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Old 03-16-2007, 02:58 PM   #1
PaulC
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Under Construction Radian (Dainty Dot) | 120 Kingston Street | Chinatown

120 Kingston St, Boston, MA

Status
Proposed

Architects
Chia-Ming Sze Architect, Inc

Stats
Name: 120 Kingston St
Project Address: 120 Kingston St, Boston MA
Map & Plan Links: 120 Kingston St, Google Maps
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Uses: Retail, Residential, Ownership
Land Sq. Ft.: 14,447 +/- ft
FAR: 18.7
Residential Units: 180 +/-
Applicant: Hudson Group North America LLC
Project Description: The Proponent proposes to redevelop the Auchmuty Building to create a new mixed-use development with up to 180 residential units on floors 4 through 29, ground floor lobby and retail (or possibly restaurant) space, and up to 160 enclosed accessory parking spaces (both above and below grade) within building. The new building will rise behind the preserved portions of the Auchmuty Building, set back diagonally to a depth of 40 feet behind the remaining corner bays. On the Greenway side of the new structure, active retail and residential spaces facing Chinatown Park are proposed. The pedestrian environment along this frontage will be enhanced by new storefronts (retail or restaurant) replacing existing solid brick walls, and boarded-up windows which conceal the current manufacturing and loading functions. A terrace, at the base of the Greenway facade, will allow the park's open space to extend beyond the concrete boundary wall and enhance the overall pedestrian experience.


Sources: http://architecturalboston.com/120_kingston_summary.pdf
http://www.mass.gov/envir/mepa/pdffi...07em/13999.pdf

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Articles

- Dainty Dot building owner plans 29-story high rise, March 19th, 2007
- High-Rise Planned for Chinatown, March 16th, 2007

Quote:
A historic six-story brownstone wedged in between Chinatown and the Leather District could soon become a 29-story housing tower.

Developer Ori Ron of Swampscott, Mass., plans to redevelop the old Dainty Dot Hosiery building at 120 Kingston St. into a 180-unit residential high-rise that he says will be "iconic" in its design.

Ron concurrently is proposing to co-develop a 50-unit "affordable-housing project" with the Chinese Economic Development Council closer to Chinatown's business and residential district, off of Oxford Street.

Despite proposing the affordable-housing project, Ron could find difficulty in winning neighborhood support for the 120 Kingston St. tower, which would include 4,000 square feet of retail space and 160 parking spaces. Its proposed height -- at a total of 380 feet -- is about four times that allowed by zoning, and the tower would replace much of the Dainty Dot building, which was built in 1898 and is one of the oldest remaining wholesale buildings in Boston's central business district. In addition, the project would tower over the site of the Chinatown Park, one of the Rose Kennedy Greenway parks that is expected to open this summer.

A vocal segment of Chinatown has opposed several similarly-sized high-rises in recent years, contending that such developments break zoning laws, lead to increasing rents, and chip away Chinatown's cultural and historic character. While virtually all of those luxury apartment complexes won city approvals necessary for construction, some faced strong resistance by residents and activist groups such as the Chinese Progressive Association.

"We're against it because 29 stories of luxury housing isn't going to help Chinatown," said Amy Leung, a community organizer for the Chinese Progressive Association. She said that the high-rise, like others proposed before it, fails to meet the goals of the Chinatown Master Plan, a city-supported planning document created in 2000 to guide the development of the neighborhood and to preserve the area's working-class residents and small businesses.

If approved, Ron's tower will be one of several that, over the next few years, will add hundreds of new units of high-end housing to Chinatown.

Ron's proposal to replace a large portion of the historic Dainty Dot building could also face objections from preservationists who want to keep the brownstone.

"I'll try to keep an open mind until I see the design," said David Seeley, a Leather District resident who assisted in the planning of the Chinatown Park and who has advocated for saving the Dainty Dot building. Seeley suggested that 29 stories seems excessive, and he said that destroying much of Dainty Dot "would be a shame."

Ron said that the redeveloped building would keep and restore some of the original facade.

