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Old 12-05-2018, 06:50 AM   #3281
odurandina
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Re: Downtown Crossing

i would be shocked if so much as a sliver of that building were to be razed for something tall or tallish.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:11 PM   #3282
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Re: Downtown Crossing

They just started renovating the 33 Arch lobby last week. Its gonna be a PITA for the next few months with one of the entrances closed. Hopefully there will be retail in the lobby when done. Haven't even been able to get a cup of coffee here for many months.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:25 PM   #3283
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Re: Downtown Crossing

One Bromfield is not happening until the zoning in that area changes...the condo association in the Jewelers building basically put a gun to the owner's head and demanded a barrel full of dough or they would litigate. Since anything over 155 feet requires variances that is a deal killer. But I believe the city is undergoing a rezoning initiative there.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:57 AM   #3284
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Re: Downtown Crossing

Hyatt Regency renovations



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Old 12-27-2018, 08:13 AM   #3285
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Re: Downtown Crossing

Looks like renovations have begun. As I understand, this is now owned by Emerson College. Do we have a Emerson infill/master plan thread?





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Old 12-27-2018, 11:54 AM   #3286
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Re: Downtown Crossing

Unrelated to the post above, after walking through Downtown Crossing the last few years, the whole excuse that the crater before MT is the reason that has been causing a decay in retail in the surrounding area is a LIE.

It's been about 4 years since the tower was complete and Primark moved in and we still have 10 or so storefronts lining Washington St as well as branching street such as Washington and Bromfeld Street that sits completely empty or being replaced by crowd-killing storefronts such as a Chase Bank (taking the place of what used to be a Bath and Body Works.)

What gives? This pedestrian only area should be a shopping mecca but the empty storefronts absolutely kills the energy here.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:57 PM   #3287
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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Originally Posted by KentXie View Post
Unrelated to the post above, after walking through Downtown Crossing the last few years, the whole excuse that the crater before MT is the reason that has been causing a decay in retail in the surrounding area is a LIE.

It's been about 4 years since the tower was complete and Primark moved in and we still have 10 or so storefronts lining Washington St as well as branching street such as Washington and Bromfeld Street that sits completely empty or being replaced by crowd-killing storefronts such as a Chase Bank (taking the place of what used to be a Bath and Body Works.)

What gives? This pedestrian only area should be a shopping mecca but the empty storefronts absolutely kills the energy here.
A lot of this is the landlords' fault. Bromfield and several on Washington are landlords, having ejected former tenants, holding out for either new development or flipping the property.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:06 PM   #3288
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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Originally Posted by KentXie View Post

What gives? This pedestrian only area should be a shopping mecca but the empty storefronts absolutely kills the energy here.
Agreed, and it's odd because the central location and transit hub should make it work. The general consensus here is that landlords are leaving storefronts vacant intentionally and holding out for higher rents (like what Chase inevitably is forking over). I talked to the former Lids manager who said that the offer they got to keep the space was beyond prohibitive. It's really hard for a retailer to justify the cost or for a restaurant to be able to afford a liquor license AND pay that rent.

Another problem, in my opinion, is that the pedestrian "only" zone itself is a failure. It looks like a road (with actual sidewalks raised above the road), so pedestrians still crowd the sidewalk instead of spreading out. It functions like a road with trucks, police, and other vehicles constantly interfering with the pedestrian experience. Make it flush all the way across like Summer/Winter, so people instinctively feel like it's OK to walk there and further restrict trucks and other vehicles from plopping there all day and you'll instantly have a much better experience. The short stretch of Summer between Washington and Hawley is actually pleasant. Winter is fine for walking, but not exactly lined with great retail. But Washington still isn't great.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:42 PM   #3289
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Re: Downtown Crossing

It doesn't help that we're in the twilight of retail stores. The future of that area is banks and dead zones between generic chain restaurants.

The State needs to fix the liquor license situation in Boston and reduce the cost across the board to make restaurant ownership more attractive. But they won't because The State is run by greedy corrupt fucks that refuse to cede power to Boston to control liquor licenses.
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:08 PM   #3290
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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It doesn't help that we're in the twilight of retail stores. The future of that area is banks and dead zones between generic chain restaurants.

