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Old 07-01-2006, 04:30 PM   #1
quadratdackel
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Complete Avalon Exeter | 77 Exeter Street | Back Bay

What is this, Christmas in July? First a tower at Copley Place, now this. From the Boston Courant, which is not online, so I'll just paraphrase:

The building's to be on the Exeter Street side of the Prudential Center, near the garage entrance and the Shaw's supermarket. It would be 40 feet from the Gloucester apartment tower, whose residents would lose their city views. (That the new tower's residents would gain city views was of course not mentioned in the article.) The plan is new- Menino hadn't even heard of it when the Courant contacted him, and the BRA hasn't received anything. However, this may fit within existing zoning laws, which would reduce NABB's involvement, although they'd still be concerned about the height, shadows, wind, traffic, and flying, missle-shooting robotic gorillas such a development would bring to the neighborhood. (OK, OK, NABB didn't mention traffic.) It seems Boston Properties, who owns the parcel, is leading this development push, in cooperation with the Avalon development company, the Prudential Project Advisory Committee, and the city, all of whom are trying to add more housing to the Pru.

I can only wonder: What big new development will the next week's Courant bring us?
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Old 07-01-2006, 04:47 PM   #2
Mike
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This has come up a couple times before ... there was a thread about it on the old board, and then another on the SSG board a few years ago. I remember the older proposal called for a 19-story tower at that location, but for some reason the plan went nowhere at the time.
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Old 07-01-2006, 07:14 PM   #3
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Geez, Boston. I don't know what happened to you, but I like it!
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Old 07-01-2006, 11:39 PM   #4
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Does this mean to the north (towards Lord and Taylor) or to the South (above the Shaw's)?

I'm not sure which views would be "lost" -- the ones towards Cambridge? Or the ones over Copley Place to the South End? The Gloucester doesn't have units which face downtown.
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Old 07-02-2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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Does it say it is a residential, office, or mix-use tower?
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:37 AM   #6
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Apartments. It doesn't say how many units. It says that Gloucester building residents would lose "city views", not "downtown views".
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:20 AM   #7
quadratdackel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
This has come up a couple times before
Good to know. Makes this announcement a little less exciting. But, it's encouraging that they're still interesting in building this. Maybe they'll actually pull it off this time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
Apartments. It doesn't say how many units. It says that Gloucester building residents would lose "city views", not "downtown views".
Right, it would be strictly residential. Those views are downtown views: Exeter is the inbound end of the Pru. Make no mistake about it: the Gloucester gets screwed by this. It's just a case of the positives outweighing the negatives.
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:51 AM   #8
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No ones views are guaranteed forever, whether you live in a high rise in the city or a home in the burbs unless you live next to a protected area. Homes in the burbs which were once isolated in green areas now find their backyard view is the back end of another home. Go to NYC and see how many new high rises are packed next to each other. It's part of the price of high rise, in city living! Some people will choose to live in apartments with no views since they will cost less; the residents of the new building on the side of the Gloucester building, I imagine, will have Gloucester views though they will pay less for them than their neighbors across the hall with city views. Why all the concern for lost views? If you're gonna buy a place with a view you need to research neighboring properties to make sure those views are gonna last. Make no mistake, those Gloucester residents always knew, like those in Charles River Park and in other high rises, that someday in the future, their views might be lost. Much of the fuss over Columbus Center was made by a few residents of neighboring areas who's views of the city would be lost by the new buildings though they always cited other reasons for their opposition.
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Old 07-02-2006, 12:43 PM   #9
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...

