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Old 01-11-2019, 11:48 AM   #3181
Sicilian
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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Nobody predicted what would happen down there. Part of it is people, particularly but not limited to NIMBY's, are stuck in the 1970's mentality that the whole area is depopulating. If that's your view, then even the silver line is a waste of money, let alone running the green line to what was a series of vacant lots. But even the people who did think it would become a neighborhood never envisioned it taking off this quickly. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.
Revisionism. There were scores of meetings held between 1997 and 2003, after Kraft was given the boot, well over 100 meetings hosted by BRA alone (PRP, MHP, etc). Over 1,000 area stakeholders, including an entire Seaport Focus Team from BSA, collaborated with BRA and landowners to shape a truly extraordinary district. Over $8 billion had been invested directly and indirectly, priming the waterfront for a boom after the 2008 recession.

There were compromises getting to "yes" with the big three landowners and their respective master plans (PDAs) at Fan Pier, Pier 4 and Seaport Square. But far more importantly, one has to understand the impact that quietly filed and approved amendments to these three PDAs have had on the district, jettisoning countless long-planned elements that contributed to any sense of coherent public realm and civic realm. Even view corridors lending a sense of where the Harbor was were casually lost for the sake of project-by-project increases in massing. None of the above, nor compromises on architecture and materials (does 16/60 large waterfront projects by one firm resemble other cities?), were necessary to make projects pencil. One master developer left the district with almost $400M in profit doing little more than spending 5 years flipping empty lots with development rights. In summary: BRA gave away the candy store. I won't get into the politics here. As for Massport, there has been near-zero accountability. For the record, Massport also strayed from any sense of vision, despite hiring Krieger Chan for its master plan.

Carry on, AB.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:20 PM   #3182
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

A couple of new outdoor exhibits are coming into the Seaport over the next month. The title of the article is terrible and probably just incites more hate from those who already hate, but the exhibits themselves could still be interesting.

https://bostonrealestatetimes.com/th...lic-art-scene/
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:13 PM   #3183
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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There were compromises getting to "yes" with the big three landowners and their respective master plans (PDAs) at Fan Pier, Pier 4 and Seaport Square. But far more importantly, one has to understand the impact that quietly filed and approved amendments to these three PDAs have had on the district, jettisoning countless long-planned elements that contributed to any sense of coherent public realm and civic realm....
In a dynamic City such as Boston with limited options, there are often compromises that to some with a misguided agenda of urban 'perfectionism' (who've often ascended to economic prosperity), everything falls short of their expectations. Development is the Great Evil. However, i'm happy to announce, with the Seaport, progress is overwriting an even greater evil.

Not only does the Building Authority not have to go trouncing through the neighborhoods with D-10's crushing everything in their path, they rather crudely have achieved 'San Jose By The Sea.' It's not insignificant.

Despite Boston's miraculous rebirth from decay/ slipping into irrelevance from the 1930s~60s, Boston had once again begun to founder in the wake of the Big Dig.... weighed down by debt, underfunded liabilities, and revenue shortfalls probably 50~70% off (at least) from where it needed to be. After 2 mayors and 3 decades caving to the Nimby crowd of wealthy property owners, and a terrible gulf growing between the haves and the have-nots, the Seaport has risen to become one of Boston's lifeboats.

Tough planning. Hard decisions in a less than perfect world. The City is by no means, all the way back, but these projects are helping greatly to build a New City that works for everyone.

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Even view corridors lending a sense of where the Harbor was were casually lost for the sake of project-by-project increases in massing.
AMEN.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicilian View Post
None of the above, nor compromises on architecture and materials (does 16/60 large waterfront projects by one firm resemble other cities?), were necessary to make projects pencil. One master developer left the district with almost $400M in profit doing little more than spending 5 years flipping empty lots with development rights.
(Violins) Horrible. Yeah we want our local developers so cash strapped they can never re-invest and grow their pot, or drive the (greater good). The horror of this world.