The State needs to fix the liquor license situation in Boston and reduce the cost across the board to make restaurant ownership more attractive. But they won't because The State is run by greedy corrupt fucks that refuse to cede power to Boston to control liquor licenses.
That's a little too cynical. Suburban box retail is dying because we have a glut of it (literally 5x more retail space than places like the U.K.) and people are shopping more online. But urban retail is and always will be strong. At least until Amazon can instantly teleport your order to your door. And as brick and mortars stores face competition from online retailers, retail as a whole continues to evolve. People are dining out at record levels meaning the proliferation of restaurants (and not just chains) will continue. Urban groceries and specialty stores are on the rise. Our cities will have active storefronts for a long time to come.

The liquor license issue is not about "greedy corrupt fucks." It's about political popularity. The problem is that in order to fix the liquor license situation (read: make more available at reasonable prices), you're going to piss off every existing restaurant owner who paid a fortune and/or jumped through hoops to get theirs. It's a wildly unpopular position and one few politicians are willing to take.
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:10 PM   #3291
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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It doesn't help that we're in the twilight of retail stores.
We're really not though. The car-oriented suburban shopping malls and big box stores (over)built in the middle of the 20th century are struggling, yes. But urban retail -- especially dense walk-able "high street" retail -- is thriving.

The fall in suburban shopping malls and big box stores is driven as much by a general shift in economic activity to the cities as it is by the internet (remember that still in almost-2019 internet commerce amounts to only 9% of all retail transactions). On the whole, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any point in history when the Boston retail environment was more vibrant than it is right now.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Lrfox, so yeah, basically what s/he said.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:46 PM   #3292
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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Originally Posted by KentXie View Post
Unrelated to the post above, after walking through Downtown Crossing the last few years, the whole excuse that the crater before MT is the reason that has been causing a decay in retail in the surrounding area is a LIE.

It's been about 4 years since the tower was complete and Primark moved in and we still have 10 or so storefronts lining Washington St as well as branching street such as Washington and Bromfeld Street that sits completely empty or being replaced by crowd-killing storefronts such as a Chase Bank (taking the place of what used to be a Bath and Body Works.)

What gives? This pedestrian only area should be a shopping mecca but the empty storefronts absolutely kills the energy here.
As other folks have noted above, this is an extremely misleading argument, but I have to add in as well. Taking the statements individually:

1.) Retail in DTX went into a steady decline as early as, oh 1965-70, as suburbanization & attendant shopping malls arose. The Filene's pit of 2008-2012 had absolutely nothing to do with the massive, nationwide socioeconomic forces involved with that trend.

The Filene's pit of 2008-2012 was a symbol of the harrowing commercial real estate crash of that phase, period. To read anymore into it is just grossly misinformed.

2.) As others have noted, of those vacancies you're seeing, none have to do with MTower/solving of the Filene's Pit disaster. The even-numbered side of Bromfield St. are Druker Co. vacancies that were all vacant before the Filene's Pit. The odd-numbered side are Midwood Co. vacancies that wrap around the corner to the Jewelers Bldg. and they (as noted by many) were deliberately created when they thought they could get their project going. The old Barnes & Nobles site is being renovated, as is 1 Milk St. That covers it.

3.) What on earth is "crowd-killing" about a Chase Bank in place of a completely lackluster and boring Bath & Body Works? Really, that's about the least compelling example you could possibly cite in favor of this misguided argument. Nobody cared about that Bath & Body Works.

There is always massive pedestrian foot traffic in DTX for reasons that have nothing to do with the disappearance of retail as trivial and irrelevant as a tiny tiny Bath & Body Works. It takes a true "game-changer" like Roche Bros./Primark to really influence the massive preexisting pedestrian traffic in DTX in any measurable way.

