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Old 06-04-2008, 05:28 AM   #1
briv
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Complete 93 Mass Ave (Other Side Cafe) | 93-97 Massachusetts Ave | Back Bay

I remember reading about the original proposal for this site a few months ago. It was to raze the existing building and build an eleven story building in its place. That proposal was quickly killed. This is the developer's revised proposal:



From The Boston Globe:

BRA approves project for 93 Massachusetts Ave.

June 3, 2008 04:54 PM


The Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city's planning agency, granted an approval to a $22.8 million proposal for an office-and-retail project at the northwest corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Newbury Street.
Kingston Realty Trust, the developer of the project at 93 Massachusetts Ave., received approval for a nearly 50,000-square-foot commercial development, the BRA said.
(Above is a rendering of the project provided by the BRA.)
The project envisions a substantial rehabilitation of an existing 21,500-square-foot building and the creation of a 27,362-square-foot addition, said the BRA, which added that the development team expects to start construction next spring.
Plans call for retail space on the project's ground and basement levels and offices on floors two through five, the BRA said.
The existing building is currently occupied by three restaurants and a store at street level with three floors of office space above, the BRA said.
When the redevelopment project is completed, it could house a large retail tenant in a space of 14,000 to 20,000 square feet; a store of that size could effectively extend the Newbury Street shopping corridor, the BRA said.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:48 AM   #2
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

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Originally Posted by briv View Post
The project envisions a substantial rehabilitation of an existing 21,500-square-foot building and the creation of a 27,362-square-foot addition, said the BRA, which added that the development team expects to start construction next spring.
If the addition is the building at left, shouldn't the BRA have asked them to go back to the drawing board? Where were the Back Bay aesthetes?

Quote:
The existing building is currently occupied by three restaurants and a store at street level with three floors of office space above, the BRA said.
Anyone know which restaurants?
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:59 AM   #3
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

The Other Side Cafe (on Newbury), Bhindi Bazaar (Indian) and Island Hopper (Pan-Asian). On the corner is a mattress store which I think takes up 2 floors, maybe three?

I think this is unfortunate. I always thought this building worked pretty well. We'll probably end up with a Staples.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:04 AM   #4
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

^ Works well for the public, but the developer wants more money.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:00 AM   #5
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

A shame.....Island Hopper is one of the best Asian restaurants in the Back Bay, and the Other Side is always packed......bleh

The building is looking a little dated, but nothing some minor cosmetic updating couldn't fix......the idea of extending Newbury across Mass Ave is pointless until the Turnpike parcel is developed (which won't be happening anytime in the next decade)
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

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Where were the Back Bay aesthetes?
I think this part of Newbury is outside the official Back Bay historic district.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

These were originally posted in a different thread:







The this BRA notice was in the 5/10 Boston Courant: 93 Massachusetts Avenue Project consists of a re-habilitation of existing 4-story building, and an additional 21,000 sf new construction. The total GSF of the proposed project is approximately 42,000 sf, and the proposed use is office/retail with underground parking.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

I think that's good. This building is pretty dated.
Further South on Mass Ave. could use a little work as well.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

The goal is to make the west side of Mass Ave more inviting, more of a destination, more of a lure for people to cross the street. It will not be a Staples. I'm not sure the turnpike parcel will ever be developed, so I applaud locals who are doing their part to better their properties. The mattress guys have great cash deals, and I've had some killer parties upstairs at The Other Side, but lets be realistic-it's been a dump for years. New ownership should improve properties, not maintain the status low.

These are the same guys (brother's maybe?) who own 100 Mass Ave across the street, where they've done a terrific job finding interesting diverse tenants. The reno was beautiful. It's also green.

I was at the public meeting on this in early May, and aside from the slightly insane woman up on Beacon bitching about how DPW doesn't fix potholes (what the hell?), the only complainers were the hotel and the Harvard Club (massing/shadows, construction disruption, long-term loading zone access). They'll have those concerns no matter what happens at this location or over the pike. It will be negotiated out as the construction moves ahead ($$$).

The owners are going green here, too with both the restoration and the new property (it will be LEED silver or gold?), with a roof garden thing, parking in the existing basement structure (limited to tenants only 8-10 spaces). The new structure is meant to invoke the feeling of the Fenway Studios across the pike/tracks.

