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Old 01-12-2017, 08:12 AM   #1
BarbaricManchurian
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Boom Towns

This boom really is unprecedented, and much larger relatively than NYC's or any other traditionally urban American cities (correct me if I'm wrong)

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Old Black and Decker site
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Washington DC is experiencing a larger boom (relative) with population growth around 13% since 2010(!), though that may be slowing.

NYC has over 30,000 units under construction. But relative to current housing stock, that wouldn't be historic highs.

Does anyone know, precisely, how many units are u/c in Boston?
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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This boom really is unprecedented, and much larger relatively than NYC's or any other traditionally urban American cities (correct me if I'm wrong)
It depends on how you measure it. I have to think that Philadelphia and Seattle are outbuilding Boston. Montreal is further along in its boom. Toronto went from a Boston sized skyline in 2000 to a nearly Chicago sized skyline today. (with no end in sight) NYC is raising the bar on huge buildings. Atlanta has had a steady stream of growth.

Smaller cities like Charlotte, Austin, and Nashville might be on par (or better) than Boston in terms of relative standards.

Then of course, there's Miami, which may be hideous to some (it's truly beyond awful) but is basically building the equivalent of the entire Boston skyline right now.

Throw in Calgary and Edmonton, probably San Francisco.... Our unprecedented boom is a lot less impressive if you pay attention to the rest of the country plus Canada. (even less impressive on a world stage as Europe catches up and China blows our pace away)

Mexico City is also outbuilding Boston by a country mile. (hey, you said "American" which encompasses 2 continents)

I don't know, maybe in terms of square footage since we have so many big blocks in the Seaport and such, but I just don't think Boston's growth is on the same level as a lot of other American cities. All of the largest, most impactful projects are just so damn slow!

It's funny that you use this small project to make a blanket statement proclaiming Boston's greatness.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Traditionally urban for me is SF, Chicago, New Orleans, DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Boston. I think some European cities like Paris and Berlin are building proportionally more but Boston is building much more proportionally than all of them except possibly DC. There's also been surprisingly little NIMBY drag on growth despite our reputation, especially compared to places like SF. The amount of projects around this size being developed in the Boston area is massive and unprecedented, just check out the huge list of projects on BLDUP to really appreciate the rapid pace of development in the urban area, in a historically slow-growth region.

With American I'm meaning the United States of America obviously. You could have been even more obnoxious and chose to include both North and South America too. In that case probably all the major cities are growing faster than Boston, but with a much different standard of building construction. New buildings built to this standard would probably be about 5% of new construction at most in all Latin American cities.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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Traditionally urban for me is SF, Chicago, New Orleans, DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Boston.
I pay no attention to DC, but would say that NYC, Philly, and possibly SF are outbuilding Boston in both relative and absolute terms.

Here's Philadelphia U/C. Philly also has multiple other 1000'+ towers proposed, and a steady stream of huge projects in the pipeline.

Capture by David Z, on Flickr


Here's NYC, U/C, only including buildings taller than the Hancock. NYC is on another level.

Capture by David Z, on Flickr


Just to show that these diagrams do NOT even capture everything, this is what it has for Boston U/C.

Capture by David Z, on Flickr
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:41 AM   #6
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Talking about the total number of units being built per capita, not the height of the highest buildings, which is interesting but rather irrelevant.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:45 AM   #7
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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Talking about the total number of units being built per capita, not the height of the highest buildings, which is interesting but rather irrelevant.
You moved the goalposts. That doesn't even include office/lab/commercial space. Talk about irrelevant.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:48 AM   #8
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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You moved the goalposts. That doesn't even include office/lab/commercial space. Talk about irrelevant.
I don't really think so... he quoted a post about a relatively small scale residential project. Pretty clearly talking about the residential construction boom.

That said, I'm confused by this thread bump, since it wasn't in reference to the Icon project and instead sparked a tangent about the housing boom, which led to your tangent about skyline booms.
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:54 AM   #9
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

This was the direct quote:

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Originally Posted by BarbaricManchurian View Post
This boom really is unprecedented, and much larger relatively than NYC's or any other traditionally urban American cities (correct me if I'm wrong)



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That said, I'm confused by this thread bump, since it wasn't in reference to the Icon project and instead sparked a tangent about the housing boom, which led to your tangent about skyline booms.
I mentioned similar confusion at the end of Post 56. The reason I mention skylines is that the tallest buildings are often the biggest buildings. The new 1100'+ Comcast Tower adds a hell of a lot more space than, say, The Icon.

