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Old 07-21-2007, 03:44 PM   #1
Mike
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Complete One Greenway (Parcel 24) | 0 Kneeland Street | Chinatown

After Two Years, Hudson St. Land Deal Nearing Finish Line
Jul 20, 2007
by Adam Smith


After nearly two years of negotiating with state officials, the development team planning to build a housing tower on Hudson Street ? in the same spot where hundreds of Chinatown residents were forced to leave over 50 years ago ? says an agreement to buy the property is nearly completed.

The Asian Community Development Corporation has teamed with lead developer New Boston Development Partners to build more than 300 apartments and condominiums on property known in Chinatown as Parcel 24. They said recently that a 99-year lease agreement and development agreement with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority could close as early as the end of August.

?The end is really near,? said the Asian CDC?s director of housing, Katherine Oh Roof, referring to the deal with the Turnpike Authority. Oh Roof, as well as the group?s director, Jeremy Liu, declined to discuss the price of the land before the deal is closed, but they both said the amount would be ?nominal.? For several years after Parcel 24 became available for development, community groups, including the Asian CDC, lobbied for a low-cost sale of the land, saying that because it was taken from Chinatown residents in the 1950s and 1960s for highway use, it should be sold for only $1.

A spokesperson for the Turnpike Authority confirmed the negotiations on the lease agreement and development plan were likely nearing completion, but would not comment on the price of the property.

Oh Roof cautioned that securing the land could be somewhat complicated because about a quarter of Parcel 24 is owned by the Massachusetts Highway Department.

?There are still a lot of murky legal issues to deal with,? she said during a Chinatown meeting in July.

In addition, she said, once the contract with the Turnpike Authority is completed, the soil conditions will need to be tested, and then the city development review can begin.

?This process is still very much in the beginning,? she said.

She anticipated that construction, which could take two years to finish, would not start until 2009.

Oh Roof estimates the project will cost $127 million, and the Asian CDC and New Boston Development hope to acquire about $23 million in public funding, including tax credits.

On July 19, when Sampan went to press, the Boston Redevelopment Authority?s board was slated to decide whether it would direct $1.8 million in affordable housing funds to the Asian CDC for the Parcel 24 project.

The mixed-income building, which would be about 20 stories at its highest point, would include 70 apartment units and up to 99 condo units priced according to the city?s affordable-housing limits or below and up to 189 market-rate condos.



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Old 07-21-2007, 03:50 PM   #2
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Old 07-21-2007, 06:54 PM   #3
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Finally. There were no news on this for almost two years that I thought this project was dead.
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:55 PM   #4
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Sweet deal ....

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Oh Roof, as well as the group's director, Jeremy Liu, declined to discuss the price of the land before the deal is closed, but they both said the amount would be "nominal."
Can I get a deal like that, too?
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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Boring, but very contextually-scaled and humanistic "background" architecture. This is rarer in Boston than it should be...
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:12 PM   #6
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My view of the expressway from my aunts apartment will be blocked :cry:
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:46 PM   #7
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And that is bad, how?
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:02 AM   #8
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Oops! I didn't mean just the expressway, I also could see over to the SBW. For some reason though I like looking at the expressway and its traffic. I guess I'm just a little weird :?
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:48 AM   #9
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Chinatown?s new lease on land: 324-unit housing development in the works
By Paul Restuccia
Thursday, July 26, 2007 - Updated: 12:53 AM EST


?The Great Wall of Chinatown? is giving way to a major new housing development.

The Asian Community Development Corp. and the New Boston Fund are close to a lease agreement with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority that would allow them to build a 324-unit residential project on a swath of land in Chinatown freed up by moving the Albany Street on-ramp for the Mass Pike and Southeast Expressway.

For years, the site?s edge was a concrete barrier dubbed ?The Great Wall of Chinatown.? The narrow 1-acre parcel, once filled with rowhouses, was taken in the 1960s to build a Pike on-ramp.

The $127 million Parcel 24 project will run along a newly cleared 80-foot-wide stretch on Hudson Street from the corner of Kneeland - where it would rise 20 stories - and then taper down where Hudson meets the Pike. An agreement is expected to be signed next month, with the development team getting a 99-year lease on the land.