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In summary: BRA gave away the candy store. I won't get into the politics here. As for Massport, there has been near-zero accountability. For the record, Massport also strayed from any sense of vision, despite hiring Krieger Chan for its master plan.

Carry on, AB.
Get hold of yourself. (Carrie Fisher voice)

If i may, you sound like you're reading off the Peter Shelly talking points cheat sheet.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:24 PM   #3184
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

Agree with tosh here. Sicillian while I appreciate the planning that went into the urban utopia you aspired to create, times and situations change. If the difference is between building nothing and building something with 9 zillion public amenities attached, you might have to compromise since the last time I checked citizens groups weren't actually putting up any $$$ and what was there before was wind swept parking lots. This sorta reminds me of your ridiculous shadow police arguments in the Winthrop Square thread. If you make the perfect the enemy of the good, nothing gets built. Harbor towers garage is a great example of this concept in action. Financially the Seaport has been a tremendous success in terms of tax revenue as well as building much needed housing and office space. No, the city hasn't been able to recreate Central Park there but in fairness Central Park overlayed onto that neighborhood would probably stretch out to the harbor islands...
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:44 PM   #3185
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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Even view corridors lending a sense of where the Harbor was were casually lost for the sake of project-by-project increases in massing.
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....the last time I checked citizens groups weren't actually putting up any $$$ and what was there before was wind swept parking lots. This sorta reminds me of your ridiculous shadow police arguments....
i'm actually not getting his thought process at all, save for an abuse of geometric license.

The geometry/sight lines offered by vacant lots vs the 'versatility of verticality' given to scores of mid-rise units w/ full, 3D Harbor views extending to the vanishing point/s, North Conway, the NH/Maine coastal plane, and the Isle's of Shoals on clear days @ just ~15 degrees of the homeowners' visual field/s....
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:33 AM   #3186
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

Remember where we came from! This was not that long ago.

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Old 01-12-2019, 09:04 AM   #3187
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

To add to Stick's post above, here's an article from the NYTimes dated 10/07, reporting on the GROUND BREAKING, of Fan Pier. It's basically been ten years for the Seaport to go from the groundbreaking of the first new building to everything that is there now!


https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/07/r...al/07sqft.html
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:45 AM   #3188
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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Remember where we came from! This was not that long ago.

A few days ago...
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:30 PM   #3189
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

Amazing. Theres going to be 3 more towers along Seaport blvd too including 150 seaport so its really going to fill in even more than it is.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:10 PM   #3190
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

1) What's going in the empty parcel in front of 20/50 Liberty condos, behind the building housing Committee and the other restaurants?

2) I noticed they have allowed parking on all of the parcel next-door to District Hall. For awhile it was half parking, half construction/demolition. Does this portend a delay in 80 Seaport??!
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:19 PM   #3191
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

i am lost for the Seaport parcels....
But that 490,000 sq ft boxy monster; 88 Seaport seems to have gone quiet.
A good number of large scale projects have gone quiet,
perhaps they get held up for years.
The next phase of the cycle's large projects (just over the hill)
sure appears to be slowing.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:02 PM   #3192
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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1) What's going in the empty parcel in front of 20/50 Liberty condos, behind the building housing Committee and the other restaurants?
MassMutual
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:35 PM   #3193
DZH22
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

From 1/27. Click into any picture to view it larger.

IMG_9173 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_9182 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_9183 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_9184 by David Z, on Flickr

IMG_9185 by David Z, on Flickr
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:14 PM   #3194
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport


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Old 02-02-2019, 03:46 AM   #3195
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

Thanks Boston, great pics
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:47 AM   #3196
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

What the seaport needs now is a liberty mutual type building on one of the few Seaport Blvd parcels left. Theres not a whole lot of lots left on Seaport blvd, but theres a couple without approved projects. The Fort Point neighborhood is a huge asset and then we have a few brick towers in the Liberty Wharf area that add a nice variation in materials. What would be perfect now is a limestone tower on Seaport Blvd just to give the whole spectrum of materials. It would really go a long way. A limestone library within the Seaport would be great as well, doesnt have to be right on Seaport Blvd. Is there anywhere to make a reccommendation/suggestion for something like this, maybe just to spark the idea?