Seattle, for instance, has a never-ending stream of 440' residential towers (all built up to the area's height limit) which I'm sure provide substantially more units than our typical 5-10 story infill.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:05 AM   #10
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Ok Boston is doomed. You do know we're in a traditionally slow-growth region? My state Connecticut has seen almost no discernible growth over the last decade. Same with most of Central and Western Mass. Rhode Island isn't doing much better. Metro Boston is a bright exception to the slow-growth trend throughout New England and the fact that it competes with the top metro areas of the country/other small cities worldwide while adding genuine urban fabric should be something that we should recognize and appreciate in the context it is in.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:15 AM   #11
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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Ok Boston is doomed.
Boston is doing quite well and should make more substantial strides over the next couple of years. You made an erroneous blanket statement and ended the quote with "correct me if I'm wrong." You were wrong, and I corrected you.

Now you are overreacting the other way. To prove a point? I don't know. Boston is doing great, especially compared to its history, and compared to MOST of the country. It just isn't much larger than other cities' booms, and in fact is most likely behind a few. It doesn't mean Boston isn't killing it on the building front. It just means other (mainly coastal) cities also have their own mega booms going on.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:26 AM   #12
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Miami has a number of low to tall skyscrapers planned that is so far out and outlandish, the people on this board would call anyone attempting to name the number – as having gone totally insane. Indeed, anyone wishing to live in a livable Miami knows, they're at the limit now.

Traffic has exploded well beyond the 95/441/Turnpike/Palmetto/ spaghetti down to the opposite end of the 836 loop. it's horrendous everywhere, where just 5 years ago, it wasn't nearly so bad. i feel sorry for my friends, including a few who live in South Beach. i didn't consider that a few years ago. But, Miami is being transformed into a wretched place to live and work.

Boston is still producing just a fraction of the housing units of DFW, Houston, Phoenix, etc..... and far fewer affordable units still (thank God).

But, it would also seem likely that overbuilding nationally will help bring about a bubble here.... especially once the US economy enters recession. looking beyond that, i am unconvinced we possess the flexibility to satisfy the demand without much greater controversy.

Within about 5-6 years, people in or near the High Spine will find themselves in a dense urban neighborhood which dwarfs the rest of Boston. There is going to be a pause.... But in 15-20 years, there may come to be a gradual acceptance that the excavators and dozers will encroach into neighborhoods rarely before seen....

i support the BRA. What lies over the hill we are climbing is fascinating.

2 Hills beyond, i'm not sure i want to see.... in Allston, JP, West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Roslindale, it may get late early.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:29 AM   #13
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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Please teach me more about Philly's boom. Last time I visited there were huge swaths of abandoned buildings everywhere, and I doubt that's changed much.
This is a good place to start.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...454740&page=21


Here is a mega-sized new district proposed (and partially built) across the river from Center City.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1966728


There's more I just don't have time to find it right now. But that 2nd link is on a level that we would never dream of here in Boston.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:33 AM   #14
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Yes it is.......... Philly has already begun to pull away from Boston in tall >336; and then, >500' construction, and even taller.

Where we have a lock 200-260', Philly jumps straight to 340', and goes up from there. i think our building has a unique commonality; in that everything we do is 50-90' too short.

The New York Streets construction is nice. But an opportunity to keep some of this land in reserve beyond this cycle is being spent for mid-rise boxes.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:59 AM   #15
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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This is a good place to start.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...454740&page=21


Here is a mega-sized new district proposed (and partially built) across the river from Center City.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1966728


There's more I just don't have time to find it right now. But that 2nd link is on a level that we would never dream of here in Boston.
Exactly. If I am reading it correctly, there you have Drexel driving the process the build over the reclaimed rail lines, and to build big and dense. We will be lucky to see anything over 10 stories at the Allston Pike Interchange. In Boston's mindset, simply reattaching the street grid is good enough. The only school-city redevelopment that comes remotely close to what is happening in Philly is with MIT and what Cambridge actually permits remains to be seen.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:00 PM   #16
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Come on guys, can't you see the title of this thread? Please, talk about this stuff elsewhere...
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:07 PM   #17
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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Philly also has multiple other 1000'+ towers proposed, and a steady stream of huge projects in the pipeline.
Huh?
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Old 01-12-2017, 02:12 PM   #18
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

Take it outside guys
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:36 PM   #19
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Re: Boom Towns

As an engineer:

It's really hard to see Boston not continuing large and steady amounts of growth going forward. Its position and reputation as a STEM mecca, particularly in the harder engineering disciplines (e.g. not social media startup services *cough* Silicon Valley) will be a massive growth and stabilization driver. Our tech economy is much better diversified than San Francisco's which is our closest peer city IMO. The world isn't gonna stop needing medicine, energy tech, and software and all of those things bring other jobs with them such as marketing, legal, banking and venture capital.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:59 PM   #20
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Re: The Icon (née Western Ave Residence) | 530 Western Ave | Brighton

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Take it outside guys
I know a good link for this

http://www.archboston.org/community/...ead.php?t=5420
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