The owners of the Motor Mart Garage in Park Square - once the largest auto garage in the world, with a helipad on top - have filed their formal plans for sticking a 20-story residential tower atop it.
If approved by the BPDA - and possibly the Board of Appeals - the proposal by CIM Group and Boston Global Investors would add 306 apartments and condos while preserving 672 dowdier parking spaces, 528 for public parking and the remaining 144 set aside for residents. The ground floor would gain about 46,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.
The 1929 garage currently can hold 1,037 cars. Under the proposal, some of those spaces would be converted into 84 new residential units, with the rest in the tower to rise from the garage's current eighth floor.
The developers say they will work with the city to determine the best way to add affordable units - either by reserving 13% of the on-site units for affordable rentals or sales or by giving the city the equivalent of the value of 18% of the units for a BPDA fund used to buy or build affordable units off site.
The existing garage façade has a rich and varied ornamentation that will be enhanced by the addition of residential type windows which by their nature have greater depth than the current single panel windows. The gridded pattern of the windows will help reduce the scale of the large existing windows. This strategy is also implemented into the design of the curtain wall, making sure the scale is appropriate to a residential building. In a similar fashion the precast panels of the existing garage have also been visually reduced by employing a scalloped motif which also allows the sun to interact with the panel in different ways depending on its position. This similar scallop extends upwards into the panels of the tower.
The developers add that "the Project does not cast new shadow on the Boston Common or the Boston Public Garden on
any day from March 21 through October 21," in compliance with the new state law aimed at minimizing shadows on the two historic parks.
Motor Mart project notification form (43M PDF).