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Old 06-26-2013, 10:33 PM   #141
mass88
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

Quincy could see sweeping changes if more projects like this take shape. It has direct access to 93. It has 4 stops on the Red Line. Is about a 10-15 minute drive to downtown Boston (depending on traffic). Very close to Logan Airport. Right on the water and Wollaston Beach is less crowded than Castle Island is in South Boston. Also a lot easier to run over there than around Castle Island.

Rents are cheaper than some of the more trendy and popular Boston neighborhoods.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:06 AM   #142
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

I'd give it a very good chance. I have been saying for years that Quincy has been succeeding in spite of itself. Now, it's actually trying to get better, and I can only think it will. The population is one of the faster growing in the state, there is a good base of popular restaurants and bars already in this area making it somewhat of a destination already for those who don't want the hassle of getting in and out of Boston. The rail access is outstanding. And, the proximity to Boston is huge.

It's only a matter of time in my mind that some of the success in Cambridge will make its way to the other side of the Red Line and Boston to Quincy. Not as much on the bio-side because there is no University anchors, and Cambridge has already carved that out. But, on the residential/mixed use type urban developments. I also, see it being a bit more office friendly than Kendall.

The ability to live a 25 minute subway ride from Downtown Boston is a pretty big deal. Also, living the urban lifestyle, while still being a bit separated from it is enticing to many, or as a stepping stone to full on city living. As long as the area doesn't try to compete price wise with Boston, it should do well. These places need to remember that "young professionals" are paying off student loans still and haven't gotten the big raises yet to afford the luxury they are usually trying to push as "young professional" housing.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:46 AM   #143
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

I think between great public transportation, close proximity to Boston and a diverse population it will definitely work.... maybe not to the degree they're shooting for but a success none the less. It'd be tough to screw it up.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:21 AM   #144
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

I'm hopeful and I think it will send a good sign to other communities and mid-cities (Lowell, NB, Fall River, Lawrence, Brockton) that you can build up and attract people and companies. Too many areas are stuck in the past or held back by suburbanites who keep complaining about parking because stop-and-shop gets crowded.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #145
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

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I'm hopeful and I think it will send a good sign to other communities and mid-cities (Lowell, NB, Fall River, Lawrence, Brockton) that you can build up and attract people and companies. Too many areas are stuck in the past or held back by suburbanites who keep complaining about parking because stop-and-shop gets crowded.
The question is, how could those best emulate Quincy if this succeeds? I don't think you can overstate how important it is that it has a subway line direct into Boston. None of the others can say that; all they have (some of them) is Commuter Rail, which, of course, has nowhere near the flexibility of the Red Line. My fiancee, for example, refuses to look at places near a commuter rail station because she doesn't want to be tied to the CR schedules, and I'm certain that people like her are a significant portion of the population that would want to live in these smaller urban locations.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #146
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

^ There are definitely people like that and it is what drives places like Cambridge/Somerville through the roof right now. And the redline is a huge asset that should ideally put Quincy closer to that level.

I, however, don't think the desire to live in a more urban environment, even if it doesn't extend beyond a smaller downtown is something many people would be interested in. Especially if they can do it at a price point in NB or Lowell compared to Boston. Those two cities have seen a turnaround recently, and I think some more forward thinking around density and walkability will help them attract more people and businesses than the alternative route of big highway and plenty of parking. They are surrounded by Boston suburbs, they need to offer people a more city like lifestyle at more suburban level prices. Many young people and families would go for this, I think.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:44 PM   #147
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

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The question is, how could those best emulate Quincy if this succeeds? I don't think you can overstate how important it is that it has a subway line direct into Boston. None of the others can say that; all they have (some of them) is Commuter Rail, which, of course, has nowhere near the flexibility of the Red Line. My fiancee, for example, refuses to look at places near a commuter rail station because she doesn't want to be tied to the CR schedules, and I'm certain that people like her are a significant portion of the population that would want to live in these smaller urban locations.
Living in Brockton, I have been saying things of this nature for many years. The downtown area is so ripe for good development, but the city is stuck in the past or with people who think they live in a suburban community, and any new development will mean "we don't need more section 8 housing" or "where will they park?" comments come flying out.

My thought on the shitty commuter rail schedule, is locals. Here in Brockton we already have the BAT which goes a long way for mass transit here. But, lease and coordinate track times, and run local trains from bridgewater and randolph/holbrook into the city for new commuters to these make believe jobs. Which would benefit the two outer brockton stops, to funnel people into the downtown area.

Also, as demand picks up, the schedule can be increased if there is money in it for the T and the CR.

