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Old 07-16-2008, 11:36 PM   #1
Mike
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Proposed MassDOT Pike Parcels 12 - 15 | Boylston St. and Mass. Ave | Back Bay

Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project
By Scott Van Voorhis
Thursday, July 17, 2008


The marquee development team behind the new Mandarin Oriental hotel and condo high-rise is eyeing its next big Back Bay project.

With the opulent Mandarin set to open this fall on Boylston Street on the Prudential campus, real estate tycoon Stephen Weiner and top hotelier Robin Brown, one-time general manager of the Four Seasons, are quietly assembling property for a new project, according to industry executives familar with the maneuvering.

The group has secured a key lot, formerly owned by St. Cecilia?s church. The lot, next door to the Hynes Convention Center, is seen as a springboard from which to make a play for a quartet of Turnpike air-rights parcels at the intersection of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue, executives said.

Now Weiner, Brown and company may be poised for their next big acquisition, with the Turnpike preparing to take the first steps toward putting the potentially lucrative air-rights parcels out to bid.

While no plans have been shopped around yet, the collection of sites has the potential to become the platform for a major new project.

Millennium Partners, in a short-lived proposal a few years ago, wanted to build a 59-story tower on parcel 12, a large area next to the Turnpike off Massachusetts Avenue.

?Who knows the area better than Robin Brown and Steve Weiner?? asked Patrick Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. ?They have a proven track record and they work very well with community groups.?

In a first step, the Turnpike plans to submit to the Boston Revelopment Authority a copy of a planned RFP, or request for proposals, for air-rights parcels 12, 13, 14 and 15. The RFP may then be released publicly after a review by city officials, said Mac Daniel, a Turnpike spokesman.

?We have had interest from several parties,? Daniel said.

Exactly what Weiner, Brown and their partners are exploring for the site is unclear. The developers, who weren?t available for comment, earned a sterling reputation for their Mandarin development, whose condos fetched millions and shattered local sales records.

The Mandarin project also andincludes posh shops and restaurants.



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Let the fun begin ... !
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:38 PM   #2
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Doesn't Berklee College want to build in this area?
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:58 PM   #3
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Is there one of those UFO problems here?
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:18 AM   #4
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

I would Be happy if they can replace that eyesore garage above the Summer shack
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:19 AM   #5
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

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Doesn't Berklee College want to build in this area?
Yes, but they don't have the money to do it by themselves. We may very well hear of them working out an agreement with whoever develops this site for x amount of space.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:49 AM   #6
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Something definately needs to be built at the intersection of Mass ave and Boylston, it seems so forlorn now and really not a part of the city, which surrounds the whole area. The mass pike really deadens the urbanism at that area, hopefully they'll have a good plan.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:55 AM   #7
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Considering the opposition that Berklee encountered when it tried to make a proposal for a tall dorm on one of these parcels, this will be a tough sell to get approval for anything with "height," which is probably also necessary for viability of any proposal in the first place.
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:59 AM   #8
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

I have heard of the BRA contacting a developer (who i can't name but it is highly respected by the people in this forum for some other projects) of doing a project next to the hynes at boylston and dalton and i believe they said 35 stories. So I am excited to see where this goes.

I also feel like there may be more pressure from the state put on the city and BRA to let things that are proposed there get built without a total columbus center debacle, because of the MTA's financial collapse. This would be the fastest way to make potentially hundreds of millions. Everyone but the NIMBYs could win on this one, and that can only mean good things.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:36 AM   #9
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

I will laugh if they design a tower that looks exactly like the 59-story tower. Actually it's more like wishful thinking.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:40 AM   #10
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

59 storys *yikes*!

thats gotta be near the pru and hancocks heights. If they were to build this, and the copley at 47 storys went up, the back bay would look very, very, differnet.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:47 AM   #11
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

The 59-story residential tower was proposed at 650ft. Definitely will make an impact but still not near the height of the Pru or Hancock. Off by a whopping 100ft.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:25 PM   #12
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Residential stories are indeed not as tall as office stories. That's why you see residential buildings in cities with a crazy amount of floors yet not nearly as tall as an all (or mostly) office counterpart with fewer floors.

In any case, couldn't Berkley's desire to expand here help with expediting the project(s)? I mean they'd obviously be a large tenant, and a tenant who already has some hold in the area and along side the developer, they'd stand more of a chance against opposition. Am I right or just wishful thinking?
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:13 PM   #13
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

If I remember correctly, one of the conclusions of the public review that killed Millennium's Boylston Sq. proposal was that if the project were moved to this site it would be acceptable, or at least more palatable. Millennium didn't pursue this and instead retreated with its tail between its legs. We'll see what happens here. I'm pretty positive that the Turnpike Vision allows for substantial height here at the expense of the Mass Ave parcel and vice versa.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:40 AM   #14
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Wait a minute; what about the UFP toxic zone created by the Pike and the railway, and how this development would increase it ten-fold!

Sorry, just kidding. Couldn't resist!
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:54 AM   #15
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriots_1228 View Post
59 storys *yikes*!

thats gotta be near the pru and hancocks heights. If they were to build this, and the copley at 47 storys went up, the back bay would look very, very, differnet.
Don't worry my friend, we won't have to worry about that at all. These two towers will be knocked down to 19 and 15 stories...as they should be. Who knows what kind of shadows and solar glare would be created otherwise.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:44 AM   #16
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Was the mandarin building scaled down?
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:15 AM   #17
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

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Don't worry my friend, we won't have to worry about that at all. These two towers will be knocked down to 19 and 15 stories...as they should be. Who knows what kind of shadows and solar glare would be created otherwise.
I wouldn't be so sure. Representative Walz has, for nearly two years now, not-so-subtly alluded to this team working on a proposal for these sites. Since it's made the press, I think it's safe to assume their outline has the nod from key players in the city and neighborhood.

The Back Bay ingrates shouted down Millenium and have for years been heckling anyone who's even hinting at developing 12 through 15. Millenium was a flawed project, and should not have been built as proposed, but this fringe group only delayed the inevitable.

These properties will be developed, and it will be with at least one building of significant height (something big on parcel 15; everything else will probably be a story lower than the penthouse of the Transportation Building, especially the property where the Farragut building used to stand). Now that Weiner & Brown have been named, I'd bet things will move pretty swiftly. I predict occupancy by 2014.

The ironic part is the Turnpike Authority always felt air rights were worth more than anyone wanted to pay in the past. Now, in dire financial straits, the Authority is likely sell for less money in order to have the cash flow. Supply & demand. I love America.

While I think the Mandarin is an ugly brown turd, I applaud this team for having the nuts to build over the concrete heat sink, neighborhood nuts be damned. I can't wait to see what they build at Mass Ave & Boylston.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:56 AM   #18
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

Is there any other city in the world where a resident can complain about shadows and it will kill the whole project?
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:41 AM   #19
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

I doubt it, although New York City does have some ridiculous NIMBYs too (seriously). Right now they're lobbying against building the MoMA Tower, which is an absolute gem. Their reason? "A skyscraper doesn't fit in with the neighborhood"...the site is in Midtown Manhattan. So at least we're not alone with our crazy NIMBYs.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:58 PM   #20
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Re: Mandarin developers eye Pike parcels for project

If anyone has a subscription to Bankers and Traders, this was just posted as breaking news:

Quote:
Heavy Hitters Poised To Push For Pike Parcels
http://www.bankerandtradesman.com/
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