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Tower would replace garage where the Leather District, Chinatown and the Financial District meet

Proposed 125 Lincoln St.

Architect's rendering of proposed 125 Lincoln St.

Oxford Properties Group of Toronto has filed detailed plans for replacing the garage - and the Hei La Moon restaurant - at 125 Lincoln St. in the Leather District with a 24-story, 625,000-square-foot office building that would include some ground-floor retail space and construction of an "all-season indoor/outdoor space available for public gathering and community functions and events."

The building would have a 275-space underground garage, according to the filing by Oxford, which says it is the second-largest landlord in Boston and Cambridge, with some 4.5 million square feet of commercial real estate in its portfolio.

In its filing, Oxford says it tried to design a building that fronts on three neighborhoods:

The Project's location at the juncture of the Leather District, Financial District and Chinatown is emblematic of Boston's emerging character as a city of complementary neighborhoods. On the City's skyline, the Project's architecture and massing will reflect its unique location, adjacent to the Greenway and in close proximity to the Radian and will create a new gateway for those arriving and leaving the City at its southern end. At street level, the Project's progressive signature will be evident and pedestrians will recognize it as having strong roots in and compatibility with its neighborhood. A mix of glass and masonry at the lower podium-level of the Project will reflect the character and tactility of the Leather District, which will be further underscored by active public programming. The Building's base will be both transparent and porous, encouraging a unique and dynamic interaction between the City and the Project.

It adds:

The Project will transform a underutilized building at the end of its functional life into a vibrant and sustainable office space with active ground floor public uses, including retail space, restaurant space, a publicly accessible indoor space, and a community gathering space with supporting retail options and indoor/outdoor connectivity.

Oxford estimates that the project will mean $4.6 million in housing linkage payments and $900,000 in jobs-training funds paid to the city, in addition to annual property taxes.

125 Lincoln St. project-notification form (65M PDF).

Proposed 125 Lincoln St. building
Proposed 125 Lincoln St. building
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Comments

Traffic. Congestion. Repeat.

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Voting closed 9

First, this proposal ignores all existing city plans and zoning. We are zoned for mixed-use 100' max. They propose 100% commercial and over 300'.

Second, this retail space would be dark at night, more shooting galleries and sleeping nooks. Not good for the neighborhood.

Third, thousands of commuters would cause traffic congestion every weekday.

Fourth, the city and Greenway plans call for limiting development along the greenway with the EXPRESS purpose of UNITING neighborhoods, opening up the city. This proposed mammoth tower would wall off the Chinatown neighborood AND the Leather District.

Fifth, the proposed monstrosity would create shadow and wind tunnels.

Sixth, the neighborhood is nearly UNIVERSALLY OPPOSED and they keep coming to meetings "to hear your concerns" then ignoring them completely.

This is just a bit of our concerns. You'd be welcome to talk to others or attend our next meeting if you'd like the full story.

- Jackie

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Voting closed 24

Hi Jackie,

I agree with your comments above (except the shadows one, because it's ridiculous) but I am curious... were you this concerned when Leggat McCall came into my neighborhood and got approval to add 700 new apartments to an area that is already densely populated? Or when the Abbey group came into the exact same area and won approval for a 4-building, 1.6 million square foot technology center? Or is your outrage just taking place now because the constant construction that residents of the South End have had to deal with for the past 10 years is now creeping into your neighborhood?

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Voting closed 4

So a Chinatown resident is supposed to be all over the city and protest every single development everywhere? I think your focus on the South End may have blinded you to what's already been going on in Chinatown for like ten years now. Does "Dainty Dot" even mean anything to you?

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Voting closed 23

I was being too harsh, so I'll apologize for that.

No, I don't expect someone to know all construction projects going on around the entire city. I just mean people generally, myself included, tend to focus only what impacts them directly. I've worked right next to Chinatown for 15 years, so while I'm certainly not blinded to what has been going on, I meant to suggest that instead of all of us focusing on individual projects in our vicinity, we should be taking our concerns to the city at a higher level, not project by project.

Perhaps I should have had coffee before commenting.

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Voting closed 3

The building is going up in the Leather District, not Chinatown.

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Voting closed 0

Shadows aside you agree then chastise her for not being at your meeting so she should shut up and take it?

Is this a NIMBY to YIYBY conversionor were you assimilated by the Borg?

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Voting closed 7

It is across Surface Rd. from the Chinatown gate, steps to the 590-foot, 46-story One Financial Center and the planned South Station Tower, which will be close to 700 feet.

Although it would be nice to see the Chinese supermarket remain in the new building, this is exactly where a proposal like this should be built (and hide the parking garage underground as opposed to the ugly one currently at this address.)

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Voting closed 20

For most people, the Greenway ends at Dewey Square, but the Chinatown plazas and gates are actually considered part of it. There is considerable discontinuity between this area and Dewey Square, with only minimal greenery or parkland.

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Voting closed 14

It can be made fuzzy, yes.
Personally, I haven't noticed Greenway Conservancy personnel doing any work between Summer and Kneeland (though I could be wrong), which would seem to say "not Greenway"
Then you get people like real estate developers who named their new building at the corner of Kneeland & Fitzgerald "One Greenway"

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Voting closed 0

Jackie,

What do you and the LDNA propose Oxford do with this site?

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Voting closed 3

A small step in the right direction towards becoming a first world city.

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Voting closed 16

never work out for the community.

