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Old 02-19-2014, 08:05 AM   #1
HalcyonEra
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"The Beat" | 135 Morrissey (Boston Globe Site) | Dorchester

Henry to sell Globe HQ
Moving broadsheet to smaller digs in ‘heart’ of Boston
By:
Chris Cassidy

Red Sox owner John Henry plans to sell The Boston Globe’s headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard and relocate the broadsheet to a smaller facility somewhere “in the heart of” the Hub — but so far he’s made no mention of when the move will happen or what he’ll do with the paper’s printing press operations.

“I’m sure right now there are a lot of people at the Globe wondering what’s going on, but certainly if I were an employee that worked on the printing press I would be concerned,” said Suffolk University journalism chairman Bob Rosenthal.

One possibility is a consolidation of both the Globe’s 16-acre property off the Southeast Expressway and NESN’s Watertown studios into one building, Rosenthal said.

The decision to sell underlines what many experts have said all along — that the $70 million sale to Henry was mainly a land transaction.

“It is a reminder of how much of the value of the Globe lies in the real estate and physical assets, and how little remains in the financial value of the operating company,” said Nicholas Retsinas, a senior lecturer in real estate at the Harvard Business School.

Experts have told the Herald that Henry could actually fetch $75 million for the property. He technically paid $38.4 million for the site — which is its assessed tax value — in the $70 million deal with The New York Times.

Newspaper industry experts said Henry’s vision seems to echo a national trend of consolidating what were once grand-scale, standalone news facilities into smaller, more modern shared office buildings.

“Most newspapers have cut staff quite substantially in the last seven to 10 years,” said Alan Mutter of the University of California at Berkeley. “They have these large buildings that are increasingly white elephants, so it makes sense for them to move into more compact and arguably more up-to-date headquarters.”

Henry told Boston Magazine in its March issue that the sale of the Globe property “will provide us with the ability to move into a smaller, more efficient and modern facility in the heart of the city. We believe that there is enough excess value there to fund very important investments in our long-term future, if the community supports development of the property.”

A Globe spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Mark Jurkowitz, a former Globe reporter now at the Pew Research Center, said Henry’s comment to locate the paper “in the heart of the city” points to locations in Back Bay, downtown Boston or the Seaport.

Henry announced last month he had appointed himself publisher and that former Hill Holliday ad exec Michael Sheehan would be chief executive officer.

From today's Herald. I must admit that I have always hated that building, it seems somewhat pompous to me. However, 16 acres is a substantial site for redevelopment. Does anyone have an idea as to the zoning of the site and what could potentially be built there? What's down there for NIMBY's? IMO, there is quite an opportunity to build a signature gateway to the city type of development there.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:03 AM   #2
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Re: Globe Site

Some reading material for you:

http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthor...nt-master-plan

But even with this, things change. Corcoran Jennison went belly up almost to the day this was originally released and Bayside was sold to UMass.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
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Re: Globe Site

There's a lot of potential in this small, Red Line-accessible area. Between this and the Bayside Expo site you've already got a lot of land for redevelopment. And - am I making this up? - I seem to recall the Sovereign Bank site and the Shaw's site as being in play also...

The key to making this all work would be to somehow downgrade Morrissey "Boulevard" ... as transit accessible as this all would be, enhanced walkability here would still be necessary.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Globe Site

There is a lot of potential here, the minute anything modern and urban is proposed, the nudniks from the Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Assoc will start screaming about the end of days.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: Globe Site

Agree with Bos77 on Savin Hill reaction. Betting BC High and UMass Boston will take a look.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:58 AM   #6
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Re: Globe Site

I can become the Shirley Kressel or Copley Tower guy, and become the shrill voice singing songs of support for any redevelopment.

Knock Bayside and the Globe down, do some reno to Star Market into a larger TOD, and make it the urban neighborhood-by-the-sea that the Seaport District is not.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: Globe Site

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Originally Posted by Bos77 View Post
I can become the Shirley Kressel or Copley Tower guy, and become the shrill voice singing songs of support for any redevelopment.

Knock Bayside and the Globe down, do some reno to Star Market into a larger TOD, and make it the urban neighborhood-by-the-sea that the Seaport District is not.
Please do. I would honestly love to go to a meeting and just be over-the-top anti-NIMBY.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Re: Globe Site

Isn't there a like 6 story apt. building supposed to go near the shaws/jfk/93 area. I wouldn't be surprised if shaws go redeveloped, but not on the early stage of activity.

To me this is a real put up or shut up area.

The accessibility of this area and sheer space available is great. If Boston needs thousands of units of more housing, this (and Sullivan Sq, IMO), are perfect spots. Build a very urban and dense streetscape with 50-250' buildings. No tower in the park, project junk. The area already has a mix of market rate, affordable and student housing, just continue and focus that. Restaurants and other amenities will follow the people.