In our City I wouldn't try to emulate Quincy Center just because there are so many things wrong with downtown Quincy, and ours is such a blank slate, that it could be done much better.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:48 PM   #148
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

I don't think Lowell, NB, etc. will ever be exactly like Quincy or Cambridge. No matter what kind of transportation you put in there (EMUs with more frequency?) they're just too far away from downtown Boston to get to the same place. However, and I admit I don't know about NB or Brockton, but the thing Lowell does have going for it is pretty nice bones of its own downtown core. Beef up the transit link and downtown construction (which is already happening a little bit), and you might not get a Cambridge or Quincy exactly, but maybe you could get a nice little satellite city a la a Portsmouth or similar. Maybe NB and Brockton are in the position to do the same? There are far worse things in the world for a small city than to be like Portsmouth.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:55 PM   #149
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

I'm always looking further away for my comparisons. We may not like the actual model of those other cities, but they aren't always so close as Cambridge or Quincy is to Boston. Think Dallas and Fort Worth (32 miles apart), think San Fran, Oakland, San Jose (48 miles, 12 miles, and 42 miles apart.) These places seem to function as more than middle cities (Maybe Oaktown don't really succeed.)

We have our northeast mentality where everything is right next to each other, and anything further than 10 miles is too far away. Hell, Boston to Providence is basically the same as San Fran to San Jose. But, gosh it's in a whole nother state. The horror.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:36 PM   #150
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

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I don't think Lowell, NB, etc. will ever be exactly like Quincy or Cambridge. No matter what kind of transportation you put in there (EMUs with more frequency?) they're just too far away from downtown Boston to get to the same place. However, and I admit I don't know about NB or Brockton, but the thing Lowell does have going for it is pretty nice bones of its own downtown core. Beef up the transit link and downtown construction (which is already happening a little bit), and you might not get a Cambridge or Quincy exactly, but maybe you could get a nice little satellite city a la a Portsmouth or similar. Maybe NB and Brockton are in the position to do the same? There are far worse things in the world for a small city than to be like Portsmouth.
New Bedford has really nice bones in its urban core too. Brockton, on the other hand, is in rough shape downtown.

I don't think New Bedford is too comparable to Quincy. I'd argue that the biggest advantages of Quincy are the proximity of its urban core to downtown Boston, location on multiple forms of reliable transit, and access to an educated workforce.

None of that describes New Bedford. Sure, the urban core has great bones, but the educated folks mostly live closer to Boston already, transit is next to non-existent, and New Bedford is nearly 60 miles from Boston.

New Bedford's revitalization is due in large part to its relatively intact urban core. It's a nice area. The continuing development of the seaport should boost business a bit as should the continued investment of nearby colleges. However, I don't see New Bedford ever having the demand for office space that Quincy does (again, thanks in large part due to access to the same workforce Boston has and proximity to central Boston), or even the same demand for dense urban residential development due to its location well outside of urban Boston and the fact that the city has a lot of housing stock left over from its peak population which was around 20,000 people higher than the current population. Quincy, on the other hand, has grown continuously over the decades and needs new housing stock to accommodate that growth. New Bedford can continue to fill existing stock for the foreseeable future. Obviously New Bedford can look to Quincy for some guidance, but I would say that some combination of Manchester and Portsmouth would make for a better model for New Bedford.

Lynn, on the other hand, should pay close attention to Quincy. Especially if a Blue Line extension ever happens. Lynn could easily be the Quincy of the North Shore.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:16 PM   #151
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

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The three-building Phase 1 includes 287 apartments, 35k SF of ground-floor retail, and 24k SF of offices. The apartments—lofts with a smaller footprint but higher ceilings than usual —are a new product for the South Shore. (The San Antonio Spurs would be good tenants: tall, but modest enough to appreciate a smaller space.) Street-Works has had success with a similar product in San Jose and West Hartford. Rents will be about $2,000/month for a one-bedroom. After the apartments and retail are filled, the team will target office tenants.
http://www.bisnow.com/commercial-rea...quincy-center/
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:18 PM   #152
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

Several of the ideas for turning the other urban centers in the state into their own boomtowns come back to the idea of transit, which seems to me to be the problem right there: They're just too damn far to be as tightly integrated into the fabric of the MBTA proper, and commuter rail is inherently going to be more expensive and rigidly scheduled. And while buses have their purpose, they don't seem to knit things together the way rail does.

Theoretically (very theoretically), I suppose you could make a Providence-centric rail network that could tie Providence to Attleboro(s) and Fall River (and the RI environs), but that still leaves New Bedford out in the void. Honestly, unless there was some practical way to extend the subway lines out to the 495 belt (after, you know, getting them all to 128), I don't see how you can tie anything too far out from 128 to the city the way Quincy is. *Maybe* Framingham and Brockton, but F-line seems to be pretty certain that going past 128 is too much for the subway lines.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #153
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

Lowell? Brockton? Hell, the Seaport could learn things from this.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:15 PM   #154
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

Some significant changes to the first phase of this development (currently in demolition).