4.) Nitpick: MTower was completed only 2 years ago. Also, frankly, the opening of Primark, Forever 21, GAP, Old Navy, demonstrate that retail in DTX is at minimum stabilized. Also, look how quickly H&M got snapped up to become a HomeGoods too. So how is the "energy killed", exactly?

It's great that you're passionate about DTX, as everyone should be about such an iconic, historic gem of a cultural/civic space. But it looks like your passion is getting in the way of clear-eyed analysis, bigly.
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:37 AM   #3293
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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Originally Posted by DBM View Post
As other folks have noted above, this is an extremely misleading argument, but I have to add in as well. Taking the statements individually:

1.) Retail in DTX went into a steady decline as early as, oh 1965-70, as suburbanization & attendant shopping malls arose. The Filene's pit of 2008-2012 had absolutely nothing to do with the massive, nationwide socioeconomic forces involved with that trend.

The Filene's pit of 2008-2012 was a symbol of the harrowing commercial real estate crash of that phase, period. To read anymore into it is just grossly misinformed.

2.) As others have noted, of those vacancies you're seeing, none have to do with MTower/solving of the Filene's Pit disaster. The even-numbered side of Bromfield St. are Druker Co. vacancies that were all vacant before the Filene's Pit. The odd-numbered side are Midwood Co. vacancies that wrap around the corner to the Jewelers Bldg. and they (as noted by many) were deliberately created when they thought they could get their project going. The old Barnes & Nobles site is being renovated, as is 1 Milk St. That covers it.

3.) What on earth is "crowd-killing" about a Chase Bank in place of a completely lackluster and boring Bath & Body Works? Really, that's about the least compelling example you could possibly cite in favor of this misguided argument. Nobody cared about that Bath & Body Works.

There is always massive pedestrian foot traffic in DTX for reasons that have nothing to do with the disappearance of retail as trivial and irrelevant as a tiny tiny Bath & Body Works. It takes a true "game-changer" like Roche Bros./Primark to really influence the massive preexisting pedestrian traffic in DTX in any measurable way.

4.) Nitpick: MTower was completed only 2 years ago. Also, frankly, the opening of Primark, Forever 21, GAP, Old Navy, demonstrate that retail in DTX is at minimum stabilized. Also, look how quickly H&M got snapped up to become a HomeGoods too. So how is the "energy killed", exactly?

It's great that you're passionate about DTX, as everyone should be about such an iconic, historic gem of a cultural/civic space. But it looks like your passion is getting in the way of clear-eyed analysis, bigly.
I'm not. Having traveled to several cities where there is a massive retail presence at their core (NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver, granted the latter two are the only ones comparable to Boston) the whole retail is dying, like the other posters have mentioned, really only pertains to the suburb. The amount of pedestrian activity in those shopping areas is at an entirely higher level and puts Boston's downtown crossing to shame. The only area in Boston that gives even a semblance of that activity is the Prudential Mall+Newbury Street which by the way, is another example that refutes the idea that retail is dying in urban settings.

Also Chase bank is a crowd killer because it attracts only people looking to make a deposit/withdrawal or opening an account. You count the number of people going in and out of a bank and compare it to a retail clothing store and I can guarantee you, you'd get more people in and out at a clothing store.

In addition, several storefronts became empty after they demolished filene's (children's place, Wendy's, the two At&t storefronts, city sport, Eddie Bauer, wet seal which currently has a temp holiday store) all of which have not had a permanent tenant for at least a year if not years and honestly being in the middle of the city, none of them have an excuse to be.

But maybe I am making an unfair comparison. Regardless I still believe downtown crossing is drastically underperforming it's true potential

Last edited by KentXie; 12-28-2018 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:07 AM   #3294
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Re: Downtown Crossing

Those first pics are the Hyatt correct? I'm very familiar with the building but forget the name of the hotel. Curious if they're putting a restaurant in there? Its a welcome addition whatever it is that building is a bit of an eye sore and previously contributed to a dead intersection- hopefully that will liven it up a bit.
IMO this building is a decent candidate for implosion and redevelopment but not anymore with this renovation
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:27 AM   #3295
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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Originally Posted by KentXie View Post
I'm not. Having traveled to several cities where there is a massive retail presence at their core (NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver, granted the latter two are the only ones comparable to Boston) the whole retail is dying, like the other posters have mentioned, really only pertains to the suburb. The amount of pedestrian activity in those shopping areas is at an entirely higher level and puts Boston's downtown crossing to shame. The only area in Boston that gives even a semblance of that activity is the Prudential Mall+Newbury Street which by the way, is another example that refutes the idea that retail is dying in urban settings.

