A Brooklyn developer has filed detailed plans for its proposed remake of the dowdy Dock Square garage, from several levels of parking with a restaurant at the bottom into a shimmering 17-story residential building with several levels of parking and a restaurant at the bottom.
In its filing with the BPDA, Fortis Property Group says it wants to add 195 residential units in 10 stories above the existing garage, which would remain in place, but with the current 698 spaces reduced to 682 - of which 402 would be for self parkers and 280 limited to valet parking.
The filing does not say if the Hard Rock Cafe will be asked to stay, but if the chain wants to remain at the location, it would have to accept having its current 15,000-square-foot space reduced to to 8,000 square feet to make way for a lobby for the residences.
Unheard of for a modern Boston project, the new residential floors would include some four-bedroom units.
Fortis explained its design for what it hopes will become a new downtown landmark:
The new garage façade will be composed of a combination of terra-cotta louvers and perforated metal panels, organized in a vertical grid pattern to reduce the scale of the existing garage facade. LED light strips will be embedded within the grid to illuminate the façade with ambient lighting (see Figure 5-3). The residential addition above the garage will be skinned throughout with glass, curtainwall facades. Subtle surface undulations will be included to add interest to the glass surfaces, and to allow for unit balconies. The goal of the overall façade composition is to create a warm-colored building base that fits into the context of the historical neighborhood, and a contrasting sleek and prism-like top that becomes a recognizable addition to the Boston skyline.
Fortis is also proposing a sprucing up of the little used brick plaza at the site
The existing brick-paved plaza is currently underused in part because of its varying grades, with steps down from the adjacent public sidewalks. The Project would create a uniform grade for the plaza, and add plantings, tables, and chairs to make it more welcoming and usable to the public. In addition, the brick façade of the existing garage will be re-clad along its entire perimeter to create a warm-colored building base that fits into the context of the neighborhood. Together, these improvements will enhance the pedestrian experience at the site.
Fortis adds that despite the new floors, the vertical addition "preserves views to the Custom House Tower from the Greenway and Blackstone Street, as well as from Boston Harbor to City Hall Plaza."
Because the building is not all that far from Boston Harbor, architects are taking into account the sort of flooding the area might experience: Plans call for backup power supplies and fuel sources to be located above the height of the worst expected flooding and ground-level spaces will be designed with "non-absorptive materials" so that "in the event of flooding, the building can recover quickly."
Fortis would like to start construction in mid-2019, with completion scheduled for early to mid 2021.
Dock Square project-notification form (51M PDF).
From the Custom House-enamored filing: