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Developer proposes 600-foot tower for the Hole
By adamg on Mon, 06/11/2012 - 8:33pm
The Herald reports Millennium Partners is doubling down on the original Vornado project with a building that would be taller and bigger.
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Would be nice if it actually
Would be nice if it actually gets built.
Why isn't the base of the
Why isn't the base of the tower at least somewhat consistent with the style and massing of the original Filene's building? As proposed this new tower looks like a separate project and not something appropriately interconnected with a historic building.
The tower itself is a somewhat generic glass shard with decent enough proportions. The height allows a narrower width to save us from all those eeeeeeeevil shadows! Why can't some other color besides blue, like the green from the original building, be integrated into the design? A cool spire? Something that makes this unique compared to the Arch street tower?
I'm bothered by this, too, but I think I'll get used to it
The reason it bothers me is I've grown accustomed to the concept of the tower growing out of the Burnham base. This proposal doesn't do that, instead treating the old Filene's building as essentially a separate entity. There is no inherent virtue in combining the two structures, and with this proposal, we get a more varied street wall.
Build it! Now!
I don't want to see any impediments put in the way of this. We need it.
We need the street-level
We need the street-level retail. But anything above about 10 stories does nothing to improve the neighborhood, and just serves to make money for the developer.
adding 1000 new residents to downtown crossing does nothing for the area. Yeah sure...
Density is key, and adding a lot of new condos and apartments is good for the neighborhood.
DTX is already having issues with high rents and stores that can;t sell enough to justify them, closing up shop. The work hour crowds are not enough for this area of Boston.
Get more people in, relive the major housing issue this city is having, and grow the economic base of the neighborhood.
It's a win for everybody who doesn't think they own the skyline.
Uh. That's how development
Uh. That's how development works.
people = shoppers
the portion of the building above the tenth floor also happens to house residents who will shop in that ground floor retail
This area is surrounded by buildings that are 10+ stories dumb ass. Maybe they should build a one family house; I bet that will fit in just fine.
How long untill
the first anonymous local resident complains about shadows or his view?
As long as it has street level retail or public common areas, let's get this thing done Mr Mayor!
Someone complaining about added traffic! In a city!
Though I do wonder about the wisdom of adding 525 parking spaces in a building that fronts a walking-only street adjacent to several massive T stations.
Isn't there a parking "freeze" in place downtown? What happened to that?
I agree about the parking
Why not have an underground shopping mall,like Montreal,accessible right from the subway?
Yeah, gonna have to nix the
Yeah, gonna have to nix the parking by a ton.
Requiring underground retail space and maybe asking them to allocate money for station renovations and connections on the Red/Orange platforms would be very smart.
1/2 the time the stations smell of open sewer.
The leaky parking freeze
According to Fred Salvucci today, the "parking freeze" is very very leaky.
That explains a bit.
Yeah, we need more traffic into Boston
Plenty of buildings and vacant office space already. If you want a building, go find a set of Legos.
4257, 4258, 4259...
Huh? Oh pardon me, I was just counting the number of downtown luxury tower condo units in the pipeline. Let's see they are currently selling at a rate of about a dozen a month. If we get back to "normal" and get to even say 30 a month that's a 25 year supply if we don't approve a single additional unit and don't have another recession in the next 25 years.
As I said in another post recently, I keep reading about ground breakings etc. but I'm not seeing a lot of progress on these projects. The silver shovel business is booming, but the crane business appears pretty slow.
Don't hold your breath waiting for this thing - unless they throw some kind of public subsidy at it.
Have you been down Washington Street recently?
Looks like that Millennium Partners project where the parking lot used to be is actually happening. Ditto for that tower further down Washington, where that other parking lot used to be.
We're fine for now
There are only 3 luxury towers with inventory - Clarendon, Province and the W. They are selling at a rate of about 10 a month combined. The Clarendon should sell out some time this year and the other two probably in the next 12-18 months. That's just in time for some of these newer places to come on line and they will do very well for a couple of years due to pent up demand. The problem will come, if we keep building all of these projects in the pipeline, 3-5 years down the road. We could easily see 5-6 of these come on line in a single year and very possibly timed perfectly for the next recession. Again, there is almost nothing that is changing the historical demand patterns with one exception - there are a lot of wealthy leading edge baby boomers moving into the city. They may provide a short term boost to the real estate market, but that is probably going to be like a hit of speed. My experience with wealthy empty nesters is they move into the city, live here for 5-7 years and head to their second/third homes when they realize they own too much real estate. As the trailing boomers become empty nesters, they generally won't have the level of wealth as the leading edge and won't be able to afford these units.
