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Old 03-14-2016, 05:50 PM   #41
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

Is this splinter thread some sort of escapist fantasy from the pall that's been cast over the Garage Tower thread over the staring contest between the developer and the BRA? How exactly is NEAQ going to play "Let's Make A Deal" like it's a bada-bing easy thing when our flaccid local planning institutions and billionaire developers have so much trouble closing a deal without people who should be well-experienced in the art of deal-making constantly needing to excuse themselves mid-negotiation to change out of soiled underwear?

Do you get it? NEAQ tried this before. More than once. It nearly killed them dead and left Boston without an aquarium at all because the same damn institutions couldn't sit across from each other at a table and hash shit out before time ran out and chaos had its way with things. It degenerated into yet another provincial staring contest, and the Aquarium plunged straight off a cliff without a lifejacket because of it. For 2 decades the trustees have had to manage their money very miserly to atone, shore up their balance sheet, and retain and expand the support of their donors. After what happened to their finances and accreditation they had to retrench around certainty, because existence-threatening big risks are not a thing deep-pocketed animal conservationists will tolerate. It forced them to scale back their expansion strategies and work station-to-station as incrementalists instead of plotting in big leaps of exponential expansion. That's what they had to do to sell their recovery to a donor base that--by nature of zoo/conservation line of work--is so very risk-averse. They had to sell it that way because they couldn't count on deal-making with this city's institutions and business community with enough certainty, and couldn't sell their donor base on likelihood that next encounter with the City would be different than the last.

Now, they absolutely were part of the problem as to why a deal couldn't get done back then. And they're not coating themselves in glory right now over this garage staring contest. But don't naively assume that some public/private/gov't Win!-Win!-Win! deal is one phone call away. Because it sure as hell isn't coming together free-and-easy with the far bigger money being swung around for the tower. Like I said...put on your Board of Trustees Chair thinking caps and address your real audience for these grandiose leaps. It's not the ticket-buying public, the City, or some real estate hotshot you are tasked with convincing. You have to sell this vision on a whole room full of VERY risk-averse donors who have been char-broiled before by doing business with this city, who recall with every check they write how very very lucky they are that NEAQ recovered the fumble and built itself back a superior reputation amongst its industry peers. They once came within a whisker of bleeding out because of that very "Let's Make A Deal" politicking with local institutions some of us are assuming is so very easy. Their aversion to dealmaking risk is rooted in something very real. It doesn't go away by telling them "Get over yourselves and think big; we owe it to a world-class city". They don't see it that way. That aversion is a permanent navigational hazard with those trustees and donors, and it is your job as putative steward(s) of the organization to chart a path forward through those waters. Call a meeting with a bunch of wheelers-and-dealers and "Bada-bing! break out the cranes!" doesn't cut it. Sell the vision to the audience in the boardroom you are in, addressing the concerns of the trustees and donors in that boardroom. It's them you have to convince before anyone makes a deal.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:53 PM   #42
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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^^^
I think if the Aquarium Executives meet with the Developer and have a vision/Idea of their own they might be able to work out sometype of deal that benefits everybody in the grand scheme of it all.

But it would have to benefit everybody-The Aquarium, and the developer.
Maybe if they built the tower directly in front of the aquarium and atrium became the entrance to the aquarium and in return the garage stays as-is at least until self driving cars are prevalent.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:15 PM   #43
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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Is this splinter thread some sort of escapist fantasy from the pall that's been cast over the Garage Tower thread over the staring contest between the developer and the BRA?
That was my working assumption, yes...
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:27 PM   #44
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

NEAQ entertainment aspect aside, I wonder how much duplication goes on between the NEAQ and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on the research end. Maybe they could merge, and NEAQ could become the premier Aquarium in the country!...Feasible? Practical? I don't know, but why not?
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:14 AM   #45
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

So at this point the NEAQ should never try to upgrade their headquarters because they got burnt in the past. Let's get something straight CHIOFARO bought garage almost 10+ years ago. Both the developer and the BRA wanted the garage developed.
What strategies have the NEAQ been preparing for assuming the garage will be rebuilt over the last 10years. Besides be vocally against the garage being developed. So they would rather nothing change than the entire area more vibrant.

My point is maybe the NEAQ board of directors need to look into the mirror and hire competent deal makers that know how to hold people accountable to get what they want.
Change is always coming and you need to either prepare or embrace it or you end up holding a bag full of nothing.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:20 AM   #46
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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So at this point the NEAQ should never try to upgrade their headquarters because they got burnt in the past. Let's get something straight CHIOFARO bought garage almost 10+ years ago. Both the developer and the BRA wanted the garage developed.
What strategies have the NEAQ been preparing for assuming the garage will be rebuilt over the last 10years. Besides be vocally against the garage being developed. So they would rather nothing change than the entire area more vibrant.

