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Old 12-29-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
PaulC
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Complete 800 Huntington Ave

web site: http://800huntington.com/

from 12/29/08 Boston Herald
Quote:
Mission Hill residents have landed a key ally in their battle to prevent a developer from building a bio-lab in their neighborhood: Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The Beal Co.?s plans to raze the Immune Disease Institute, a two-story concrete landmark at 800 Huntington Ave., and replace it with a five-story facility has faced strong opposition from neighbors who fear expansion of the Longwood Medical Area.

?This new building would encroach on a residential area,? said Menino. ?The way it?s designed overshadows housing behind it and extends the Longwood Medical Area. Unless they change plans, this idea isn?t going anywhere.?

Peter B. Nichols, Beal?s senior vice president, could not be reached for comment. In June, he presented the redevelopment plan to nearly 500 residents.

Beal?s Web site, 800Huntington.com, says the firm wants to ?redevelop and reinvest in an obsolete facility; enliven the street with a multi-use building and improved housing, creating activity and vibrancy along Huntington Avenue.?

But so far the response from the neighborhood has been negative.

?We are excited that Beal is considering a new development in that location, but what they want is not something the community wants,? said City Councilor Michael Ross, a Mission Hill resident. ?We?ve encouraged the developer to come back with something viable.?

State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, a Boston Democrat, said there is widespread suspicion of any commercial project on Mission Hill.

?People are very passionate about maintaining the residential integrity of this neighborhood,? he said. ?There are lots of folks here who experienced the growth of the institutions into Mission Hill and they want the Longwood Medical Area to stay on the other side of Huntington Ave.?
http://www.bostonherald.com/business...ome&position=1
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:14 PM   #2
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

I might have to side with the residents on this one. This isn't really the place for a bio-lab IMO. I see the need for expanding Longwood but I think it should be done in a more planned way.
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #3
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Deer Island and Long Island were Boston's 18th and 19th century "biolabs". Hmmm. I wonder why they put them so far away from people?
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:44 PM   #4
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Now that we live in a more compassionate society, which doesn't displace the homeless and mentally infirm to harbor islands, we must relocate our biological experimentation facilities to where the homeless and mentally infirm now reside. /sarc

Considering this planned facility is merely replacing an existing facility's underutilized footprint, I don't see what the problem is. The current building looks more like a bunker or garage than a research facility and a new building would probably be far more sympathetic to its context. Parker Hill has far worse problems to worry about than 'the expansion of institutions', this isn't a battle they should be wasting resources on. Especially given the potential boost in neighborhood revenue.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:42 PM   #5
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Michael Ross lives in Mission Hill? Never knew that.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:19 PM   #6
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

5 stories should not be a problem here, however i agree this isnt a good place for a new biolab. Should be redeveloped into residential with retail on the ground floor like any new buildings on huntington in this area
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:11 PM   #7
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Mr Ross moved to the neighborhood from the Back Bay several years ago, saying he wanted to be "closer to the people of my district" or something similar.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #8
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Mr. Ross needs to get out of City Hall and get a job for once in his charmed life.

What's surprising here is the politics between Beal, Ross and Menino - usually Beal gets whatever he wants from the mayor, with Ross as his willing stooge. Very interesting.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:00 PM   #9
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Ross is building a 'street cred' to replace Menino when the time comes.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #10
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

This proposal is a bad idea. Please understand, the building that is proposed to be torn down makes up about 1/8th of the footprint. Go a few feet back from the current bunker like building (~ 40 feet) off of Huntington and you are in a residential area of free standing wood framed homes. The proposal was to have the homes torn down, and replaced by a 100 foot bio lab. (The article is misleading when it said 5 stories) I went to the presentation it was 100 feet when including roof mechanicals.

Most of the land is zoned for two family free standing homes with a max height of 3 stories. They wanted a variance to tear down the homes and construct a 100 foot bio lab.

The usage and architectural design is completely inappropriate for this location.

The old building on Huntington is unattractive and I would love to see it replaced, but Beal is being deceptive in saying it is a replacement of that building. The project is a replacement of that building, plus a replacement of an entire block zoned for residential two family housing.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:29 AM   #11
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Quote:
Originally Posted by mission View Post
This proposal is a bad idea. Please understand, the building that is proposed to be torn down makes up about 1/8th of the footprint. Go a few feet back from the current bunker like building (~ 40 feet) off of Huntington and you are in a residential area of free standing wood framed homes. The proposal was to have the homes torn down, and replaced by a 100 foot bio lab. (The article is misleading when it said 5 stories) I went to the presentation it was 100 feet when including roof mechanicals.

Most of the land is zoned for two family free standing homes with a max height of 3 stories. They wanted a variance to tear down the homes and construct a 100 foot bio lab.