"Changes announced for first step of Quincy Center redevelopment"

By: Jessica Bartlett

Quote:
Big changes have been announced for the $130 million Merchant’s Row development in Quincy Center, with an announcement that the 15-story residential building will shift to a six-story building and overtake more property.

New drawings in the first phase of the $1.6 billion redevelopment show residential buildings will splay out in three buildings, and retail space will increase 60 percent on the site as Street-Works develops more properties on the block. Parking spaces will be provided on one level as opposed to two.

The buildings have retained their same character and feel, and the public outdoor areas have been increased by 50 percent. Alba’s will still anchor the block moving forward.

“We said with the additional site, [we could] build the same number of units we had in the tower, but low rise now, and keep the quality of the units, keep the loft, keep the same customer experience, and have a lower cost,” said Richard Heapes, co-founder of developer Street-Works.

The decision was only partially based on the rising cost of construction in and around the Boston area. Several tenants who had previously declined to sell to Street-Works also came back to the table, opening up the construction area for the developer to work with on the block.

“Our original scheme was based on a site a certain size, purely based on who we had existing contracts with. … We had a couple people at the end of the day weren’t prepared to sell, so we had to roll on and move on,” Heapes said. “We figured it out, we start to knock buildings down, and those people said would you like to have a conversation again.”

According to Heapes, though the building will switch from steel to wood and be configured much differently, the alterations will not need additional Planning Board approval. The changes will go before both the City Council and the Planning Board for review.

Though the square footage allotted to retail uses will increase, meeting the demand currently existing in the market, Heapes said, the square footage for residential and commercial properties will stay the same in the redevelopment as a whole.

Also remaining basically unchanged will be the timeline, Heapes said. Apartments will still be available by 2015. Street-Works will make up for the time lost in additional demolition with the significantly less digging involved in making a one-story parking garage as opposed to two.

“We control more of the block, have more street retail, bigger public space while maintaining the same ... quality for less cost,” Heapes said.

Though the look of the first phase of construction has become shorter and wider, Heapes said the shift most likely wouldn’t carry forward for the duration of the development.

“I don’t expect over the course of all Quincy Center for costs to be going up. They will stop at some point, fluctuate, as we establish new Quincy Center in this first phase,” Heapes said.

The change was announced by Street-Works on Monday afternoon, and comes only weeks after the developer parted ways with Related Beal and renewed focus with Twining Properties.

Despite the change in partnerships, Heapes said their addition had influence on the configuration of the units inside the buildings, rather than on the overall height change.

Officials in the mayor’s office did not return repeated calls for comment on the potential changes. However, the alterations still leave a lot of unanswered questions for other city officials.

“The acquisition of new buildings means a new mix of street-level retail, and mixed use, which is perfect. Gives you a longer playing field up and down Cottage [Avenue] to set back everything and have it conform, so I get that,” said City Councilor Doug Gutro, chairman of the Downtown Committee, prior to the announcement. “But I want to know not just for Merchant’s Row but the entirety of the project: How does this change the mix of commercial, retail, residential?”

Gutro said he has compiled a resolution to be announced at the Sept. 3 City Council meeting asking for a cumulative update on Merchant’s Row and the entire downtown project.

“This modification could be something more enticing than the original plan,” Gutro said. “I’ll withhold judgment until I see it. All things being equal, it’s an encouraging sign that new partners are coming on board and looking to do more, not less.”
New rendering:



Judging from the article I'm guessing that they got some of the owners along the corner of Hancock St. and/or Cottage Ave. to sell to them?
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #155
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

My own question answered by the Patriot Ledger (which has a pretty comprehensive site on this development)

"Big changes to Quincy Center project unveiled"

By: Patrick Ronan

Quote:
With two more buildings under its control, the developer behind the $1.6 billion redevelopment project in Quincy Center has unveiled some major changes to the first phase of construction.

Street-Works Development on Monday announced several alterations to the ongoing Merchants Row project in downtown Quincy, including a new apartment building on Cottage Avenue, a smaller-than-planned apartment building on Chestnut Street and a 60-percent increase in retail space.

The changes come about two months after work started on Merchants Row, a $120 million project expected to bring new residential, retail and office space to Chestnut Street, Cottage Avenue and the 1400 block of Hancock Street.

Street-Works partner Richard Heapes said the Merchants Row changes were made after the developer acquired two properties – 14 Cottage Ave. and 1442 Hancock St. Previously the building owners had been unwilling to sell.

“I think (the owners) said ‘Oh my God, they’re going to build this thing without me,’” Heapes said. “I think that opened up some conversations.”

The Cottage Avenue building that was sold is currently occupied by Quincy Jade Restaurant, Tully's Cafe and Granite Rail Tavern. Heapes said the building will be torn down to make way for a new six-story building, the ground floor of which will be used for restaurants. The top five floors will be for new apartments.

