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Old 08-05-2010, 09:20 AM   #21
GW2500
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

Here is a link from the develpoers website on the general layout of the Fenway triangle. Unforunatley only one page.


http://www.fenwaytriangle.com/downlo...te_Map_WEB.pdf
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:28 AM   #22
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

I have seen rendings of the area. It will build this building, the triangled point building, and the space behind trilogy. I think the area will be very nice, and is being designed for an interesting street life, which is refreshing to have a developer just come out and say and not for us to try and infer if they will actually do that. Samuels other buildings in the area have a good scale street wall that doesnt have long blank walls or 200 feet of one store.

As for luxury housing, there is a demand for it (I know a lot of Red Sox rent 1330) and the hospitals in the longwood area do house some of the nation's best, most well compensated doctors. Also, it is affordable if you are older and want to move back, or are two successful working people without kids that want to spend 2500 on a 1 bedroom.

I think this will take people out of older housing stock that can afford and want this luxury which is not really present in this area, opening up old apartments on park drive that are probably way overpriced for the current quality.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:24 AM   #23
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

I've liked Trilogy and 1330 and the new rendering (located here: http://www.samuelsre.com/) looks good too. They know how to do streetwalls and ground floor retail. Unfortunately, all the retail are corporate chains. I hate to say it, but give me single story strip malls with actual local businesses (ala Coolidge Corner or Davis Sq) over luxury apartments and corporate chains any day. That's how to make a real neighborhood with a sense of place and identity, rather than an anywhereville filled with deracinated yuppies.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:29 AM   #24
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

BBfen, rent control does more than anything to distort housing markets are hurt the long term prospects for middle class housing. The reason why Boston has had such a luxury construction binge over the last decade is because of rent control degrading the quality of existing housing stock (if the rent is capped maintenance gets deferred in favor of trying to keep a profit against inflation, not to mention the issue with tenants abusing the system) and dramatically curtailing all residential development in the inner city from the 1940s-1990s. The land closer to downtown is valuable, trying to artificially suppress the value as part of some socio-economic scheme isn't going to work without dire consequences.

There are plenty of condos in the Fenway for 180k-329k for studio/1/2 bedrooms. Yes they are 'small' by today's bloated SF standards, but that's the premium one pays to live close to downtown. If all the young professionals were willing to look past the trendy neighborhoods they'd find plenty of affordable housing, with sizable SF and amenities, in Dorchester, Roslindale, and Roxbury.

Location, Affordable Cost, Square Footage
Pick 2
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:46 AM   #25
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

More luxury-style apartments and condos should be built in transit-connected areas of Dorchester, Roslindale, Roxbury, Charlestown, Eastie, etc. I don't know if DNA Lofts can be considered a success, but I think it is a model that points the way forward. This is more affordable for the middle class than "premiere" locations like Fenway (and what makes noisy Fenway so premiere anyway?) and can also help enliven those areas, without necessarily pushing up the prices of the older housing stock.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:00 PM   #26
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

Rendering from the Globe:

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Old 08-05-2010, 12:03 PM   #27
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
There are plenty of condos in the Fenway for 180k-329k for studio/1/2 bedrooms. Yes they are 'small' by today's bloated SF standards, but that's the premium one pays to live close to downtown. If all the young professionals were willing to look past the trendy neighborhoods they'd find plenty of affordable housing, with sizable SF and amenities, in Dorchester, Roslindale, and Roxbury.

Location, Affordable Cost, Square Footage
Pick 2
Don't forget Everett, Malden, Chelsea, Revere. All the Young professionals want to live either Downtown, Somerville, Charlestown or Cambridge.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:00 PM   #28
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

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Rendering from the Globe:

Looks good....if the whole place gets built out. Otherwise it will look out of place.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:00 PM   #29
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

This guy has done an amazing job so far, I wish him luck (especially with financing.)

Personally I don't see how more luxury here is a bad thing. It has the perfect set of forces for YUPys to want to live here; close to great parks and large employment centers, already full of young college kids looking to move up, plenty to do/nightlife. If there are people willing to pay then why wouldn't a developer build luxury?