Of the building?s 324 units, half are slated to be affordable condos and rentals and half market-rate condos.

ACDC Executive Director Jeremy Liu said the Parcel 24 development will have more condos than its recent 251-unit Metropolitan tower nearby, in order to increase Chinatown?s lowest-in-the-city 6 percent owner-occupancy rate.

?This project alone will double the owner-occupancy rate in Chinatown,? said Liu.

The ACDC is partnering with the New Boston Fund, a Boston-based independent real estate investment fund founded in 1993 by the Rappaport family, the developers of Charles River Park.

The Parcel 24 project is expected to get $2.5 million in city funds - $1.8 million in inclusionary housing funds and $632,748from linkage monies from the W hotel and condo complex just starting construction on nearby Stuart Street.

But for many in Chinatown, the project has a personal meaning. Caroline Chang, the chairwoman of the ACDC board, was born in 1945 in a house on Hudson Street that was demolished for the Pike.

?The great thing about this project is that in the same lifetime, we can undo some of the worst government land-takings and rebuild this part of Chinatown into a lively, thriving and safe part of the city,? Liu said.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:17 AM   #10
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I've noticed a lot of these air-rights projects are going to have apartments and/or condos (Columbus Center, Avenir, One Kenmore)....how does that work? I mean, how can you own a condo on what is essentially rented land? Does that mean 99 years down the line the condo owners will face an enormous special assessment when the lease is renewed?

Don't get me wrong...I'm for ALL of the above mentioned projects...I was just wondering how it works to buy into a building that is built on leased land.

Does anybody know?
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:41 AM   #11
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Leased land

Pier One is leased land, as well.

I've never done a deal on property on leased land. I know it can be common in some cities, such as New York.

Still, I'd be very wary. To some, it's a non-issue, though, especially since it's leased from the government, versus a private owner. Presumably, the government isn't going to screw you. (Yes, I'm serious.)
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:45 AM   #12
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Parcel 24 Update
Oct 19, 2007

by Christopher Rogacz


The effort to develop Parcel 24, which was made available after the Big Dig removed the section of the Central Artery that first fractured Chinatown in 1962, continues to progress.

The Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC), along with New Boston Development Partners, is responsible for developing the site after the Hudson Street for Chinatown coalition first began to advocate for Chinatown control of Parcel 24 in 2002.

Currently, the site is still owned by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which will transfer ownership to the developers once the Development Agreement is agreed to by both sides. The Agreement is currently under review by the Metropolitan Highway System Advisory Board, which will then make its recommendation on whether to go forward with the Agreement.

Once the Development Agreement is in place, ACDC hopes to begin the process of due diligence this fall, which will document all of the liabilities and possibilities for the site. As it stands right now, approximately 50% of the units to be built will be affordable, with 70 being affordable rental units, 66-99 being affordable condos, and 156-189 being market rate condos, for a total of 325 units.

The final design will be determined once the design review process can be initiated. While ACDC is aiming for the maximum number of affordable condos, that also depends on how high construction costs are and the nature of the housing market.

Additionally, the proposal calls for 5,500 square feet of retail space to be developed, as well as 6,050 square feet of community space. 165 underground parking spaces are also planned, along with a terraced park that will provide open space and access between Hudson Street and Albany Street.

The developers are also committed to sustainable development, meaning their rental units will try to maximize the energy efficiency and durability of the structures, which will help to keep utility costs for the future tenants to a minimum.

In all, the project is expected to cost approximately $120 million, and is looking at a completion date of sometime in 2012, concluding a 10-year fight to bring this land back to Chinatown..



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Old 12-26-2007, 01:27 PM   #13
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Re: Parcel 24

Re-design for Parcel 24
Changes to buildings, park announced; Development Agreement signed
Dec 21, 2007
by Christopher Rogacz


Some changes are in store for the proposed development of the site known as Parcel 24 on Hudson Street in Chinatown.

The Asian Community Development Corporation announced some slight design modifications to the buildings and to the proposed park, in an effort to better integrate the structure into the existing environment.