"On top of that, we will restore the usages that the building had. If you look at the building now, you will see that the first floor is boarded up. You'll see black painted glass. We will restore it to a retail use."

In addition, he has noted that the Dainty Dot was partially knocked down during expressway construction in the 1950s.

Ron maintains that the height would be justified and that he seeks to win community support.

"I think that the number-one issue is that our location is not in the heart of Chinatown. So we're not cutting a wedge into the heart of Chinatown. It's more on the edge or corner of Chinatown," he said, noting its proximity to the Leather District and the Financial District and the 36-story buiding at 1 Lincoln Place.

Building affordable housing would benefit the neighborhood, he said.

Ron has not yet revealed specifics about the nearby affordable-housing development, which would be off of Oxford Street at the site of Sun Sun Market's parking lot and Ping On Alley. He has said that it would range from "deeply affordable" to market rate.

"Apart from other developers..., I am actually taking the steps to develop, and build and deliver, affordable housing -- tangible benefits that you can see. I hope the neighborhood will understand that," he said.

Because the proposed $85 million building would sit near the Chinatown Park, he said, it must be artistically designed, which can be costly.

"We're proposing a creative building -- more of an artwork," he said. "If this location is all about innovation, then our design for this building at 120 Kingston cannot be anything different than an icon -- an absolutely outstanding building. The problem with those buildings is that they are very, very expensive and the only way we can make it happen is if we get a little bit more height."

He also promised to include features that complement the park, such as a public balcony.

"I hope that the neighborhood will understand, and not only support us, but be proud of the fact that we're building an icon on the Chinatown Park, and working on the affordable housing."

Ron publicly displayed the proposal at Chinatown and Leather District neighborhood meetings this month, but it's still too early to tell how a majority of people will react.

A new resident of Lincoln Plaza, across from the Dainty Dot building, said that the proposal is ?aesthetically pleasing? and that Ron ?seems sensitive to the needs of our neighborhoods.? But the resident, who attended the Leather District meeting and only wanted to be identied as Ogi, expressed concern over the project?s height and its proximity to the park.

A Chinatown business owner, who runs a nonprofit home for the elderly near 120 Kingston Street, said it's too early to decide whether she likes the proposal. "It's a pretty big one," said Ruth Moy, who attended the Chinatown Safety Committee meeting in March at which Ron presented his proposal.

"It's amazing because this area is being transformed," said Moy, who had supported the recently completed 28-story Archstone Boston Common apartment building a few blocks away. "You can't really stop progress."
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:29 PM   #2
IMAngry
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Why oh why ...

What does "residential units" mean???????????????????????

Apartments or condominiums?

It infers apartments (it compares the building to Archstone, for example), but it doesn't say, explicitly!
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
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Could mean "some of each" or "we don't want to decide that yet". (It doesn't matter for zoning purposes.)
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Old 03-19-2007, 02:30 PM   #4
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Guess they're condos ...

Dainty Dot building owner plans 29-story high rise

by Brian Kladko, Boston Business Journal

Quote:
The new owner of the Dainty Dot Hosiery on the edge of Chinatown wants to build a 29-story condo tower on the site, though he intends to preserve much of the historic facade of the old textile factory, as well as its sign.

Ori Ron said he plans to submit a project notification form to the Boston Redevelopment Authority this week detailing his plans for that site and a parking lot, two blocks away, that will be turned into 50 rental units, 27 of them affordable. The details were first reported in the Sampan, a newspaper for the area's Chinese-American community.

Ron's firm, Hudson Group North America LLC, bought the Dainty Dot building in September for $9 million, he said. It is still in negotiation for two of the four parcels that constitute the other site on Oxford Street, between Essex and Beech streets. The BRA had asked the firm to pursue approval for both projects as a package deal to guarantee the construction of the affordable units.

Ron estimates both projects combined will cost more than $100 million. He hopes to start building in early 2008, and expects construction to take up to two years.