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Voting closed 20

...so there is no sunshine cast upon it and the place is a canyon? Passing stuff like this and chiofaros tower and the garage plan above the hard rock takes away from this park we spend billions on.

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Voting closed 13

Why dont we just wall the entire thing off, put a roof over it and make it a mall?

Werent plans like these supposed to be forbidden?

Arent there height restrictions already in place?

Suffolk's dry drunk has got to go, it's time for new blood in city hall.

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Voting closed 6

The media is ignoring the nearly universal opposition from the residents of the area. This not only would be a tremendous eyesore, but it would essentially block out any natural lighting for the residents in the area. There is nothing that this building would be bringing that would benefit anybody in the community. I am absolutely disgusted by our politicians who are not coming forward and being outspoken for their constituents.

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Voting closed 7

1. How many parking spaces exist at the site now? The net change in parking is an interesting and important metric, I think.

2. Why can't it be mixed use? Build some housing to go with the office space. It doesn't even need to be a ton -- but so long as you're going to build more places for suburbanites to commute to every day, why not also build some housing for suburbanites to move to, cutting congestion a smidge?

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Voting closed 6

This architect's rendering of the proposed building - withheld from each meeting with the neighborhood.

Building in relation to other downtown buildings

The Globe (@byTimLogan) completely ignored any input from our neighborhood or Chinatown and took - whole cloth - what the developers sent them.

Interestingly, they omitted THIS graphic from any meeting with us. They showed the Globe only the very misleading drawing - below - which makes the tower appear MUCH smaller than planned.

Architect's rendering
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Voting closed 7

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Voting closed 6

instead of covering the story

This bs happens with nearly every project in the city except instead of both sides giving a little we have a behind the back handshake before the first meeting.

They first blindside the neighbors (the ones they cant buy out) with plans for gigantic gleaming towers filled with commerce knowing full well the plans are wildly outside of zoning regulations.

This is all done knowing full well that it'll be denied.

The developer can then assume the position of the caring and benevolent party by coming back with a major reduction in size (yet still outside of zoning regs) and adding 3 or 4 trees.

It's all a scam. A wholly corrupt system of cronies, relatives, and cousins of various board and committee members doing business in this city not unlike what Dear Orange Leader is doing in DC.

Us liberal democrats need to realize the systemic rot we rail against in Washington is right under our noses too.

Disband the BPDA and send Marty to the Irish Riviera.

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Voting closed 4

It sounds like the City needs to update/set clear zoning guidelines for this area and then require developers to stick to them. I can understand the frustration of neighbors who see the City overriding the zoning for these types of proposals all the time, but I also see why the City does it, because these areas often can handle more height and density than current zoning allows.

In terms of shadows, I would encourage people to go out on the Greenway on any day this month and note where most people are sitting to be most comfortable. (Hint: it's usually not in direct sunlight.)

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Voting closed 6

Glad to see something going in to replace that building. I think it is on the larger side for the area but where was this outrage when Radian was approved? The building is across the street and similar size and scale. Also, a 20 story building was approved in the neighborhood on Kneeland Street, where was the concern with that one?

This is downtown Boston, if these types of buildings are not built here where do you expect them to be built? It is walking distance to several mass transit options and will bring a significant number of people to the area. I'd like to see it be housing or mixed use but if they plan it correctly and find the right businesses to occupy the ground floor it can have a significant upside to the area which is currently filled with unsavory characters.

If everyone was concerned with Shadows on the Greenway there should have been significant outrage over the Radian as the location of this building has no impact to the sun on the greenway.

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Voting closed 19

And, yes, people DID protest that building, for many of the same reasons (and because the building it replaced was historic, unlike the garage at issue today).

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Voting closed 9

I'd prefer if 275-space underground garages weren't built anywhere.

And 625,000 of development on a 27,800 square foot lot where zoning would allow 223,880 square feet -- which is right, this project or the zoning? The goal should be to balance developer profits with what's good for the surrounding area. I think a FAR of 8 is fine even in a downtown area.

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Voting closed 3

Radian is not nearly as close in size and scale. The footprint is so much smaller, it is not nearly as tall, and it's in an area where the building height is stepping down from the Financial District and Downtown into Chinatown and the Leather District. It also does not cast any additional shadows on the parks. All of the renderings being shared are designed by Oxford to make the building look unobtrusive and is very misleading.

Check out page 47 of this for a better understanding of how it relates to Radian, and how out of scale it is with the surrounding residential neighborhoods on either side. http://www.bostonplans.org/getattachment/a1db10c3-fb81-40e2-b43a-e9d9efe...

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Voting closed 2

What does the Leather District represent? What do city officials want for its residents? When I tell people I live here, they don't even know where this neighborhood is. I have to tell them, it's, "next to Chinatown", and the next reaction is almost always, "Don't you get tired of living with homeless and druggies?" I've lived and worked in this area since 2007, and I am done with the filth and crappy businesses. I'm sick of calling 911 and 311. Let the developers have their way... Let this neighborhood become some overpriced showpiece like the Seaport.

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Voting closed 2

How do towers with giant parking garages eliminate filth, crappy businesses, druggies, and 911 calls?

In my experience, most new towers around here create streetside dead zones with dumpster docks and garage entrances.

How about these vibrant streetscapes?
https://goo.gl/maps/tPKRkhRRXcx4uJTM6
https://goo.gl/maps/YQgFVeqR2QPgmHnw8
https://goo.gl/maps/jBVne6fi3NrbtXKD6
https://goo.gl/maps/3ffcrAC7gUj82DxF6

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