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Old 03-17-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
Rick
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Complete Boston Properties Office Tower | 888 Boylston Street | Back Bay

An early look at the office tower proposed for the
Prudential Center:



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Old 03-17-2007, 06:05 PM   #2
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I like the plaza
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:35 PM   #3
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That rendering is pretty crappy, it looks like something out of simcity. Where did it come from?
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:04 PM   #4
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Meh... :?
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:07 PM   #5
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Who is proposing this? Is Bloomingdale's actually on board, or is that just the artist's fantasy? What company would occupy the offices?

My initial reaction is "too much dark glass" but I'm willing to be persuaded.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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Is this before Boston Properties decided that they wanted to make 888 Boylston taller? I think there is an article around here somewhere about how they are looking to double the height of what was earlier proposed.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Is this before Boston Properties decided that they wanted to make 888 Boylston taller? I think there is an article around here somewhere about how they are looking to double the height of what was earlier proposed.
It was an article from a January 07 issue of the 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 03-18-2007, 03:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
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.
There's a shocker. Of course they can say anything "in retrospect".
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:49 AM   #9
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The plan originally set forth in the late 80s said it was to be no more than 155 ft in height - same thing with the Mandarin - which would have translated out to about 12 floors of office space. And since these renderings show a tower of about 19 stories tall, they're definitely recent. Let's hope the architects refine the design beyond what it is right now, which is unimaginative to say the least.

Oh and I just spent the last half hour trying to figure out what minivan that is (yeah, I'm lame). It looks to be a several year old Mazda MPV, but with Volvo taillights. Anybody got a better idea?
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:18 AM   #10
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Can anyone tell me what their idea of a "good" or "inspired" building looks like? I mean, honestly, I think this is a good/reasonable looking building. And most cities are going to consist of good/reasonable looking buildings with a bunch of nicer buildings that stand out.

I mean, I understand the problems with precast (it looks like shit), I completely agree on criticisms regarding scale of neighborhoods and NIMBYs and too many parks, and buildings with setbacks that look suburban, that don't interact well with the street. But jesus, guys, what is it going to take for a building to win your approval?

This is a building that looks pretty good, if not anything special, it has ground floor retail that seems to interact with the street pretty well, and I think it fits in with the surrounding area pretty well, while simultaneously not being monotonous.

I understand criticisms about places like the Seaport, where everything they are building has 50% useless park land and all the buildings look the same. But we really need to remember that if every building is Boston was "special" and "unique", Boston would be Disneyland.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:20 AM   #11
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This can't be allowed to block the light of the precious Prudential Center Food Court.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:54 AM   #12
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I actually kind of like the design (based on these very poor renderings). As long as the glass is not too dark, a glitzy building like this might fit in well on Boylston street.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowesst
This can't be allowed to block the light of the precious Prudential Center Food Court.
Amen to that. How will I enjoy my Bomber's burger without any natural light??

Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeUrSistersHot
Can anyone tell me what their idea of a "good" or "inspired" building looks like?
An inspired building for me might be something like BU's law tower or the Majestic Theatre, and maybe even One Lincoln/State St Bank (I'm a sucker for well-done pomo). My first reaction to the renderings for 888 was that the all-glass facade doesn't feel right here. I suppose they're trying to play off the new Apple Store, but it looks like a pale comparison with a curve and stripe tacked on to show that someone put a bit of thought into it.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:09 PM   #14
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At Boylston and Exeter is a structure that instantly got tagged "The Darth Vader Building" because of too much dark glass. I'd hate to see the same mistake repeated on the other side of Boylston.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
I mean, I understand the problems with precast (it looks like shit), I completely agree on criticisms regarding scale of neighborhoods and NIMBYs and too many parks, and buildings with setbacks that look suburban, that don't interact well with the street. But jesus, guys, what is it going to take for a building to win your approval?
I think there is no single answer, that every site is unique. Isn't it strange that people want to tear down a building in one of the most dense parts of the Financial District (Winthrop Square) and replace it with an open plaza when that is the antithesis of what most people would argue is good urban planning? Isn't street scape important? Isn't that the biggest criticism of Contemporary design?
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Newman
At Boylston and Exeter is a structure that instantly got tagged "The Darth Vader Building" because of too much dark glass. I'd hate to see the same mistake repeated on the other side of Boylston.
I thought this was tagged the R2D2 building (I know 111 Huntington is as well, but I have heard this reference long before 111 was built). Isn't the Darth Vader Building the Fiduciary Trust Building near South Station?
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:04 PM   #17
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I've never heard that building referred to as the R2D2 building. It's been the Darth Vader building for as long as I can remember.
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Old 05-16-2007, 12:22 AM   #18
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Developers eye bigger Pru building: Neighborhood panel objects to plan
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter
Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Boston Properties is exploring a dramatic expansion of a planned new Prudential Center office tower, as office rents head skyward.

The real estate giant is considering plans for a 400,000 square foot office and retail tower at the prominent Back Bay site, local executives said.

The project, which would take shape on Boylston Street next to the entrance to the Pru, could rise as high as 24 stories, according to one source.

That would present a major shift from Boston Properties? previously disclosed plans for an 11 to 12 story building in the 280,000 square-foot range.

And it could also spark opposition from some neighborhood activists determined to prevent Boylston Street, home to historic landmarks like the Boston Public Library, from becoming a canyon of high-rises.

?I think it would be very difficult to justify something that was outside the scope of the original, approved plan,? said Elliott Laffer, vice chairman of PruPAC, a neighborhood panel which oversees development at the Pru.
?The Prudential Center was approved as a package.?

Still, Boston Properties? consideration of plans for a larger Pru project comes amid a spurt of development activity along Boylston Street.

The new luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel and condo high-rise is taking shape next door to the Pru?s Boylston Street entrance.

Meanwhile, office rents are soaring across Boston.

Boston Properties executives have argued there is now demand for a larger complex, which, with some height, would also be more commercially viable, said one source who saw a preliminary plan.

It?s just one of a number of new development projects Boston Properties is pursuing in the area, including plans for a new tower on the waterfront at Russia Wharf.


Link
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Properties is exploring a dramatic expansion of a planned new Prudential Center office tower, as office rents head skyward.

The real estate giant is considering plans for a 400,000 square foot office and retail tower at the prominent Back Bay site, local executives said.

The project, which would take shape on Boylston Street next to the entrance to the Pru, could rise as high as 24 stories, according to one source.
Not so dramatic. Why, it will hardly even "soar," Scott.

Quote:
And it could also spark opposition from some neighborhood activists determined to prevent Boylston Street, home to historic landmarks like the Boston Public Library, from becoming a canyon of high-rises.
We have these in the Financial District, and you could find them exhilarating. To those who have received their planning wisdom in the School of Suburbia, this is of course anathema.
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:32 AM   #20
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Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the NIMBY's are going to beat this proposal. The Prudential Center was approved as a package (not including this 20+ story tower), so it would be hard to get it approved anyway. These NIMBY's who are saying that another 20+ story tower will destroy the history of the Back Bay aren't going to make it any easier. I'm still holding out, though.

I'm assuming there are no designs out yet. Anybody know different?
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