They had a buttoned-down proposal that was well presented (except for the BRA guy, he was barely conversational). Glad it was approved. Now to the next group, the BAC I believe.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:21 PM   #10
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

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I think that's good. This building is pretty dated.
Further South on Mass Ave. could use a little work as well.
Berklee controls/owns most of the properties between this location and Christian Science/Church Park. Now, if they'd ever do anything with them ...
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:21 PM   #11
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

This is how you should be making new buildings. Looks modern, but blends well with the old stuff.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:45 PM   #12
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

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Originally Posted by atlrvr View Post
The building is looking a little dated, but nothing some minor cosmetic updating couldn't fix......the idea of extending Newbury across Mass Ave is pointless until the Turnpike parcel is developed (which won't be happening anytime in the next decade)
It's unfortunate that the Boston Courant isn't online yet.

From this weeks issue:
Quote:
the MTA is drafting a Request for Proposals(RFP) for four air right parcels that stretch above the turnpike west of of Mass Ave. to The Hynes Convention Center.

a source told the Boston Courant that the RFP could be issued as early as next month.
The RFP is for parcels 12-15.
http://www.cityofboston.gov/BRA/pdf/...c%20Vision.pdf

The developers of the Mandarin are the likely bidders for some parcels since they just bought a parcel on St Cecilia St.


There is also and ad in this issue regarding the Hynes Reconstruction Project. A public meeting will be held June 10th at the Hynes room 112 6-8pm. Work will start in July on the retail and restaurant space on the first and second floor.

http://www.mccahome.com/job_bus.html
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:59 PM   #13
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

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Originally Posted by bbfen View Post
...I've had some killer parties upstairs at The Other Side...
Gonna miss that place...

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Originally Posted by bbfen View Post
...but lets be realistic-it's been a dump for years.
That's why some of us love it...

Don't touch TC's!
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:37 PM   #14
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

I like the proposal; I hope something will be done to make it easier for pedestrians to cross Mass Ave. at Newbury St., however.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:09 PM   #15
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

The Other Side is -- without exaggeration -- probably my favorite place to eat in the city. That's partly a combination of dating a BU student for a while and general penury. But it's also a fantastic spot, more lively than almost any other in the city. And despite all its college kids, Boston is severely lacking in bohemian/hipster hangouts.

Here's hoping it's able to find a new home, not in this proposed building but in a place that will allow it to be as cool as it is now.

... When I look at the photos of the Other Side, I have to admit this is a smart site to develop. But the real eyesore in the picture and the true economic detriment to this end of Newbury is the MassPike. Hopefully those air rights will be built up. Though as we all know, neighbors with stories of UFPs, UFOs and U-f'ing-kidding-me?s will always threaten those sorts of projects...
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:14 PM   #16
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

Is there also a "Jacques" and "Napoleon Club" in this neighborhood?
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:17 PM   #17
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

Never cared for the other side... I'd always find myself dragged there hungover on Sunday Mornings. It's always so loud in there, like a rock concert. The waiters can't hear a thing you're saying and they're assholes when you end up having to repeat yourself.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:18 PM   #18
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

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Is there also a "Jacques" and "Napoleon Club" in this neighborhood?
I think the Jacques you're speaking of is down in the theater district at 69 broadway. It has drag shows all the time. They;'re great.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:26 PM   #19
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

You are right, of course. The original "Other Side" was there too, on the other side. This new one of which you write sounds as if it has a different concept from the original. "Napoleon" has joined Lenny Bernstein in the Elba of aging memory.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:31 PM   #20
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Re: 93 Massachusetts Ave

I had no idea. Well on the same note of disappointment, I too agree with the lack of bohemian/hipster hangouts in this fine city. It was definitely one of the my favorite places to go for a good breakfast with a pitcher of PBR for $8. It's time to re-think some things. They better get a new lease/location. Though I really do love the current everything. What's wrong with this city? Do the bureaucratic overlords hate anything that is different than the back bay tree-lined aristocracy? No wonder everyone moves to NY.
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93 mass. ave., back bay, bhindi bazaar, island hopper, mass ave., new construction, newbury st., otherside cafe, sleep a rama

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