The Dainty Dot condo building, at Kingston and Essex streets and abutting the Rose Kennedy Greenway, would be 341 feet high. Besides 180 condos, it would have 160 parking spaces and 4,000 square feet of retail space.

Ron, of Swampscott, had previously developed two condo projects in the Leather District in the mid- to late-1990s, one on South Street and the other on Lincoln Street, totaling 50 units.

Ron said he is opting to build affordable units instead of paying into the city's affordable housing trust fund, saying, "There is nothing more important to a downtown area than bringing in more residents." But the Sampan quoted Chinatown activist Amy Leung, of the Chinese Progressive Association, as saying the proposal doesn't align with the neighborhood's master plan.
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/st...=et54&hbx=e_du
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:20 PM   #5
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The BRA will host a public meeting concerning this proposal on April 12, 6:30pm-8:00pm. The meeting will take place at the Doubletree Hotel at 821 Washington St., adjacent to NE Medical, in the Cherry Blossom room on the 2nd floor.
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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http://www.mass.gov/envir/mepa/pdffi...07em/13999.pdf

85 Million dollar 29 story mixed use tower with a maximum height of 305 feet. 180 Housing units with forst floor retail. Housing will occupy floors 4-29. The parking garage will be underground and will be valet.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #7
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Also, an informative project summary in PDF form can be found HERE.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:23 PM   #8
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I think this is an excellent project. It looks and sounds good, especially on the Greenway side. The document says the height will be 325 feet - the top of the highest occupied floor.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:41 PM   #9
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That is sexy although it would be nice if he could have integrated the original building. Have some luxury units and some lofts too.

Edit: Next time I will actually read the article.
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Old 04-16-2007, 04:30 PM   #10
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I love development

I think that block is zoned for buildings a lot smaller (100-feet, I believe).

I love development and cool architecture, but I have to ask, is it fair to ask for such a large tower?

(I think it is, since it faces the Greenway, and is really more a part of the financial district than Chinatown. I'm just asking.)
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:15 PM   #11
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I say build it. The buildings there are so old and dilapidated and it really looks ugly. Definitely does not fit with the Greenway.
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:34 PM   #12
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It's not precast concrete so it's already better than everything being built in the South Boston Waterfront.
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Old 04-16-2007, 08:20 PM   #13
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Now THIS is the type of buildings we should be building. Jimbo...I don't understand what you mean by such a large tower...it's right on the edge of downtown. Right across from it is One Lincoln and One Financial Center. It's a great looking building and if you look at the elevation picture in the PDF, you can see that the building stays right on the Greenway and doesn't really intrude into Chinatown. It even keeps the older building that faces Chinatown.

The design is eye catching and classy, and it goes in a completely different direction from the other projects in town (like SB Waterfront as vanshnookenraggen said). Build this thing ASAP.
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:24 PM   #14
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In addition, the developer is building a separate building full of affordable units for Chinatown - 56 I believe - on Oxford St, if I am not mistaken.

Give 'em a bone, ya know?

Oh, and vanshnookenraggen, they are integrating at least some of the old building on Kingston St into it.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:16 AM   #15
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Tower

My argument wasn't that the tower was too large for the area, it was that zoning regulations exist for a reason, and you can't wish them away, just because a building "looks good".

To allow abuse of the regulations only leads to people mistrusting the system.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:29 AM   #16
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Re: Tower

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboJones
My argument wasn't that the tower was too large for the area, it was that zoning regulations exist for a reason, and you can't wish them away, just because a building "looks good".

To allow abuse of the regulations only leads to people mistrusting the system.
My understanding is that the reason zoning regulation exist is to make the city 'look good'.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that just because a zoning regulation exists, it is the best possible use for the space.

There are many on this board who would argue that zoning shouldn't exist at all and most here would agree that current zoning needs to be seriously overhauled.