"Middle income" usually is code for working class family. I doubt the city would want to encourage that type of housing in an area without good grade schools or over burdened schools. That isn't to say the city shouldn't be investing in schools, but that is probably taking too much of a macro view of this situation.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:29 PM   #30
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

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Looks good....if the whole place gets built out. Otherwise it will look out of place.
Surprised the Mayor hasn't said we don't want to Mahattanize Boston.
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:49 PM   #31
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

At 10-15 stories these buildings would be Menino stubs in the Seaport District or the edge of the waterfront. In an area where most of the buildings are 4-5 stories except for the main thoroughfare, they 'soar' quite nicely.
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:03 PM   #32
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

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At 10-15 stories these buildings would be Menino stubs in the Seaport District or the edge of the waterfront. In an area where most of the buildings are 4-5 stories except for the main thoroughfare, they 'soar' quite nicely.
This is an interesting point. What can we expect in the seaport once it is built out? Will it be nothing but stubs, or will there be enough shorter scaled structures to make the stubs stand out the way they do on Boylston St./Brookline Ave.?

Thinking about the building planned for the lot next to the Barking Crab, part of what's cool about it is the lower height setting it apart from the stubs. Will a few more buildings like it and the Jimmy's replacement filling in the gaps make for a more cohesive neighborhood? If not, why does it work so well in the Fenway?
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Old 08-05-2010, 02:24 PM   #33
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

From a street wall perspective, once this one gets built Boylston st will really start to come together.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:57 PM   #34
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

I'm actually psyched to see Van Ness become a real street!
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:11 PM   #35
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

Yeah, I'll be honest, I'd love to live and work in the area, yuppie label be damned. This is a place where some luxury housing isn't really a terrible thing. It's a fairly cosmopolitan neighborhood, what with all the clubs, and Fenway Park does a great job of injecting a fair bit of local flair.

Samuels has done a great job, no reason not to believe he won't treat this the same.

(That rendering looks a lot larger than 15 stories, though).
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:40 PM   #36
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

Quote:
Thinking about the building planned for the lot next to the Barking Crab, part of what's cool about it is the lower height setting it apart from the stubs. Will a few more buildings like it and the Jimmy's replacement filling in the gaps make for a more cohesive neighborhood? If not, why does it work so well in the Fenway?
Because the Fenway has an existing street grid that needs only to be fillied, and these buildings fill it nicely. The Seaport doesn't, and the results speak for themselves.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:36 PM   #37
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

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More luxury-style apartments and condos should be built in transit-connected areas of Dorchester, Roslindale, Roxbury, Charlestown, Eastie, etc. I don't know if DNA Lofts can be considered a success, but I think it is a model that points the way forward. This is more affordable for the middle class than "premiere" locations like Fenway (and what makes noisy Fenway so premiere anyway?) and can also help enliven those areas, without necessarily pushing up the prices of the older housing stock.
Luxury style and moderate price apartments have been built at Ashmont and Milton on the Red Line, and at Sullivan Square and Wellington on the Orange Line in recent years. The T is begging people to take land off their hands at Forest Hills.

However, look at The Carruth at Ashmont, sure the apartments are filled, but very few, if any, of the condos have been sold. The Schoolhouse is within walking distance of the Milton stop and they cannot sell units. The former apartments across from Wellington that were turned into condos, went back to apartments.

It is nice to declare that more housing should be built, give me the financing and the buyers, low capital and soft costs, I'll get contractors tomorrow. Until then, unless I can fly in laborers from South Asia on a daily basis, things aren't getting built.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:25 AM   #38
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

If there was a glut of this type of housing, then developers would not be able to fill their luxury units or get the prices they wanted. The financiers of such projects would notice this and realize that maybe it's not such a good idea to finance such projects. But this isn't happening, and while you could say that this type of housing was once in a bubble, it is undeniable that it is no longer in one; financiers are being very cautious about the projects they invest in and if they decide to provide funding for such a project they have probably done their homework.

When it comes to the cost of housing in the area, the reason housing is so expensive in Boston is simple: lots of people want to live here!

The solution is not rent control, it's to build tons of more housing! As much housing as the market is willing to supply of whatever type they are willing to supply. Government planners should not be setting the price or type of housing any more than they should set the price of your car.

If I say you can't sell books for more than $10, two things will happen: The most talented writers will find other jobs, and the existing books that are sold will go down in quality as content is recycled to try to keep turning a profit.