My point is maybe the NEAQ board of directors need to look into the mirror and hire competent deal makers that know how to hold people accountable to get what they want.
NEAQ has done a great job keeping its head above water and has managed some expansions and upgrades along the way. It is still a top tourist and family destination. You are just sore because they are being realistic about what the loss of parking actually means. Cars are the primary form of transportation and they need a place to be parked.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:43 AM   #47
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

I'm saying you have very simple people with no imagination or vision running the Aquarium. Not only that anybody to believe that the garage is a better fit to have in that location than a development has a very feeble mind

We have a massive concrete block on the edge of the greenway and the aquarium executives are saying they need it to stay there.

Don't they realize that without that block and a more open atmosphere that area becomes the new Fannuel hall by the water which will only benefit the aquarium financially for the long-term
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:02 AM   #48
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

Perfect example on why Animals should not be caged.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/l...le-girls-kiss/

This is normal right?
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:10 AM   #49
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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Originally Posted by TheRifleman View Post
So at this point the NEAQ should never try to upgrade their headquarters because they got burnt in the past. Let's get something straight CHIOFARO bought garage almost 10+ years ago. Both the developer and the BRA wanted the garage developed.

What strategies have the NEAQ been preparing for assuming the garage will be rebuilt over the last 10years. Besides be vocally against the garage being developed. So they would rather nothing change than the entire area more vibrant.

My point is maybe the NEAQ board of directors need to look into the mirror and hire competent deal makers that know how to hold people accountable to get what they want.
Change is always coming and you need to either prepare or embrace it or you end up holding a bag full of nothing.
I know...why won't they just lead, huh?! Everyone's been sitting there twiddling their thumbs for 10 straight years, including the billionaire and the civic eggheads whose whole existence it is to cut deals to build things. It's unconscionable that the Aquarium hasn't cupped the hands of every limp body in the room into a grip position, physically dragged them across the table, swung the bodies around like a ragdoll into making a handshake, dragged them on their backs outside, then staged a golden shovel photo-op that goes off perfectly until zany slapstick breaks out. It happens that way all the time in the movies!



Aquarium, I am dissapoint you didn't move heaven and earth for me.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:15 PM   #50
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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I'm saying you have very simple people with no imagination or vision running the Aquarium. Not only that anybody to believe that the garage is a better fit to have in that location than a development has a very feeble mind

We have a massive concrete block on the edge of the greenway and the aquarium executives are saying they need it to stay there.

Don't they realize that without that block and a more open atmosphere that area becomes the new Fannuel hall by the water which will only benefit the aquarium financially for the long-term
What they realize is that the massive concrete block is a vital part of the transportation infrastructure that gets a significant percentage of the approximately 1.3 million people to the aquarium every year and that without the parking that it will be a repeat of 15 years ago when visitors plunged and the aquarium lost accreditation because of the Big Dig and shutdown of the Aquarium Station.

The proposed building in no conceivable way brings more people to the waterfront than the aquarium already does. Without the aquarium Central Wharf becomes a very sterile and boring place. Office workers and/or a couple hundred condos wouldn't make up for the tens or hundreds of thousands lost visitors.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:45 PM   #51
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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NEAQ entertainment aspect aside, I wonder how much duplication goes on between the NEAQ and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on the research end. Maybe they could merge, and NEAQ could become the premier Aquarium in the country!...Feasible? Practical? I don't know, but why not?
They're different in scope. Woods Hole is oceanography, NEAQ is zoology. So while NEAQ is, like most zoos/aquariums, focused on research related to animal life and the local ecosystem's impact on marine fauna, Woods Hole's scope includes:
  • Ocean topography and mapping.
  • Climate and ocean current monitoring.
  • Ocean geology (including seismic monitoring of the ocean floor).
  • Water quality + pollution monitoring (including impacts to bacterial populations which in turn impact the food chain).
  • Ocean vessel and instrument technology (e.g. how to build the tools to explore the ocean). Including military research therein. Stuff catered to engineers of various stripes.
  • Coastal oceans (i.e. interaction between the land and water). Coastal erosion, sea level rise, coastal storms and the like.
  • Deep ocean exploration.
  • Marine life populations' interactions with the non-living conditions of their environment.
The marine life studies are inseparable from all of the above, but they're more focused on the intersection of the non-living environment with the living environment whereas the zoologists are strictly studying the species. And primarily the animal species above all else.




In short, they overlap but their researchers come from very different circles who don't fit neatly under the same roof and management. You could definitely plunk an aquarium at Woods Hole, especially one that had differed from NEAQ's harbor/shelf focus to more a deep-sea specialty where they could glom off WHOI's equipment and expertise. But it would have to be a whole-cloth zoological institute setting up shop there, because WHOI doesn't have the in-house specialty to mount that effort under their own umbrella. Different strokes for different scientists.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:56 PM   #52
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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The proposed building in no conceivable way brings more people to the waterfront than the aquarium already does. Without the aquarium Central Wharf becomes a very sterile and boring place. Office workers and/or a couple hundred condos wouldn't make up for the tens or hundreds of thousands lost visitors.
Yes, but think of how cool a tower would look in the skyline from the water! And isn't that more important than a vibrant and active waterfront?
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:18 PM   #53
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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The proposed building in no conceivable way brings more people to the waterfront than the aquarium already does. Without the aquarium Central Wharf becomes a very sterile and boring place. Office workers and/or a couple hundred condos wouldn't make up for the tens or hundreds of thousands lost visitors.
no a six story concrete above garage block-- blocking access from the Greenway to the Water is just a better choice than what is being proposed.