The usage and architectural design is completely inappropriate for this location.

The old building on Huntington is unattractive and I would love to see it replaced, but Beal is being deceptive in saying it is a replacement of that building. The project is a replacement of that building, plus a replacement of an entire block zoned for residential two family housing.
Just to be clear re: the block in question:

- Approx 1/3 of area (perhaps slightly more) is commercial use building fronting Huntington. Presumably that's zoned for commerical use.

- Approx 1/3 is parking lots.

- Approx 1/3 is three residential homes at Mission & Stockwell.

I haven't read Beal's proposal, and have no opinion on the density & mixed commercial/residential question that comes up in that neighborhood. But, for you to say the "entire block" that's "zoned for residential two family housing" which Beal wants to "tear down" is deceptive if you don't include a clear picture of existing conditions.

*************

To Lurker, you're exactly right re: Councilor Ross. Mumbles II. I hope he's having an easier time parking his car on Mission Hill.
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:36 PM   #12
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

latest new from today's boston herald:

Quote:
Mayor sees Mission Hill lab project as bad fit

Original 6-story plan ?extremely tall?

By Thomas Grillo
Friday, April 24, 2009 - Updated 7h ago

Despite a developer?s decision to reduce the size of a proposed six-story building near Brigham Circle, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is unimpressed.

?It was extremely tall the first time, so it?s easy to reduce it when you go up that high,? said Menino. ?It still doesn?t fit on Mission Hill.?

Reaction has been mixed to the Beal Co.?s plans to demolish a two-story biolab at 800 Huntington Ave. and replace it with a 175,000-square-foot facility featuring office and lab space, a restaurant with sidewalk seating, a community room and an art gallery. The original plan called for a 196,000-square-foot building.


Supporters say the new building would replace a neighborhood blemish, bringing jobs and vibrancy to Mission Hill. But others insist that the height and density are out of character with the historic neighborhood.

Glenn Shaw, an abutter on Stockwell Street, said the project sets a bad precedent for Mission Hill. ?This proposal changes the dynamic of the neighborhood of multi-family homes to large institutional buildings more appropriate in the Longwood Medical Center,? he said. ?They?re portraying this as a redevelopment of an older building, but it?s actually the development of an entire city block.?

State Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez said Beal officials have been told that even at 150,000 square feet the building would be too large.

?We don?t want something new at the expense of having a behemoth across the street from two-family homes,? he said.

Peter B. Nichols, Beal?s senior vice president, said he is still listening to the neighborhood and vowed to be responsive.

Michel Soltani, owner of the Mission Bar & Grill, said the project is essential to beautify a blighted section of Huntington Avenue.

?I?m sure a compromise can be reached between the developers who want a taller, denser building and some residents who prefer something smaller,? he said.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:22 PM   #13
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

If you assume that each story is approximately 15' average, that's 75'. That extra 25' could come from a lot of places, including a higher lobby ceiling, HVAC coverings on the rood, and the foundation. I'd say 100' is the maximum, and the 3 story wood frames are probably 30'-50'.
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:03 AM   #14
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Welcome to Boston. Wow.... wow... seriously, this is [F'ed] up as all [heck].








Wow.
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:29 PM   #15
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
Original 6-story plan ?extremely tall?
Please stop posting Onion articles
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:07 AM   #16
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

"BEHEMOTH".

My building in Cambridge is six stories tall; some of the neighbors are single-family houses. There were fewer objections to the urbanization of the neighborhood when they put up the building in the 19-teens, and it's now an accepted part of the neighborhood - I'm sure plans to alter it would be protested.

Why must historicity be frozen in time?
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:10 AM   #17
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

Quote:
Originally Posted by czsz View Post
Why must historicity be frozen in time?
The general public has a complete and utter lack of faith in the quality of contemporary architecture. As academics and the powers that be at the AIA continue to wax over poetic with a relative disdain for the public and their tastes. Given the massive disconnect between what the public wants and what most architects will willingly design under the scrutiny of their peers, developers are typically apathetic. Value engineering into banality is the safest bet to make a profit and no developer is going to take massive risks when they don't have too.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #18
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Re: 800 Huntington Ave

I don't think they give a crap about the quality. You could have an obsessively neotraditionalist architect like Robert Stern design this six story building and I guarantee they would still find it a monstrosity.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:04 PM   #19
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Mass Eye and Ear to 800 Huntington Ave

http://www.boston.com/business/healt...d_to_longwood/

MEEI also wants to build a 90,000 sq ft research building on Cambridge St.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:55 PM   #20
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Re: Mass Eye and Ear to 800 Huntington Ave

Excellent new re: Cambridge st. Hopefully they'll be taking out that decrepit gas station at the intersection of blossom st, it's hard to know where else they'll find room for it
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