Unless we can get a facebook or other large job generator to grow in Boston, longer term we will struggle to fill all these luxury buildings - and the young people filling those jobs will still need a place to live until they find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - and those are the kinds of places we are building far too few of.
But you are right - there are a couple of projects that are proceeding - SLOWLY. I know Tony Pangaro personally. He's very smart and very committed to Boston - and a truly nice person. But at some point he has to come to the same conclusion - how do I sell 500 luxury housing units in a market that could be VERY glutted by the time this opens (this may be part of the reason they are telling the city it needs to be this big). It looks like a pretty nice building as modern glass towers go - but it's probably sailing into a gale force headwind. I think there will be a handful of successes (I'd put my money on the Neiman building as one of them if they can get the deck built economically) - and for Tony's sake I hope this is one of them. But I think there will be a basketful of more generic failures that either never get built or worse.
Thats the problem
a lack of developers, who with their connections, easily control the market.
There's a reason everything is called luxury and why prices are very sticky. Only a few can build in Boston, and they're using their political connections along with the NIMBYism of others to capture the market and control it.
There' not much demand for normal apartments with granite counter tops and metallic fixtures selling 2-3 times what the rate should be. Throw in some wood counters and normal fixtures and sell those things off quicker as normal apartment in a city!
You should have more faith in the Force of the Market, young Padawan.
If there are really too many luxury apartments, they'll just have to sell them for less.
Have you been in Kendall Square lately?
If the biotechs aren't enough (some six or seven giant office buildings broke ground this year on my 30-minute walk to work), you've got Google, Microsoft, and Amazon putting down major roots, along with who-knows-what startups that succeed... all a few stops away on the Red Line.
But all of that is fairly normal growth for our area, not explosive growth and none of those companies are minting millionaires by the gross that can afford to live in these buildings. I'm not arguing we don't need 1000-2000 units of housing for Boston. I'm arguing that if 100% of this is targeted at the 1% we are headed for a problem.
As for Sock Puppet's argument above, I would agree wholeheartedly but for one small problem. Screw this up like we did in the early 90's overbuilding condo conversions or the middle of the last decade after overbuilding office space (commercial overdevelopment is worse by an order of magnitude) and you can devastate middle class housing in this city.
In the early 90's taxes in the city were ridiculously cheap. by 2000 they were still cheap until we overbuilt all those office buildings during the dot-com bubble which drove up residential taxes by 33%% above and beyond historically normal levels. One more screw up like those two and we potentially make Boston unaffordable even to the rich. Unfortunately our real estate market and the city's revenue stream are joined at the hip. Disruptions don't eliminate taxes, they shift them around from those that can afford them to those that can't. It's an inherent flaw in Prop 2 1/2 that works fine in a homogenous suburban community but can wreak havoc in a highly segmented urban environment like Boston.
So nothing's going to change?
I can't wait until Menino
I can't wait until Menino renames it "Millennium Crossing" in honor of the huge amount of development his buddies have done on Washington St.
I actually thought the 525 parking spaces seemed low given the 500 residential units (Boston zoning requires at least 1 space per unit) and all the office space. I would have expected them to go in at a higher number and cut it down through the Article 80 process.
Here's hoping that the approval process goes quickly and they get a shovel in the ground soon.
Please include better retail
I hope this gets built, ASAP.
Would love it even more if there was a supermarket or interesting/unique retail. It would be great for city residents since EVERY subway line is within 4 blocks from this space and would be great for DTX. Nordstrom, medium sized super market, interesting dining concepts. Get creative, Boston. We can handle it.
Please. I'll believe it when
Please. I'll believe it when I see it FULLY CONSTRUCTED.
That'd be pretty dumb not to
That'd be pretty dumb not to believe it when you see it at least 51% constructed