The building that is being proposed will be opened up: with Retail, Ice Skating rink, Farmers markets. This area will transform into a destination spot for the Greenway and water lovers.

The Aquarium will reap the benefits long-term but need to prepare for the development phase.

That's my point. Tangent you must either work for the Aquarium or Harbor Towers condo owner with these asinine comments.


THIS GARAGE HAS TO GO.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:29 PM   #54
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

The retail will be Starbucks and Gucci and the Ice Skating Rink and Farmers Markets are the fevered dreams of a salesman.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:36 PM   #55
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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The retail will be Starbucks and Gucci and the Ice Skating Rink and Farmers Markets are the fevered dreams of a salesman.
Better than the Concrete block with the 7-11 junkies hanging out. Oh I forgot the ATM machine next door to it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:37 PM   #56
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

Can we just do a Folgers Crystals switch of the Aquarium for the BRA? Clearly they are the only institution in the city capable of making everyone's redev dreams come true from what I'm reading in this thread, so why not just cut out the middleman and make them do everything so nobody else has to lift a finger?

They can be the "Midtown" master developer and our 2028 Olympics lobby while they're at it.

Come on, fishies...deliver us satisfaction on a silver platter!
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Old 03-15-2016, 02:27 PM   #57
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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Can we just do a Folgers Crystals switch of the Aquarium for the BRA? Clearly they are the only institution in the city capable of making everyone's redev dreams come true from what I'm reading in this thread, so why not just cut out the middleman and make them do everything so nobody else has to lift a finger?

They can be the "Midtown" master developer and our 2028 Olympics lobby while they're at it.

Come on, fishies...deliver us satisfaction on a silver platter!
I'm not blaming the Aquarium for this development not moving forward. I think the rant went too far and I got your point.

I just thought the Aquarium Executives should be preparing themselves and possibly dreaming big with the opportunity that present itself in the future.

No matter what this garage will be developed overtime and I believe the Aquarium needs to get its their act together to embrace this along with trying to make something positive come out of this for themselves.

I'm finished with my rant and thanks for listening
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:02 PM   #58
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

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Old 03-20-2016, 02:03 PM   #59
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

BTW...if you want to expand the Aquarium, simply look here at which of these wharves is not like the other:



NEAQ sits on a much stubbier wharf than adjacent Long Wharf and Commercial Wharf. It's a good deal shorter than it could be, since unlike India and Rowes Wharves which are length-limited by the shipping channel in/out of Ft. Point Channel, NEAQ is far enough north that Long and Commercial Wharves set the limits on how far it can poke out. By building it out to equivalent length it can grow a full third larger in size without affecting the ferry terminal at Long Wharf.


Problem is...who's going to coordinate this? To build out the wharf requires lots of government regulatory approvals, difficult EIS'ing because of the needs to drive pilings into the water and have floodwater contingencies baked in, and a city willing to control any NIMBY riffraff from the adjacent wharves. Exactly the same institutions who ratf***ed NEAQ multiple times before and are risking snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on the garage tower.

Yeah, there's lots of things that could be done. And for each of them it takes (more than) two to tango. The nonprofit can't magically make those partners appear and get to the table; the garage partners won't even do that like they mean it. So it's the same existential problem that has to be solved. No single entity can compel an effort from another entity that doesn't care enough to meet. And for whatever reason this one spot is an unusually dense don't-give-a-crap zone.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:43 AM   #60
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Re: What to do about the NEAQ?

^^^
i am not for the Wharf-- Aquarium Expansion up above.
Maybe just upgrade or redo the entire Aquarium inside and out. Enlighten the area.
IMAX scenario is a disaster. Hopefully they can try to move this underground in the future. (Maybe Chiofaro can throw them bone)

At this point the BRA (City) needs to come to grips to get something done for this location.
This AREA is a disgrace to Greenway, Taxpayers and the city of Boston. The taxpayers have dumped Billions into the Big Dig and leaving this CONCRETE BLOCK on the Edge of the Greenway blocking any sight of the water is unacceptable.

The developer is not asking for anything substantial for this location 1.2Million square feet:
Proposing--a 600ft building is not asking much in my opinion for the amount of risk they are taking especially for a centrally located above garage that is depressing the area to the extreme which will only improve & increase foot traffic in this area

Also HARBOR TOWERS pool area should become public access by eminent domain. This is blocking pedestrians access routes from the Greenway to the Waterfront.
There has been to much tax money dumped into the Big Dig to create the Greenway to connect to the waterfront only to benefit a few hundred residents compared to the overall taxpayers in Mass.


The BRA (Needs to bring people together now)
The Developer
The Aquarium (Need to prep themselves for something in the future) The garage is a negative effect on the city street-life.
Harbor Towers
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