehicles directly to the nearest available space. Winner of the 1927 Harleston Parker Medal for best new building in greater Boston. The renovation in 1999 won several awards for preservation and restoration, a status we work hard to maintain.