Thinking about it I think South Station Tower would be absolutely perfect for this. A 685 art deco limestone tower tucked behind the limestone South Station facade would be phenominal, it wouldnt be blocked on the skyline, and could be seen from the harbor. It would also be taller than its neighbors. I wonder why with these towers en vogue around the country, this has not been proposed. The glass really just looks like an afterthought there, where this would not at all.

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Old 02-06-2019, 08:56 AM   #3197
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

Something like this for example, 30 Park place in NYC is only a couple years old:



Imo South Station would be the best spot. Crappy quality render, but you get the point. I think the Seaport would greatly benefit from a limestone tower on one of the few spots left on Seaport Blvd, and as shown here I think consideration for a limestone tower at South Station would be incredible.

Would it be possible for the BRA/BPDA to require something like this from a developer to enhance the urban fabric of the city in a specific way?

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Old 02-06-2019, 09:23 AM   #3198
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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Something like this for example, 30 Park place in NYC is only a couple years old:



Imo South Station would be the best spot. Crappy quality render, but you get the point. I think the Seaport would greatly benefit from a limestone tower on one of the few spots left on Seaport Blvd, and as shown here I think consideration for a limestone tower at South Station would be incredible.

Would it be possible for the BRA/BPDA to require something like this from a developer to enhance the urban fabric of the city in a specific way?
I think the challenge you are facing in the limestone facade proposal is cost.

For Liberty Mutual, that building was bespoke construction of a headquarters complex they fully expect to occupy for decades. The corporate branding and long term maintenance calculations are something they could factor into the cost of the facade, and come away with an ROI.

For a spec developer in the Seaport, who intends on flipping the building, this calculation is never going to work.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:29 AM   #3199
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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...I think consideration for a limestone tower at South Station would be incredible.

Would it be possible for the BRA/BPDA to require something like this from a developer to enhance the urban fabric of the city in a specific way?
The first step would be to convince Hines to fire Cesar Pelli and hire Robert A. M. Stern. I'm doubtful that the BCDC is up to the task, given the final design at North Station.

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A limestone library within the Seaport would be great as well, doesn't have to be right on Seaport Blvd. Is there anywhere to make a recommendation/suggestion for something like this, maybe just to spark the idea?
I agree that a civic-focused building in the Seaport would be an important step toward making it feel more like a neighborhood. I doubt that the BPL's ~$35M annual budget could support new construction; I do see value in partnering with a developer to take 15-20K SqFt on the ground floor of a new building; this might be the ideal spot.

Anyone know if the Mayor reads?
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:30 AM   #3200
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Re: Innovation Dist. / South Boston Seaport

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I think the challenge you are facing in the limestone facade proposal is cost.

For Liberty Mutual, that building was bespoke construction of a headquarters complex they fully expect to occupy for decades. The corporate branding and long term maintenance calculations are something they could factor into the cost of the facade, and come away with an ROI.

For a spec developer in the Seaport, who intends on flipping the building, this calculation is never going to work.
I agree with your assessment of on-spec versus bespoke, and it is for this reason that I think the signature GE building in Fort Point actually still has a shot...

IF GE hangs in there and endures, then my guess is that they will launch some sort of rebuilding PR campaign / "see the reimagined GE!" of which a HQ building could be a part.
I agree with those who say now is not the right time (the optics of doing this amidst cost-cutting don't work).
But at the end of the day, they will need something to put their new stamp on.
It is not unreasonable that they could justify the expense as part of the necessity of reimagining themselves.

(sorry for the tangent - I just think Jeff's onto something with this on-spec/bespoke comparison when it comes to quality of architecture of office towers)
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