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Old 01-03-2007, 01:21 AM   #41
kz1000ps
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Exactly. I debated whether putting up the pictures or not, because frankly you aren't going to see any signs of progress through them.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:51 AM   #42
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Not sure if this deserves it own thread or not. Maybe if it gets out of "study" stage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BU Today
March 21, 2007
Study Sees New Campus Center Near BU Bridge
New transit hub would spur development
By Art Jahnke

The proposed ellipse (center) would pull together East Campus and West Campus and encourage development.

Last year Boston University leadership engaged the Toronto-based urban design firm Greenberg Consultants and CBT Architects of Boston to help envision the long-term development of the Charles River Campus. While Greenberg?s work is ongoing, the urban planner has proposed a key concept for the physical future of Boston University: a campus stretched along Commonwealth Avenue whose center is a grassy ellipse built over the Massachusetts Turnpike near the BU Bridge. Ken Greenberg, the principal of Greenberg Consultants, sees the ellipse as a powerful incentive for new academic, residential, and commercial development long into the future.

Although much of the imagined development would occur over decades, Greenberg?s study has some immediate implications, particularly for the development of transportation systems. It recommends, among other things, that state and city planners consider building near the BU Bridge a transportation hub that would connect the existing Commuter Rail line to the Green Line and to rapid transit buses traveling along the Urban Ring, a planned rapid transit route intended to link Boston?s universities and medical centers.

Boston University President Robert A. Brown says the proposed ellipse near the BU Bridge is an exciting concept for several reasons. The proposed transit hub would benefit the University and neighboring communities by providing faster and more convenient transportation to about 70,000 residents of Cambridge, Boston, and Brookline. Equally important, the hub would create an opportunity to design a more pedestrian-friendly flow of traffic in the area of the BU Bridge. That redesign would also encourage the development of commercial and retail space, as well as institutional space that would meet the needs of the University without requiring an expansion into neighboring communities.

Brown says the enormous long-term advantage of the ellipse is in providing a new center of gravity that would pull together East and West Campuses. Combined with efforts to reconnect with the Charles River, he says, the proposal could reknit communities that have long been split by highways and streets

Greenberg, whose projects include work on Brooklyn Bridge Park and Kendall Square, says the proposed ellipse and transit hub has the potential to create a vibrant community focal point in an area that is now a ?no-man?s-land.? He emphasizes that his yearlong study represents a strategic framework and not a fixed plan for development.

Gary Nicksa, BU vice president for operations, says ideas from the study involving connections to the Urban Ring have been presented to the state?s Executive Office of Transportation (EOT). University officials believed it was important, he says, in light of other proposals for Commuter Rail stops at alternative locations, for the state to consider the advantages of a location that could offer connections to the commuter train, the Green Line, and rapid transit buses, and that could unlock opportunities for commercial and retail development. Earlier this year, Harvard University proposed placing a Commuter Rail station at the current location of the Beacon Rail Yard, as part of Harvard?s large-scale expansion into Allston.

Nicksa says the University hoped the EOT would consider coordinating several current and proposed roadway improvement projects with the state?s master plan for the Urban Ring. He reports that the EOT and the state and local groups that had been briefed on the proposal have responded positively to the presentation?s vision for improved traffic flow, safety, and urban benefits.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

Link

Edit: Why is the BU Bridge green? Are they going to plant grass on it? :roll:
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:46 AM   #43
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Same with the block of walk-ups (in front of the Photonics building) that front on Comm Ave. I like how they didn't even bother to incorporate roads and the T into the ellipse area; it's just "hey look at how much green there could be....in fantasy land."
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:05 PM   #44
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I'm assuming all the infrastructure would go beneath such an "ellipse"..

Here's another idea:

Place buildings on top of the pike. Modest mid rises or 5-6 story offices would work wonders with all the transit in the bowels.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:19 PM   #45
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That area does need to change. Its essentially a bottleneck that divides the campus. The sidewalk narrows, and traffic is hectic in that area.


Also: The comm ave project has been stationary since January.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:53 PM   #46
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Sounds interesting but BU doesn't own air rights over the Mass Turnpike and shouldn't expect it to be given to them by the taxpayers without proper compensation..
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:10 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott
Sounds interesting but BU doesn't own air rights over the Mass Turnpike and shouldn't expect it to be given to them by the taxpayers without proper compensation..
Wouldnt BU footing the construction bill, in exchange for the free "land" be a good deal for the taxpayers?
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:55 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott
Sounds interesting but BU doesn't own air rights over the Mass Turnpike and shouldn't expect it to be given to them by the taxpayers without proper compensation..
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:37 AM   #49
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Dude, you're so predictable..

