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Old 05-26-2009, 12:44 PM   #21
vanshnookenraggen
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

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When the Hancock was completed in 1975, it was a monument to new Boston, designed by I.M. Pei himself.

Are they sure about that? I'm pretty certain that it was Pei's partner, Henry Cobb, who designed the tower after Pei's concrete cylinder was rejected..
Yeah, that is just lazy journalism. Globe can't fold fast enough.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:18 PM   #22
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

And Ron, I am curious why you think the government should take the most valuable floor of a private company's asset and force them to forfeit nearly $100/SF rents? What legal right, what reasoning, to take somebody's private property and turn it into public property without compensating them?

Beacon Capital made the decision to close the deck and convert it into permanent office space. They sold the tower to Broadway as such. No legal requirement exists to make that deck anything other than permanent office space.

To now take a different owner and (post-sale) change the features of the property they had purchased would be stealing.

If the city or state or some tourist's agency would like to make an offer to purchase this extremely valuable asset, then they should make an offer.

I know this is Boston, but still, I would hope that in America the government doesn't have the ability to just seize somebody's property and tell them how to operate it.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:39 PM   #23
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

When Hancock wanted to build the tallest building outside of New York in an area as important as the back bay they agreed to add an observation deck as part of the right to build so high(had to be higher than their competition - prudential). I don't think D'alasandro had the legal right to remove the deck. I'm sure there was a legal document at some point, probably just got lost by all parties involved.
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:33 PM   #24
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

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Pei's concrete cylinder...
Build it here?
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:03 PM   #25
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

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(And what's wrong with the existing garage, anyway?)
The people who park in the garage have to WALK to their offices!

This could be good, but whatever came of the plans to make the new lobby with the glass enclosure around that concrete plaza, with the little cafes and such? Either way, I'm glad that Normandy/Five Mile is committed to the property, or at least I'm glad they say they are.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:43 PM   #26
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

If the building owners need approval from the city to build a new garage, the city can trade approval for an agreement to re-open the observation deck. I think this is what Ron meant.

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And Ron, I am curious why you think the government should take the most valuable floor of a private company's asset and force them to forfeit nearly $100/SF rents? What legal right, what reasoning, to take somebody's private property and turn it into public property without compensating them?
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:17 PM   #27
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

Exactly - what FrankG said. They can choose between reopening the observation deck or having to use the existing (and perfectly adequate) garage. (And why should we add new parking to a district that is very well served by public transit?)

I'm also nervous about digging again on this property. The last time there was digging here, it damaged the foundations of Trinity Church and the Copley Plaza Hotel. Hancock had to pay a settlement to the church and actually buy the hotel as a result.

And then there's groundwater retention....

Last edited by Ron Newman; 05-26-2009 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:55 PM   #28
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

The observation deck will never be reopened, its time to give that up. Its been converted to offices and getting alot of rent $$ without the headache of a public observation deck. Should the city have let them close it no, but its too late now.

I am no engineer/architect but I could never see them digging below the hancock. However there are already 2 large basement levels (which connect via tunnel below Clarendon to the old Hancock Building accross the street), I could see them converting some of the basement levels to parking, wich would probably be private an only for executives of tenants.

Best Solution would be to build a covered walkway over Stuart street from the Hancock Garage to the Hancock Tower making it quicker to park and walk to building and keep tenants out of the weather.
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:22 AM   #29
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

Or they use their fat bank accounts to buy themselves a nice new Patagonia. If the MBTA can afford it, I'm sure bankers and accountants can.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:57 AM   #30
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

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The observation deck will never be reopened, its time to give that up. Its been converted to offices and getting alot of rent $$ without the headache of a public observation deck. Should the city have let them close it no, but its too late now.
I wish the media would get this right. You cannot re-open something that does not exist. "There are no plans to re-open the observation deck," implies that the space is still there with a big CLOSED DUE TO TEH TERRISTS! sign on it. Ten extra words would explain this.

EDIT: To be clear.

The "observation deck" ..... no longer exists. It is gone.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:46 AM   #31
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

I thought it was still there and now used as private meeting and function space? In which case, converting it back to a public observation deck should not be a huge deal. Perhaps the public hours could be limited so as to continue to allow private use.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:11 AM   #32
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

The fact is they broke their commitment with the city. Menino's friends have it good in this city.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:05 AM   #33
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

The graphic in the print version of this article shows the building as 62 floors. That seems to be a common error I've herd many times and seen in print. Even tour guides repeat the mistake. I wonder if they are partly confussed by the 52 storey Pru?
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:54 AM   #34
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

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Originally Posted by Ron Newman
(And why should we add new parking to a district that is very well served by public transit?)
Who said anything about adding parking spaces? Moving some of the parking to under the Hancock would free up the existing garage for redevelopment.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:16 PM   #35
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

Moving some of the parking to under the Hancock would free up the existing garage for redevelopment.

Sure, but that wasn't stated in the article.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:32 PM   #36
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

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Rebuilding its fading image

New owners vow changes will return iconic building to dominant position
By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / May 26, 2009

The John Hancock Tower cuts a stunning profile on Boston's skyline, but employees who work there say behind its shimmering facade lay blemishes most people never see: random hot and cold spots, a dank and dated cafeteria, and no on-site parking.

But the Hancock's new owners, Normandy Real Estate and Five Mile Capital Partners, are vowing to make an array of improvements to return the signature tower to its dominant position in the Boston market. Executives with the firms said they are exploring construction of an underground parking garage, renovations to the cafeteria and lobby, and a series of upgrades to improve air flow and energy efficiency.


Much of the empty space was created by the departure of the advertising firm Hill Holliday, which moved in March 2008 to 53 State St., which offers underground parking, a more expansive lobby, as well as a Cosi and an Au Bon Pain cafe.

Today, the Hancock is sturdy and sleek but showing its age. The parking garage is located half a block down Clarendon, a drawback for executives accustomed to newer buildings with underground garages. It also lacks the fancy food options of more modern towers and only offers employees a subterranean cafe with limited variety.


Link
To the best of my knowledge the observation deck remained untouched until about 05/06 when the space was rented to a tenant. from 01 to 05/06 it was officially rented by John Hancock who did hold private functions related to their business.

If I remember correctly the observation deck was on the 60th floor, there are two whole mechanical floors above the 60th.

7th and 8th floors are mechanical however most of the 7th floor is a two story mechanical. Some say there is no 2nd floor as its called the mezzanine.

My opinion is its 62 stories.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:04 PM   #37
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

In late 2006/early 2007, the Connors Family Foundation occupied the 60th floor (when Jack Connors retired as chair of Hill Holiday).

Repeat after me: there is no "observation deck" anymore. It is gone.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:45 PM   #38
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

You say that as if it can't be rebuilt.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:10 PM   #39
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

I still don't see a great need to dig up this city block again just so that overpaid parasites (money manager executives) can avoid getting a little exercise.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:54 PM   #40
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Re: Hancock owner defaults on loan

It's a good thing you aren't a developer/building owner then. You gotta spend money to make money. The market for Class A office space demands in building parking and if they want to justify higher rents then they need to provide it.
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