The place has the Red line and CR, and any build out wouldn't be realistically complete before the RL got new cars (and maybe signals) and hopefully that would ease capacity issues on the T. If Boston is serious about quality affordable housing and TOD, this area is perfect for it. No need to crap out and build a 4 story 100 unit building with 120 parking spots.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:46 PM   #9
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Re: Globe Site

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Isn't there a like 6 story apt. building supposed to go near the shaws/jfk/93 area. I wouldn't be surprised if shaws go redeveloped, but not on the early stage of activity.

To me this is a real put up or shut up area.

The accessibility of this area and sheer space available is great. If Boston needs thousands of units of more housing, this (and Sullivan Sq, IMO), are perfect spots. Build a very urban and dense streetscape with 50-250' buildings. No tower in the park, project junk. The area already has a mix of market rate, affordable and student housing, just continue and focus that. Restaurants and other amenities will follow the people.

The place has the Red line and CR, and any build out wouldn't be realistically complete before the RL got new cars (and maybe signals) and hopefully that would ease capacity issues on the T. If Boston is serious about quality affordable housing and TOD, this area is perfect for it. No need to crap out and build a 4 story 100 unit building with 120 parking spots.
Residences at Morrissey Blvd are supposed to go up on the lot between the Shaws and the T station parking lot. Synergy got all the approvals last year but the project is currently being marketed by CBRE. Probably will be at least summer before we see anything happen with that

http://www.dotnews.com/2012/synergy-...confidence-dot
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
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Re: Globe Site

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Originally Posted by Bergeron37 View Post
Residences at Morrissey Blvd are supposed to go up on the lot between the Shaws and the T station parking lot. Synergy got all the approvals last year but the project is currently being marketed by CBRE. Probably will be at least summer before we see anything happen with that

http://www.dotnews.com/2012/synergy-...confidence-dot
So the article in essence highlights that the Synergy development will be 5 stories as opposed to the 15 allowed under the master plan. Get ready for the landscrapers. A comment pretty much sums it up:

Doreen Miller · Top Commenter
NIce to know this developer has some realistic sense of what's right for this area in terms of density and building height and what would best create a neighborhood feel. I was horrified by the "approved" Master Plan that was calling for 15- to 17-story high rises in this area. Thank you, Mr. Greaney.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:27 PM   #11
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Re: Globe Site

Wait for the next one that says, "Housing costs are going out of control and long time residents are getting pushed out by yuppies with their fancy start up jobs and coffee shops. The city needs to do something to allow people that grew up here to stay here."

Unfortunately, the two lines of logic never realize the problem and solution.

Edit: 278 is a good number of units and I think the developers 'respect' is more about what he can get cash for in the area at the moment.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:53 PM   #12
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Re: Globe Site

I think the 15 to 17 floor height would work well in the area because it is walled off from the rest of residential Dorchester by the Expressway. Without a way to reconnect the street grid with the western side of that barrier, the area exists somewhat by itself. There is just enough room for a high density mini-city type development to go there, and it won't really have any kind of impact on the people who live on the other side of 93.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #13
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Re: Globe Site

Quote:
Originally Posted by choo View Post
Isn't there a like 6 story apt. building supposed to go near the shaws/jfk/93 area. I wouldn't be surprised if shaws go redeveloped, but not on the early stage of activity.

To me this is a real put up or shut up area.

The accessibility of this area and sheer space available is great. If Boston needs thousands of units of more housing, this (and Sullivan Sq, IMO), are perfect spots. Build a very urban and dense streetscape with 50-250' buildings. No tower in the park, project junk. The area already has a mix of market rate, affordable and student housing, just continue and focus that. Restaurants and other amenities will follow the people.

The place has the Red line and CR, and any build out wouldn't be realistically complete before the RL got new cars (and maybe signals) and hopefully that would ease capacity issues on the T. If Boston is serious about quality affordable housing and TOD, this area is perfect for it. No need to crap out and build a 4 story 100 unit building with 120 parking spots.
Choo -- I think Morrisey Blvd and the Red Line & CR provide the opportunity for a mini-Pru-scale development at the Glob site

You just don't get 16 acres dropped on the table close to the Red Line, CR & a good not-quite highway

Build Big -- 1 million + sq ft with several towers and some lower rise -- perhaps this could even be the site for the elusive 1000 footer :=}
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:09 PM   #14
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Re: Globe Site

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Originally Posted by HalcyonEra View Post
Doreen Miller · Top Commenter
NIce to know this developer has some realistic sense of what's right for this area in terms of density and building height and what would best create a neighborhood feel. I was horrified by the "approved" Master Plan that was calling for 15- to 17-story high rises in this area. Thank you, Mr. Greaney.
It's funny how some people live in fear or crime or disasters or losing their job and not being able to afford rent. Doreen Miller however, has something else concerning her - ominous 150' residential towers. I get where she's coming from. Whenever I'm in the shadow of these behemoths I pick up my pace as my heart beats a little faster. It wouldn't surprise me if one day these structures just started snatching up children off the street on their way home from school, and eating them. It is indeed, horrifying to contemplate. Thank god this one developer is sensitive to fears and needs of Doreen Miller and her neighbors.