Similarly, if you try to say that every book must come from someone with a PhD, be at least 500 pages of 12 point font, and the author must donate 15% of his revenue to charity, the price of new books is going to skyrocket and the dearth of cheap new books means the used book market's prices are going to grow disproportionately too.

That's what we're doing with affordable housing quotas and "community benefits" in each project, excessive (in some cases) building and fire codes, cartelized union labor, and density restrictions that are lower than the market could sustain.

Let people build as much and as high as they want of whatever type of housing stock as they want, using whatever labor they want, without making them provide "benefits" (and do a cost-benefit analysis on some of the building code stuff).

Guess what would happen? Lots of building, lots of new property on the tax rolls, cheaper housing for all. Then, if you want, tax the bejesus out of it to pay for whatever public services/benefits/section 8s you might want.

You get the same result or better in "public benefits", but you do it in a much more open, transparent, and economically efficient way.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:18 AM   #39
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

^dood

As you and Shepard earlier point out, we'd be fortunate to have a lot more housing under development in many parts of the city ? of any type, luxury or otherwise. New residential developments in larger numbers would make existing stock more affordable and would vitalize new neighborhoods (Seaport, Greenway areas in particular, IMO).

But I don't think you've correctly assessed how new residents are viewed politically. My understanding is that the political establishment considers new residents as a drain on city services unless they are DINKs ? double-income, no kids, as recently dreamed up for the "Innovation District." Secondly, the political establishment considers new residents as a threat to their existing voting bloc.

The Menino administration has been missing widely publicized residential development goals for more than a decade now. They have approved a fraction of their own stated residential projections, and the Globe and other media outlets are complicit, reprinting BRA press releases and urban plans without following through to analyze and criticize actual outcomes. Opposition to housing also comes from other quarters, namely residents protecting property values in the immediate neighborhood and realtors concerned about a possible glut of housing rather than the broader positive impact on affordability in surrounding neighborhoods.

As you suggest, people who rail against the creation of luxury housing should reconsider. Its a net plus for the neighborhood, for affordability in surrounding neighborhoods, and for the city in general.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:50 AM   #40
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Re: Developer plans $300M project for Fenway

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodursistershot View Post
If there was a glut of this type of housing, then developers would not be able to fill their luxury units or get the prices they wanted. The financiers of such projects would notice this and realize that maybe it's not such a good idea to finance such projects. But this isn't happening, and while you could say that this type of housing was once in a bubble, it is undeniable that it is no longer in one; financiers are being very cautious about the projects they invest in and if they decide to provide funding for such a project they have probably done their homework.

When it comes to the cost of housing in the area, the reason housing is so expensive in Boston is simple: lots of people want to live here!

The solution is not rent control, it's to build tons of more housing! As much housing as the market is willing to supply of whatever type they are willing to supply. Government planners should not be setting the price or type of housing any more than they should set the price of your car.

If I say you can't sell books for more than $10, two things will happen: The most talented writers will find other jobs, and the existing books that are sold will go down in quality as content is recycled to try to keep turning a profit.

Similarly, if you try to say that every book must come from someone with a PhD, be at least 500 pages of 12 point font, and the author must donate 15% of his revenue to charity, the price of new books is going to skyrocket and the dearth of cheap new books means the used book market's prices are going to grow disproportionately too.

That's what we're doing with affordable housing quotas and "community benefits" in each project, excessive (in some cases) building and fire codes, cartelized union labor, and density restrictions that are lower than the market could sustain.

Let people build as much and as high as they want of whatever type of housing stock as they want, using whatever labor they want, without making them provide "benefits" (and do a cost-benefit analysis on some of the building code stuff).

Guess what would happen? Lots of building, lots of new property on the tax rolls, cheaper housing for all. Then, if you want, tax the bejesus out of it to pay for whatever public services/benefits/section 8s you might want.

You get the same result or better in "public benefits", but you do it in a much more open, transparent, and economically efficient way.
I've already shown that building only expensive housing will not work in depressing prices enough for it to become affordable. Most expensive houses have a price floor that they will never go below (again from the fact that many people uses houses as investment and that owners are willing to wait it out until a decent offer is made) which are far from what the average family can afford. The best solution is to flood the market at the price range where it is most demanded. Lest you want the prices of houses that are already affordable to increase from high demand.
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