Judge a project by its own merits not by some code that may have been written some 50 years ago.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:46 AM   #17
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siiiick tower. im assuming that no one even proposes taller buildings in this town cuz they know its never going to happen. any other city this would be 2-300 ft taller. its going to really add something to the skyline given you can actually see it at that height.
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:55 PM   #18
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Beautiful, But Tall...
...Say Residents About Proposed Housing Tower
by Adam Smith
Apr 20, 2007


The developer said his proposed 29-story housing tower for Chinatown would be more than a building, it would be a work of art, iconic.

Several people at two recent meetings about the proposal agreed. Compliments of the tower's design included "beautiful" and "cool."

But the building proposal has at least two major problems, say some community activists. The high-rise's height is about three times that allowed by zoning. Also, the building's development would destroy much of a historic brownstone, the Dainty Dot Hosiery building at 120 Kingston St. Built in 1889, the Dainty Dot is one of the oldest remaining wholesale buildings in Boston's central business district.

The proximity of the tower to the future Chinatown Park also has some residents concerned that the green space, part of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, will become nothing more than the building's backyard.

But developer Ori Ron, who's proposing the 180-unit tower, promises that he's a respectable developer who won't run from the demands of abutters and neighborhoods; instead, he'll seek to work with them.

"With Chinatown, this project will fly; without, this project will go nowhere," Ron said at a meeting earlier this month, after acknowledging that "some groups support us and others don't."

One group that has already expressed strong concerns over the project is the Chinese Progressive Association, which protested several previously-proposed high-rise luxury housing towers in Chinatown. The association, along with several residents, fear that the neighborhood is quickly losing its cultural identity and historic character, as expensive glass-and-steel towers replace old low-rise buildings.

One longtime Chinatown resident, Marie Moy, who attended an April 12 public meeting about the tower, fought back tears as she told of the changes in the neighborhood, and of her concerns about Ron's project. "We'd like to have some parts of Chinatown preserved," she said.

Stephanie Fan, who volunteered in the design of the Chinatown Park, said that though she feels Ron's building is "very beautiful," she wished "the size and scale was smaller."

As it's now proposed, she said, the Chinatown Park will "look like it's the backyard of the project."

Ron, however, said the tower is designed to complement the park. A corner of the building that would be next to the park would expose its bare support structure, allowing pedestrians to see through it. Also, Ron said that part of his property at 120 Kingston St. would be used to extend the park with a public area of 60 feet by 12 feet.

"It gives more depth to the Chinatown Park," he said.

The Chinatown Park is expected to be completed this summer.

To help provide more affordable housing in Chinatown, Ron also has proposed to co-develop, with a Chinatown nonprofit, a separate housing tower off of Oxford Street that would provide about 50 units, at least 27 of which would be priced below market rate. The affordable building, co-developed by the Chinese Economic Development Council, would be built in conjunction with the Kingston Street high-rise, said Ron, not before or after.

A few people who attended the April 12 meeting appeared to support the tower without condition.

"I think that this building should be taller," said Tony Yee, president of Chinatown Main Street. "Boston is like the corn fields compared to every other city."

Of the historic Dainty Dot building, Yee said: "If I had my way, I'd take a bulldozer and plow it down."



Link
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
One group that has already expressed strong concerns over the project is the Chinese Progressive Association, which protested several previously-proposed high-rise luxury housing towers in Chinatown. The association, along with several residents, fear that the neighborhood is quickly losing its cultural identity and historic character, as expensive glass-and-steel towers replace old low-rise buildings.
Progressive Association: is that like the Ministry of Truth?
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:25 PM   #20
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^^ There's nothing more Progressive than opposing progress.

"We'd like to have some parts of Chinatown preserved"

This is located directly on the greenway, the newest part of the most progressive project (Big Dig) in Boston history. If there's any part of Chinatown that should make way for a newer building, I would say this is the part. It looks like the developer has done a really good job in integrating this design to fit with the park, and on the elevation it shows that he's keeping part of the brownstone...will there ever be a project that happens in Boston that goes unopposed?
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bcdc, chinatown, dainty dot, demolition, essex st., greenway district, kairos shen, kingston st., ori ron, park, theater district, tower

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