Jeremy Grossman, senior vice president with CBRE/Grossman Retail Advisors, the firm overseeing retail leases for Street-Works, said the developer can now create a “restaurant row” along Cottage Avenue.

“It really gives us the opportunity and flexibility to create that mix of uses we’ve been targeting for the revitalization of the downtown,” Grossman said.
Heapes wouldn’t disclose how much Street-Works paid for the two properties.

Heapes said Alba Restaurant and Clash of the Ash Restaurant & Pub are the only existing businesses on the affected block likely to remain once construction is finished. The rest of the space, he said, will be occupied by new retailers.

Heapes said the height of Kilroy Lofts, the apartment building planned for the corner of Chestnut Street and Cottage Avenue, has been reduced from 15 stories to six stories. The building’s frame will be wood instead of the steel needed to support a high-rise.

Heapes said reducing the height of Kilroy Lofts is in part a financial decision because constructing the 15-story high-rise would have been too pricey. He said building costs in the Boston area have spiked in recent months.

“The prices were easily 10 percent too high,” Heapes said.
Kilroy Lofts will include 186 underground parking spaces as planned, but they’ll be contained to one level instead of the initial plan to have two levels with 93 spots each.

On the Hancock Street side of the block, Street-Works plans to expand the size of the Granite Trust Lofts, adding a six-story section to the five-story section already planned.

Heapes said the total residential space for Merchants Row will remain relatively unchanged despite the changes, still totaling about 340,000 square feet. However, there may be fewer units because some of the one-bedroom apartments have have been changed to two-bedroom, Heapes said.

In another change, Heapes said the courtyard planned for behind the apartment buildings will be about 50 percent larger.

Unchanged plans for Merchants Row, expected to be completed in 2015, include the renovation of office space inside the Granite Trust Building and the creation of a new roadway, tentatively named Kilroy Way, cutting across the block.

The entire downtown project, a joint partnership between Street-Works and the city of Quincy, is expected to be finished by 2020.
A good source of info: http://www.patriotledger.com/develop-quincy

A handheld short of the demolition site: http://www.patriotledger.com/videos/...r-Construction

Photos of the development site:
http://www.patriotledger.com/news/x1...-Quincy-Center
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:52 PM   #156
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy


Heapes said the height of Kilroy Lofts, the apartment building planned for the corner of Chestnut Street and Cottage Avenue, has been reduced from 15 stories to six stories. The building’s frame will be wood instead of the steel needed to support a high-rise.

Heapes said reducing the height of Kilroy Lofts is in part a financial decision because constructing the 15-story high-rise would have been too pricey. He said building costs in the Boston area have spiked in recent months.

“The prices were easily 10 percent too high,” Heapes said.


Damn. So now instead of Nimby's knocking down the height, we are going to to end up having a bunch of lowrises built in leiu of height because there is too much work.

If this crap continues, which it probably will, or at least will be used as an excuse to go cheaper, we are in for a return of the landscraper (although maybe it never really went away)
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:58 PM   #157
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

More retail spread over more streets, same amount of everything that was proposed, lower construction costs and therefore lower rents. Sounds like a Jane Jacobs win to me. (Only people with neck disorders who walk around looking skywards lose out.)
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:10 PM   #158
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

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More retail spread over more streets, same amount of everything that was proposed, lower construction costs and therefore lower rents. Sounds like a Jane Jacobs win to me. (Only people with neck disorders who walk around looking skywards lose out.)
I don't know, with $1B in development going up around them, those parcels would have been redeveloped. Maybe even into something better. Initial rents may be driven by construction costs, but in time demand will drive the rent.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:24 PM   #159
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

Yes, but short term rents drive returns. maybe with a steel building that have to charge $X,, but the wood frame will allow them to charge X-200 and have a better return still with more consistent demand.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:06 PM   #160
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Re: $1 billion development proposed to reshape downtown Quincy

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Heapes said the height of Kilroy Lofts, the apartment building planned for the corner of Chestnut Street and Cottage Avenue, has been reduced from 15 stories to six stories. The building’s frame will be wood instead of the steel needed to support a high-rise.

Heapes said reducing the height of Kilroy Lofts is in part a financial decision because constructing the 15-story high-rise would have been too pricey. He said building costs in the Boston area have spiked in recent months.

“The prices were easily 10 percent too high,” Heapes said.


Damn. So now instead of Nimby's knocking down the height, we are going to to end up having a bunch of lowrises built in leiu of height because there is too much work.

If this crap continues, which it probably will, or at least will be used as an excuse to go cheaper, we are in for a return of the landscraper (although maybe it never really went away)
Low rise, more squat, wood buildings in order to save money?

What earlier looked like Quincy taking a shot at being a mini-Boston, is now Quincy taking a shot at being a mini-East Boston.
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