As originally proposed, the bulk of the project would abut Kneeland Street to the north, and would taper downward in a cascading fashion as one moved south down Hudson Street, to better match the height of the townhouses. The design of the Parcel 24 townhouses remains largely the same, with a proposed height of four stories.

In the new design, the movement from taller buildings to shorter ones, keeping in line with the height of surrounding structures, is preserved, but the cascade is replaced with a more staggered design, as can be seen in the picture, right.

Furthermore, the new design, which remains one building, will have three distinct appearances.

?We?ve had some conversations with the BRA [Boston Redevelopment Authority] where they really wanted to see what they consider a more traditional Boston block, so even though it will be one building, it will have three distinct building masses, so instead of this one building with an articulated rooftop, but something that matches what exists in some of the areas of Boston already.?

The redesign also adds square footage to the park, which is situated between the larger structures and the shorter townhouses. By pushing the mass of the building back, the park becomes a more unified space, without an arm of land awkwardly jutting out from the central area of the park.

But perhaps the most significant piece of news regarding Parcel 24 was the signing in late November of a Development Agreement with the MTA, which owned the property as a result of eminent domain to build the Central Artery in the early 1960s.

?What this means is we can get on the site, start doing the testing, and get the ball rolling,? said a representative of the developer.

While the development of Parcel 24 is considered important for the future of Chinatown, with the creation of new affordable housing listed as one of the priorities of the Parcel 24 project, its importance stretches beyond the confines of the lot. As development begins to open up in the Chinatown Gateway area, the Parcel 24 project will serve to knit the two areas of land together.

Currently, as a result of decades of sitting next to the Central Artery, Chinatown withers as one approaches the Kneeland Street/Surface Road intersection. The proposal for Parcel 24 hopes to revitalize this area, making it friendly to pedestrian traffic, and bringing more retail outlets to Kneeland Street.

There will be 5,500 square feet of retail space, 6,050 square feet of community space, 165 underground parking spaces, and just over 10,000 square feet of open space, most of which will be in the park.

The Parcel 24 project will have 50% of its 325 units be affordable, and uses an innovative funding model whereby the revenue generated from the market rate condos will be used to cross-subsidize the affordable housing units.

In 2008, the project will continue the process begun five years ago. On January 8,, 2008, there will be a community meeting to gather input regarding the Project Notification Form. This will be followed by a PNF public hearing. Various permitting workshops will also be held in the community, as well as a Pre-Draft Project Impact Report community meeting later in the year. On the more formal side of the project, 2008 will also see design review by the BRA and MTA.





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Old 12-26-2007, 01:53 PM   #14
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Re: Parcel 24

Quote:
?We?ve had some conversations with the BRA [Boston Redevelopment Authority] where they really wanted to see what they consider a more traditional Boston block, so even though it will be one building, it will have three distinct building masses, so instead of this one building with an articulated rooftop, but something that matches what exists in some of the areas of Boston already.?
Think anybody will be fooled?
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:58 PM   #15
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Re: Parcel 24

I like the project overall, but does the area need another park? Why does it seem that every sizeable project built in Boston includes a park? Any ideas?
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:50 AM   #16
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Re: Parcel 24

its a way to appease nimbys. Don't you understand??? Buildings=bad, park=good. Good urban fabric be damned. Everything should look and feel like the suburbs.

I rather liked the older design.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:59 AM   #17
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Re: Parcel 24

I do not think they add parks to appease NIMBYs. But I do remember seeing a post on this site that stated Boston lacks green space as compared to other major cities. I always thought the Mayor and the BRA were trying new ways to create more green space (parks, trees, shrubs, etc.) in the city.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:00 PM   #18
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Re: Parcel 24

looks pretty boring imo
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:49 PM   #19
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Re: Parcel 24

Of course Boston lacks greenspace compared to other cities (in North America). The other cities referred to are Houston, Atlanta, Denver...
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:01 PM   #20
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Re: Parcel 24

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Originally Posted by czsz View Post
Of course Boston lacks greenspace compared to other cities (in North America). The other cities referred to are Houston, Atlanta, Denver...
I thought New York and San Francisco were on that list too.
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