and such 'residents' should have even less say when they are renters (as opposed to owners), as I beleive these apartments are.
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Old 07-02-2006, 01:03 PM   #10
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You would think the actual owners of the apartments WOULD have a problem because they would get fewer renters.
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castevens
You would think the actual owners of the apartments WOULD have a problem because they would get fewer renters.
The Glouster Apartment owners? I don't think they will really have fewer renters due to loss of views. Maybe they'll have to knock off some money from the rent because of the loss of view. Then again with housing (especially in the Back Bay) being such a hot commodity, the most likely scenerio is they won't be losing much, if anything.
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Old 07-05-2006, 12:43 PM   #12
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I think I tossed the article already, but my impression from it was that the same developers proposing the new apartment own the Gloucester, so clearly there will be no protests there. Also, I couldn't find a single mention of this project on Google News, so it might not be going far. And while views aren't guaranteed forever, people do have the right to fight to protect them. What is crap is when they use other reasons, and when the city lets their views be way over-represented in the process. Community input is good, but these people don't represent the community.
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadratdackel
I think I tossed the article already, but my impression from it was that the same developers proposing the new apartment own the Gloucester, so clearly there will be no protests there. Also, I couldn't find a single mention of this project on Google News, so it might not be going far. And while views aren't guaranteed forever, people do have the right to fight to protect them. What is crap is when they use other reasons, and when the city lets their views be way over-represented in the process. Community input is good, but these people don't represent the community.
Wait wait wait wait wait... Just how DO YOU define 'community'?
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:18 PM   #14
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^ By "community", I meant everyone in the area, not just those whose window looks out on a development. I guess you could think of community as being just those immediate neighbors and use some other word for the broader metro area population. Either way, this is still a classic collective action problem: individually, we're best off if every project is built except the one blocking the view out our window, but collectively, we're better off if all projects get built than if no projects get built (assuming of course that a high-density, affordable city is preferable to a lower-density, unaffordable city). The problem is that there's much more individual energy opposing view blockage than there is collective energy supporting housing creation. So, from the vantage point of, say, a city official at a public development hearing, it looks like there's widespread, heated opposition to the project because only the opposition has enough interest in this specific project to show up. The only way around this is to balance these voices with others representing the interests of the broader population. Boston struggles because it errs to far immediate neighbors' direction, possibly because it's still scarred from the West End demolition backlash.
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:22 PM   #15
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To paraphrase the 20th century's greatest politician: 'There is no such thing as community'.

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Old 07-05-2006, 07:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by justin
To paraphrase the 20th century's greatest politician: 'There is no such thing as community'
Margaret Thatcher?
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:28 AM   #17
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Old 01-20-2007, 12:03 AM   #18
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New Tower(s) Planned For Prudential Center

This is from the latest Courant:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Boston Courant
New Tower Is Planned For Prudential Center
by Shayndi Raice

Plans are being drawn up to nearly double the size of an office building at the the Prudential Center, already New England's largest mixed-use development.

The plans by the Pru's owner, Boston Properties, have not yet been officially unveiled, but they have been discussed with city officials and at least one member of a citizen group overseeing development at the Prudential Center. According to reliable sources, the plan involves nearly doubling the height of an 11-story office building that had already been approved for 888 Boylston Street, now a courtyard directly in front of the Prudential Tower.

If built, the expanded office building would be considerably taller than the Mandarin Hotel, which is under construction next door to the site and will be 155 feet high.

Boston Properties' expansion could also involve plans disclosed last summer to build another luxury housing tower along Exeter Street in partnership with Avalon Bay Communities,
which owns three existing residential towers at the Prudential Center.

Betsy Johnson, chairperson of the Prudential Project Advisory Committee (PruPAC), was briefed on plans in October and said that a meeting was supposed to be scheduled with the committee, but it was delayed with the start of the holiday season. "All I know is that things are supposed to be in the works", she said. "In fairness, [Boston Properties] is probably trying to make sure the all their ducks in a row".

Johnson said that any new office or housing expansion would come under the purview of PruPAC. She noted, however, that members of the committee reacted favorably to the possibility of additional housing of Exeter, especially in the wake of construction of the Mandarin where residences had once been contemplated.

Johnson added that after the 11-story glass office building had been approved, some PruPAC members indicated "in retrospect" that the building could have been considerably higher.

For the time being, Boston Properties is keeping any expansion plans at the Prudential Center close to its vest. "888 Boylston is the last planned development site on the master plan when we bought the building from Prudential", said Boston Properties spokesperson Amy Daniels. "While we're encouraged by office market conditions and we look forward to working with PruPAC and the BRA, there are no imminent plans for [the property] at this point."
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:20 AM   #19
jass
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Hm, I dont know....I like that Plaza...its a nice rbeak from the streetwall, and a good access to the foodcourt....

However, I doubt theyll have oposition, considering they own everything there.


Also

"Boston Properties' expansion could also involve plans disclosed last summer to build another luxury housing tower along Exeter Street in partnership with Avalon Bay Communities,
which owns three existing residential towers at the Prudential Center. "

Ew. Please let it not be as ugly as the Avalon.
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:29 AM   #20
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The food court will become gloomy without the light coming in through those windows. A small price to pay, but still...
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