Sooo, what if it was the opposite? Say an investment trust owned the air rights, and public expansion onto their property was all but imminent. Are they expected to just give it away after years of increases in value without expecting their due compensation?
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:17 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kz1000ps
Dude, you're so predictable..

Sooo, what if it was the opposite? Say an investment trust owned the air rights, and public expansion onto their property was all but imminent. Are they expected to just give it away after years of increases in value without expecting their due compensation?
That's not a relevant comparison.

Let's say I had a dump in the back of my yard. Let's say a local nonprofit asked to clean it up. Now let's say I tried to charge them for the privilege of doing so, solely because that nonprofit was especially rich..

That would be the comparison.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:01 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeUrSistersHot
Quote:
Originally Posted by kz1000ps
Dude, you're so predictable..

Sooo, what if it was the opposite? Say an investment trust owned the air rights, and public expansion onto their property was all but imminent. Are they expected to just give it away after years of increases in value without expecting their due compensation?
That's not a relevant comparison.

Let's say I had a dump in the back of my yard. Let's say a local nonprofit asked to clean it up. Now let's say I tried to charge them for the privilege of doing so, solely because that nonprofit was especially rich..

That would be the comparison.
If i understand the argument over air rights correctly, then your analogy is also flawed because it assumes that only one local nonprofit would like to clean it up, when in fact, there would be several companies who would pay to clean it up. In this case, you would have to open bidding to the company who would pay the most to clean it up. These companies represent developers, and i am sure BU would not be the only interested party for those air rights.

I believe this is what scott was getting at. BU shouldn't be given those parcels, if there are other people out there willing to pay for them. Those parcels are public property, and should not be given away when money could be had from them.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:53 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palindrome
If i understand the argument over air rights correctly, then your analogy is also flawed because it assumes that only one local nonprofit would like to clean it up, when in fact, there would be several companies who would pay to clean it up. In this case, you would have to open bidding to the company who would pay the most to clean it up. These companies represent developers, and i am sure BU would not be the only interested party for those air rights.

I believe this is what scott was getting at. BU shouldn't be given those parcels, if there are other people out there willing to pay for them. Those parcels are public property, and should not be given away when money could be had from them.
i buy that...
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:50 AM   #53
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I believe most of the land involved here is actually in Brookline?
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:22 AM   #54
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Geek Squad Dude seems to be as clueless about communism as he is about Libertarianism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jass

Wouldn't BU footing the construction bill, in exchange for the free "land" be a good deal for the taxpayers?
Possibly yes, but the devil is in the details. My point is that BU is not a public institution like UMASS and can either buy its own land or create an overwhelming benefit to the public that would compensate for the value of the property. Also keep in mind that if this was sold to a developer it would go on the tax rolls and if it goes to BU it would be tax exempt.

I do not think that the state should be unfair or try to suck money out of BU - just the opposite it should nurture it because of the positive things it does for our city's development, but recognize that they have a duty to the taxpayer to get fair compensation for public property. By getting fair compensation the state then has the resources to provide Green Line service to BU (a level of service that half the taxpayers in the city do not enjoy) and upgrade Comm Ave which is mutually beneficial to the school and the citizenry.
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:55 AM   #55
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As a concept, I like it, but it's going to be a challenge to build anything here without disrupting any of Storrow Drive, the Pike, the Green Line, the BU Bridge, the Framingham commuter rail, and the Grand Junction Railroad. All of which have to remain continuously in operation throughout construction.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:10 AM   #56
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I opened a new thread for the project. There is some more info in there.
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
I believe most of the land involved here is actually in Brookline?
yeah, it mostly or all in brookline.

Anyway, this is a pipedream. This will never happen. I've been hearing about this for 15 years now and it's still in the "big round green glob" phase.
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:03 PM   #58
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It is much further along than the "green blob" phase. They haven't released much information. Aside from greenspace they are planning a new student center and residences for the area. This should start with the completion of the Student Village. Do not underestimate BU.
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Old 05-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #59
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Our last photo update was in January, and these are from today, May 10.

Not much has changed, with the exception of the new lighting fixtures.

Lets start our walk at Kenmore going towards the BU bridge





New lights



But right now looks crowded



Nothing here



Nor here




Eventually, itll probably look like this

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Old 05-10-2007, 05:59 PM   #60
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Thanks for the update. Construction progress does seem a bit slow, but it will be worth it when its finally complete.
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