Also Chase bank is a crowd killer because it attracts only people looking to make a deposit/withdrawal or opening an account. You count the number of people going in and out of a bank and compare it to a retail clothing store and I can guarantee you, you'd get more people in and out at a clothing store.

In addition, several storefronts became empty after they demolished filene's (children's place, Wendy's, the two At&t storefronts, city sport, Eddie Bauer, wet seal which currently has a temp holiday store) all of which have not had a permanent tenant for at least a year if not years and honestly being in the middle of the city, none of them have an excuse to be.

But maybe I am making an unfair comparison. Regardless I still believe downtown crossing is drastically underperforming it's true potential
1.) "Higher amounts of pedestrian activity in those shopping areas"--do you have clicker counts to prove it? And even if you do, how are you framing the stats relative to overall size of metro population that said shopping area draws from? I'm sorry, but this is just completely anecdotal/impressionistic, with no grounding in data.

2.) "Wet Seal which currently has a temporary pop-up store": actually, it's not a pop-up: https://flyingtiger.com/find-store

3.) "Children's place, Wendy's, the two At&t storefronts, city sport"--these are exactly the retailers, that multiple posters have been trying to point out to you, that Midwood deliberately emptied-out in advance of trying to get its 1 Bromfield St. tower proposal off the ground--demonstrating how large the project footprint would be, among other things. Again, nothing to do with the Filene's pit.

Please, do some research/analytical thinking before you post.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:48 AM   #3296
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Re: Downtown Crossing

^ I don't mean to just call you out DBM because you are far from the only one who does it... but do we have to derogate every post we disagree with? We have to bullet point and dissect? Before we post we have to research and come up with a thesis? We have to prove how much smarter we are than the other poster?

Come on guys just say you disagree and move on. This pretentious posting bullshit here sucks, people should be able to have anecdotal opinions- this isn't a fucking graduate class. Calm down you're being a dick.
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:14 AM   #3297
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Re: Downtown Crossing

^ The funny part is that they don't really even disagree.
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Old 12-28-2018, 09:46 AM   #3298
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Re: Downtown Crossing

No, they don't much disagree.

Also, the liquor license issue really does need to be addressed. It's so typical of MA/Boston. The situation will continue to get worse and worse (a la housing) while the private parties who benefit from the current state of affairs (existing restauranteurs/bar owners/home owners/landlords) stand in the way of solutions, and the politicians sit on their dead asses doing nothing out of some combination of fear, laziness, stupidity, and corruption.
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:42 AM   #3299
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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No, they don't much disagree.

Also, the liquor license issue really does need to be addressed. It's so typical of MA/Boston. The situation will continue to get worse and worse (a la housing) while the private parties who benefit from the current state of affairs (existing restauranteurs/bar owners/home owners/landlords) stand in the way of solutions, and the politicians sit on their dead asses doing nothing out of some combination of fear, laziness, stupidity, and corruption.
Is there currently a finite number of liquor licenses in the city of Boston? Or does the city issue a set number of new licenses every year?
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:22 PM   #3300
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Re: Downtown Crossing

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Is there currently a finite number of liquor licenses in the city of Boston? Or does the city issue a set number of new licenses every year?
Total number of licenses in Boston is capped by the State Legislature. No automatic increases. City Council has to make a home rule petition to the legislature to get the number increased, which often fails.

Current license holders hate the increases (which happen rarely), because they devalue the value of all the current licenses -- the liquor license is often the most valuable asset of a Boston restaurant (used as collateral for loans, for example).
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