Earlier this fall, Mayor Menino all but ordered the developers of the TD Garden project to compromise and lower the height of one of the planned 600-foot towers within the $1 billion mix-used project.
That was then. This is now. There is no height compromise, as far as we can see. The developers, Boston Properties and Delaware North, appear to have gotten gotten roughly what they wanted.
The mainstream media is focusing on the tax breaks involved in the BRA’s surprise move to approve the development proposal.
But the real news, from a neighborhood perspective, is the sheer size of the project.
Well, so much for “compromise.”
Not that approving the plan is a bad decision by the BRA. The project does include 500 new housing units. The more, the merrier, in our book.
Still, you can’t ignore the discrepancy between what was said and what was actually done.
File under: Read my lips (not)
Developers now want to build three, not two, towers at the site of the old Boston Garden, next to TD Garden, and it already seems like a done deal.
From the Herald:
The three proposed towers where the old Garden once stood — now a parking lot in front of the current Garden — would include a 600-foot residential tower with 497 units. A 306-room hotel in the middle would stretch 320 feet. An office tower next to it would rise to 420 feet.
All totaled, the project would include 668,000 square feet of office space, 142,000 square feet of flex office space, 235,000 square feet of restaurant and retail, 25,000 square feet for an atrium hall leading toward Canal Street and a 40,000 square foot expansion of the TD Garden, primarily for concessions and an elevator lobby on levels 3-7, according to the filings.
The BRA seems to be cheerleading this idea. But has anyone besides the BRA and developers even seen this three-tower plan before? First it was two towers. Now it’s three towers … and the BRA is giving it a big round of applause, calling it “exciting.”
Well, it is exciting. But …
The Bruins-Rangers showdown wasn’t the only game in the North Station area yesterday.
Boston Properties and Garden Development Corp. (i.e. the Bruins owners) have officially applied to build a 1.7 million mixed-use development next to TD Garden. The complex would have 500 residential units and lots of retail, office and hotel space.
P.S. — Bruins won in another OT thriller, fyi.
Another day. Another apartment-complex for Boston.
This one is going to be next to the Tip O’Neill federal building and TD Garden in the North Station area — and it’s just the latest housing project slated for the city.
File under: More housing, please
Update — AvalonBay, the developer of the North Station project, has a total of 1,094 apartment units either under construction right now or in the construction pipeline. Pretty impressive.
The developers of Lovejoy Wharf are getting some city tax breaks to help them proceed with the $230 million project, which includes Converse eventually moving hundreds of employees into the future renovated building.
And, boy, does the building need renovation. The tax breaks are expected to offset some of the costs of rebuilding and extending old wharfs for future public use.
Once completed, Lovejoy will include offices, retail, and about 100 residences, all conveniently near TD Garden, North Station, the North End, Faneuil Hall and Charlestown.
File under: Elbow grease
From the Herald, on the Lovejoy Wharf project approved yesterday by the city:
“The developers will renovate the existing nine-story building at 160 North Washington Street with 187,000 square feet of office space — reportedly for incoming tenant Converse — and ground-floor retail including a 300-seat cafe-style restaurant. One floor will be added.
“The adjacent 131 Beverly St., a “virtually condemned” structure that’s fenced off, will be demolished and replaced with a 14-story residential tower with about 100 units.”
As you see in the photo above, Lovejoy Wharf definitely needs a little love. The project had been stalled for a while and new developers ultimately had to step in. Let’s hope it gets done this time around.
File under: Love it
The North Bennet Street School, a private North End vocational school, is scrambling to come up with enough cash and final approvals in order to convert the old BPD and printing buildings into a new venue for its students.
The city and the school have agreed to a cross-neighborhood land swap in which the city gets the old North Bennet Street School property in exchange for the school acquiring most of the old BPD and printing facilities.
They’ll probably get the deal and conversion done in time, though it’s going to be a rush to the finish line.
Fyi: The somewhat famous front of the old BPD building with the golden dome cuppola, next to the entrance of the Callahan Tunnel, is not being taken over by the school. The back end of the entire facility is being taken over (see the side view photo above and the aerial photo below).
The North Bennet Street School even has a blog that’s chronicling the switchover to its new North End facility.
Sounds like a smart move for both the city and school.
AvalonBay has taken over the development rights next to TD Garden in the North Station area — and they’re planning to dramatically increase the number of apartments there.
Boston Garden Development Corp. previously had plans to develop about 363 apartments, but that proposal never got off the ground. Enter AvalonBay, which took over the development rights and which now plans 503 units.
Boston has seen so many apartment developments in recent years. But it still kind of boggles the mind that 503 units will suddenly be there one day in the North Station area. That’s a lot of people and a lot of street life and a lot of business.
And it’s most welcome.
This just in from the Herald:
“The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved revised plans for the Merano, a $165 million project consisting of a 210-room hotel and 230 apartments in the Bulfinch Triangle.The building will be constructed on a Central Artery air-rights parcel between Causeway Street and the Rose Kennedy Greenway, near the TD Garden.”