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Old 02-11-2010, 09:23 PM   #41
Lrfox
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

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Originally Posted by itchy View Post
I bet if you could Photoshop a nice image of the Salvation Army as a base with a glassy building on top (more W Hotel than Hearst -- Liberty is a pretty big company, but I don't see anyone bringing Sir Normie in for a fancy tower here, alas) and send it to Bostonist, UniversalHub, Boston.com, the Herald, etc., it might gain some momentum.

Or then there's the idea that sometimes gets floated of this site taking a more proactive approach and putting its stamp of approval on things. It's a messy idea, but we could have a "design competition" for this building and let forumers vote on their favorite design. Might catch the media's attention...

If nothing else, that attention could put a few good ideas in the public view and sway the NIMBYs to use their power constructively and focus on the quality of the built environment rather than rant about shadows.
It's a good idea. I'm working on my photoshop skills. If you get the word out... in a positive town, it's only a matter of time before it comes to the attention of people who matter. I'll work on a photoshop for the time being.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:45 PM   #42
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

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It's a good idea. I'm working on my photoshop skills. If you get the word out... in a positive town, it's only a matter of time before it comes to the attention of people who matter. I'll work on a photoshop for the time being.
Awesome! I'm a schmuck with Photoshop (i.e., I've never used it and don't have it on my computer), but I'm sure if you have any questions somebody around here can offer some advice. Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:27 PM   #43
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

Did someone mention Photoshop?

http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:40 PM   #44
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

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Are you referring to my master plan?
No, the BRA's Stuart Street Study.





Pictures came from here.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:24 AM   #45
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

lol that has Columbus Center built in it. lol
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:47 AM   #46
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

I dont care if the building literally resembles a turd.

it would be something to take pictures of. I mean, look what this forum has come to, the Louie Fan Pier store and jimmys harborside are the only things going on anymore.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:55 AM   #47
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

sigh. Wake me up when Site 1 over Back Bay Station gets proposed....
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:59 AM   #48
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

In every economic cycle there is a moment when almost anything built will look like a turd. Captain Defecation, this is your time.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:43 AM   #49
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

Why the heck is the Hancock Garage surviving in these future plans? If there is any site anywhere in the city where a real skyscraper belongs, that is it.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:54 AM   #50
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

^ Yeah, but it's also a great location for a garage.

Anyway, if you tear it down, Ned will stall its replacement; and we'll end up with more sulfurous canyon.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:57 AM   #51
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

I just think the city's tax exemption on a project like this makes sense in the way that you have to "spend money to make money", or in this case, take a little less money for the greater good of the city. There are many ways this project will benefit the area from having more people working there, eating lunch there, using the gyms nearby, etc. etc., not to mention that it will improve property values in the long term, thus generating more money for the city. I don't really see any of the downside to it.

For as involved as the mayor and the BRA are in development that occurs in the city, I see it as a positive sign that they are willing to see the value in this type of development and put a little skin in the game as well. Most urban infill real estate development cannot occur without public-private partnership.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:46 AM   #52
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

Do my eyes deceive, or does that shadow/height rendering show the Salvation Army and neighboring facade preserved?

I know the illustration is conceptual, but I wish the increased height were closer to the Park Square end where the billboard dominates a very cool intersection. A nice building that dominated that tip of the triangle would be a real statement.

(But then again, a turd can be a real statement too!)
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:52 AM   #53
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

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Do my eyes deceive, or does that shadow/height rendering show the Salvation Army and neighboring facade preserved?
Yeah I caught that too. I guess the BRA sees something in them.

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I mean, look what this forum has come to, the Louie Fan Pier store and jimmys harborside are the only things going on anymore.
LOL... I'm gonna get pics of the MGH project today, and I might make it into Kendall Square too. All hope is not lost!
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:17 PM   #54
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

As someone who frequently follows this board, but rarely contributes, I would like to offer up an idea that has crossed my mind. One thing that this Liberty Mutual Tower project, a potential 450 high tower in the air rights above Back Bay Station, Columbus Center, and the proposed high rise above Neiman Marcus all have in common besides being located in a very close proximity is the need for parking. Now I am not trying to start up a driving in the city vs. public transportation arguement, what I am trying to do is to present an idea where John Hancock Garage at Back Bay Station is remodeled.

Think of it this way. The Garage is currently 7 floors high, and takes up a site of roughly 100,000 sq ft for a total of aproximatly 700,000 sq ft of parking area. What if the garage was expanded by 5 or 6 floors?

This would easily mitigate the need for a 917 car garage at Columbus Center, taking away the costs associated with building the garage over the turnpike. With the cost of the garage taken away, Columbus Center could be re-proposed with just the tower and park components, thus reducing the costs to the developers to a point where the project would be feasible and financeable.

At the other end of the garage we have the potential Neiman Marcus project. Off hand I don't remember if a parking requirement was included, but for a luxury condo high rise that could potentially carry the Trump name (baseless rumor I have heard kicked around), one would expect available parking.

Attached to the South End side of the garage we have one of the most important stations in the MBTA system that would be perfect for a TOD 450 foot highrise that the BRA has classified as site 1 on the Stuart St Study.

As far as the Liberty Mutual expansion plan goes, adding the parking component onto the John Hancock garage still makes sense as the building is only two blocks from the garage.

Because of the direction that these projects are situated in relation to the garage, I could potentially see each project having its own dedicated entrance to the garage.

Again I am not trying to ignite a driving vs transit debate but if our leaders could get some momentum behind a garage remodel, it would have the potential to stimulate these four projects and potentially impact the feasibility of a fifth ( site 4 on Stuart St Study map) In my opinion this would be a terrific oppurtunity to spend some stimulus dollars in a way that would actually stimulate the economy.

(Moderator please feel free to move this rant to a differant place if you feel it appropriate.)
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:26 PM   #55
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

That's a great idea. My one comment is that I wouldn't like to see stimulus dollars used as for a garage. I think a better use would be a DMU shuttle from South Station to Back Bay (and onwards to BU, Allston, Newton) which would greatly benefit transit in this area you've identified.
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:44 PM   #56
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

The city really should not require developers in this location to provide any parking at all, given its proximity to public transit. Let the market decide how much parking, if any, developers may need to include.
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:56 PM   #57
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

I agree with Ron.

And, um, is the city requiring parking here?
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:02 PM   #58
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

Not a bad idea, but two potential issues:
1. Is the deck the Hancock garage was built on (and the garage itself) physically capable of handling the load from 5-6 more floors?
2. What are the traffic implications of doubling the number of cars entering/exiting the handful of ingress/egress points?
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:35 PM   #59
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

Not sure if this has been posted yet, but today's article in the Globe certainly makes it seem like the development is a foregone conclusion and the Salvation Army is going.

Quote:
Although the Salvation Army and Benjamin Franklin Smith buildings will be torn down to make way for the new tower, city officials said a third building on the site that houses the restaurant Grille 23 will likely be preserved.

BRA director John Palmieri said Liberty Mutual?s new building will be a medium-size tower about 300 feet tall, roughly 20 to 25 stories, and support 580,000 square feet of office space.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:54 PM   #60
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Re: Liberty Mutual plans major Boston expansion

Sounds short and stubby, i.e., crappy.

I don't think very much in Boston is ever a "done deal" before the neighbors get through with it ... and in this case, that might be a good thing. Perhaps Mr. Palmieri, world-renowned for his success in making Hartford one of the globe's great cities, thinks otherwise, but I doubt seriously that a lame 20-story stublin could improve upon the existing street-level environment.
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