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Old 07-22-2008, 11:26 PM   #1
Mike
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Proposed Landmark Center Expansion | Fenway

Landmark plan puts 7 floors of offices on parking garage
By Scott Van Voorhis
Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The Abbey Group?s David and Robert Epstein, part owners of the Boston Celtics, are eyeing a major expansion of Fenway?s giant Landmark Center.

The pair of longtime Hub builders made a splash in the 1990s with their successful revamp of the troubled Sears building into the booming Landmark retail, cinema and office complex.

Now Abbey and the Epsteins are looking at plans to build more than 270,000 square feet of new office space atop the Landmark Center?s central parking garage. That would add as many as seven stories atop an existing, multistory parking structure, according to a pair of neighborhood activists briefed by David Epstein, the firm?s president and chief operating officer. He could not be reached for comment.

The proposal is receiving mixed reviews from the neighborhood.

Carl Nagy-Koechlin, executive director of the Fenway Community Development Corp., said he likes what he has seen so far.

One key selling point is what the project won?t include - additional parking. The nonprofit development group has spent years promoting increased use of public transportation and the redevelopment of the neighborhood?s vast expanse of parking lots.

?My first impression was quite positive,? Nagy-Koechlin said. ?It brings jobs, economic activity to the neighborhood.?

More wary, though, is Jack Creighton, president of the Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association, which lives in the shadow of the Landmark Center.

The project, as currently discussed, would go far above the four-story limit the neighborhood group has sought for buildings next to Audubon Circle. There are also concerns that the project could clog neighborhood streets with traffic.

?We feel it overwhelms the neighborhood,? Creighton said.

Abbey?s tentative proposal marks the latest in a series of big projects taking shape around Fenway Park [map]. Residential high-rises are replacing fast-food joints and gas stations on Boylston Street, with new restaurants also opening in and around the ballpark.


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Old 07-22-2008, 11:34 PM   #2
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Isn't there a ground-level parking lot in front of the garage? Why can't they put this or something there instead?
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:11 AM   #3
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

^^^ There most definitely is. That would seem to be a good idea, any potential economic issues and plans they might have for that lot aside.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:01 PM   #4
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Isn't there a ground-level parking lot in front of the garage? Why can't they put this or something there instead?
I cant see the retail stores wanting their visibility destroyed by a new building.

And of course, some retail parking is necessary. While transit oriented development is a must, those shopping at bed bath and beyond cant always be expected to walk home with their new giant home things.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:02 PM   #5
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

But if it has a sufficiently large garage, it does not need a surface lot.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

The surface lot is for the retailers (Staples, REI, BB&B, BestBuy); the garage is for the theatres and the offices in the building. I'd like to see the portion of the lot that abuts the D-Line tracks filled in with additional retail, possibly putting some of the parking underground. Not cheap to do.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Wouldn't the storefront of Bed Bath and Beyond be in an alleyway? I think they'd need to put storefronts of new stores across from BB&B, and put a little glass roof on top, and call it an indoor "mall" to get away with putting a building in the parking lot.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:35 PM   #8
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Filling in the small parking next to the tracks would not reduce any retail viability (Doesn't B&B have a facing to Park Dr?) . It is a small lot though, and would only really work if you could get it to have abutment to Park Dr, which is elevated there.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:44 PM   #9
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Like I said, there's no cheap solution. Building in front of Landmark Center is a non-starter, as it would only serve to obscure the building's form and details.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

^^ I agree but I also hate parking lots.

So in this situation, what is the ideal? A plaza? A park?
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:03 PM   #11
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

^^ Underground parking with a flexible mix of hard and soft landscaping. If an extension is built out toward Park Drive, the T entrance could be incorporated. A restaurant tenant could use part of the plaza for outdoor seating.

Why not build to the height of the expansion over the garage, adding a residential or hotel component? The LMA institutions could use an extended-stay location, right at a T stop. And remember too, something iconic may rise across Brookline Ave, on the flat-iron next to Trilogy.

Lot's of possibilities -- someone with more money (but not necessarily more brains) than us will decide.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:25 PM   #12
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

that surface lot is pretty conveinent. There's not a ton of street parking around. I bet Staples, Best Buy and REI would suffer if they lose that parking
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:36 AM   #13
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

I'm a little confused with this thread. Didn't the article state that they were going to build on top of the exisitng parking garage? The garage is behind the building and wouldn't change anything near Park Drive or Brookline Ave.
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:26 AM   #14
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

No, but we often like to redesign the entire parcel while we are on the subject.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:54 AM   #15
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Fenway?s Landmark plans 8-story building
By Thomas Grillo
Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A long-delayed proposal to add an eight-story office building to a commercial real estate complex in the Fenway is on track.

The Abbey Group is expected to file plans with the Boston Redevelopment Authority by year?s end to build a 300,000-square-foot addition to Landmark Center, the 1.5 million-square-foot office and retail development at the intersection of Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street.

David Epstein, the Abbey Group?s president, did not return a call seeking comment. But a spokeswoman for the BRA confirmed that the agency has been in talks with the developer.

Under the plan, the new office space would be built atop the Landmark?s parking garage at the rear of the complex on Fullerton Street, off Brookline Avenue facing the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates facility.

Representatives of neighborhood groups said the project has broad community support.

Katherine Greenough, a member of the Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association, said the idea was well-received after the developer agreed to move the tallest portion of the new tower to the Brookline Avenue side of Landmark Center to prevent shadows on the small Audubon Circle neighborhood.

?Landmark Center has been an amazing success because it?s so lively,? said Greenough. ?All the stores are doing well and it?s busy night and day, in contrast to when the Sears warehouse sat empty for 12 years.?

William Richardson, president of the Fenway Civic Association, who has fought to limit parking around Fenway Park [map], said he likes the plan because the developer vowed not to add new parking. The garage has space for 1,700 cars, but some of it goes unused.


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Old 11-17-2009, 04:57 AM   #16
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Some good news here for a change!
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:06 AM   #17
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

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Katherine Greenough, a member of the Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association, said the idea was well-received after the developer agreed to move the tallest portion of the new tower to the Brookline Avenue side of Landmark Center to prevent shadows on the small Audubon Circle neighborhood
Take this out of context and how tall would you think this "tower" is?
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:49 AM   #18
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

Someone other than Samuels putting a shovel in the ground around Fenway. Good news for the area.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:37 PM   #19
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

I really hope this happens. 8 floors with no new parking will be great.

What they should also do is improve the fenway t stop connection. The station itself is fine, but a covered walkway from the platform (which is mostly covered) to the building would help promote T use.


Also, in this thread, we talked about building in front of BB&B....this was actually proposed after this thread went up....I wonder where that proposal is (in this forum).

I remember Suffolk would have been the contractor.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:04 PM   #20
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Re: Landmark Center Expansion

The Fenway T station should be transformed into an actual T station, as opposed to a sidewalk next to the Green Line, especially considering how crowded it gets after games.
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