Seriously, where in the hell do these people come from?
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:19 PM   #15
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Re: Globe Site

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Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Choo -- I think Morrisey Blvd and the Red Line & CR provide the opportunity for a mini-Pru-scale development at the Glob site

You just don't get 16 acres dropped on the table close to the Red Line, CR & a good not-quite highway

Build Big -- 1 million + sq ft with several towers and some lower rise -- perhaps this could even be the site for the elusive 1000 footer :=}
Like the ambition but definitely not, planes come right over 93 from dot to Southie, but a 300 footer is easily doable and could have some real density.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:51 AM   #16
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Re: Globe Site

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Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Choo -- I think Morrisey Blvd and the Red Line & CR provide the opportunity for a mini-Pru-scale development at the Glob site

You just don't get 16 acres dropped on the table close to the Red Line, CR & a good not-quite highway

Build Big -- 1 million + sq ft with several towers and some lower rise -- perhaps this could even be the site for the elusive 1000 footer :=}
1000 footer in Dorchester? No.

But this site potential does scream "Assembly Row".
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:31 PM   #17
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Re: Globe Site

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Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
There's a lot of potential in this small, Red Line-accessible area. Between this and the Bayside Expo site you've already got a lot of land for redevelopment. And - am I making this up? - I seem to recall the Sovereign Bank site and the Shaw's site as being in play also...

The key to making this all work would be to somehow downgrade Morrissey "Boulevard" ... as transit accessible as this all would be, enhanced walkability here would still be necessary.
? There are sidewalks on both sides of the street. There is plenty of room for sidewalks on both sides of the road, inbound and outbound going back towards the existing buildings. Why does the commute of thousands of people in Dorchester, Quincy, Mattapan, Milton, Hingham, and other places be affected by your desire for a stroll?
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:35 PM   #18
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Re: Globe Site

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Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
Choo -- I think Morrisey Blvd and the Red Line & CR provide the opportunity for a mini-Pru-scale development at the Glob site

You just don't get 16 acres dropped on the table close to the Red Line, CR & a good not-quite highway

Build Big -- 1 million + sq ft with several towers and some lower rise -- perhaps this could even be the site for the elusive 1000 footer :=}
How about a something over four stories on Mass. Ave. in Lexington? Why would the people of Columbia / Savin Hill and the established urban streetscape have to suddenly deal with a 1,000 foot building lording over them? Are you the ghost of Ed Logue?
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:02 PM   #19
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Re: Globe Site

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It's funny how some people live in fear or crime or disasters or losing their job and not being able to afford rent. Doreen Miller however, has something else concerning her - ominous 150' residential towers. I get where she's coming from. Whenever I'm in the shadow of these behemoths I pick up my pace as my heart beats a little faster. It wouldn't surprise me if one day these structures just started snatching up children off the street on their way home from school, and eating them. It is indeed, horrifying to contemplate. Thank god this one developer is sensitive to fears and needs of Doreen Miller and her neighbors.

Seriously, where in the hell do these people come from?
Since you live in North Cambridge, would you be agreeable to 3 more of those housing project towers across from Alewife in your neighborhood? Go ahead and start striving for that and see what happens.

Everyone of these posts, please remember that the area to the west of the Expressway and Savin Hill By The Sea, are well established neighborhoods with residents who have the same concerns about density, quality, of life, and urbanism that people in other Boston areas have, just like you. If you can't build a 150 foot tower next to Storrow Drive along Beacon Street anymore, despite it being nearly the same distance to many public transit and commuting options as Globe Site, and the near same access to the water that Beacon Street has, why should the Globe site turn into a massing freak show?
We all love the Back Bay because we have been told what sacred space it is. Bull shit. It is a collection of 19th century houses located near water and transit. It just has loud mouths who tell themselves how great things are, but it was well planned.

Before we start wet dreaming about the Globe site, let's think about the Bayside poo show, and what a mess that was when development was allowed to rush in there back in the 1960's. You got the shortest lived mall ever. Columbia Point was built, with massing, and it quickly looked like the Hue scene from Full Metal Jacket (which was also filmed in a failed housing project). Any redevelopment of the Globe needs to be done on a livable scale. I don't want Assembly Square there. I want something that works for the neighborhood and the future.

I like a larger (and taller 8 to 10 stories version) of what Fido built at Oak Grove. Walkable shops, integration into the overall neighborhood (through Savin Hill, not JFK), streetscape retail, but no Walgreen's/CVS/Five Guys/Panera. Public Space (Dare I say an elementary school?), and yes, some parking.

What your fantasies for this site are also forgetting is that the Mayor lives within shouting distance of this site. You don't think this thing isn't going to planned properly with a healthy respect for all the parties involved? Don't under estimate the political power of this neighborhood. All of Dot can't be covered with one brushstroke. This area will surprise you. You are going to end up with larger versions of West Square here, not the World Trade Center / Seaport.

Last edited by JohnCostello; 02-20-2014 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:15 PM   #20
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Re: Globe Site

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I don't want Assembly Square there. I want something that works for the neighborhood and the future.
What's wrong with Assembly? I was thinking that it is a great model for this site.

What is it about Assembly that wouldn't work for the area?
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