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Old 06-06-2012, 09:36 AM   #2061
TheRifleman
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Rifle, of all the things to get worked up about, I'm not sure this is it. A complete demo was always unlikely given the contractual obligations to Harbor Towers over parking and, I believe, some HVAC in the building. Your comment about "Streetscape" can still apply with a midrise and become as you put it "unbelievable." And, finally, you pretty much played right in to Chiofaro's media blitz despite him having few plans, little money, and shooting in the dark for a parcel which was zoned very differently than what his proposed towers required. If Chiofaro really had the money and know-how for a new tower, why wouldn't he play around Winthrop Square, or any number of other similar sites ?
Harbor Garage is the best position parcel in the city next to the water & Greenway. Winthrop Square is not.
The BRA & Mayor should have worked with Chiofaro on this.

Harbor Garage easements are the developer's responsibility. If legally they could not be done then the developer would not be wasting his time.

Little money? Then how did he build IP?
Overall this will be one of the most missed opportunities to better the ROSE KENNEDY GREENWAY.


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So, you missed the part where I said re-skinned?
Its still a Giant wall blocking the waterfront from the Greenway. Know matter how the re-skinned looks.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:59 AM   #2062
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Huh? Any building - even the tower proposal - is going to block the waterfront, unless the ground floor is somehow invisible.

Rifle, I share your excitement for what could have been here, but I'm not sticking all the fallout on Menino (although some of the intractability of the process definitely falls on his lap). I think in general this was the wrong proposal from the wrong developer at the wrong place and time.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:22 AM   #2063
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Here's hoping for a Seaport-like design over the garage.

Then I will say, "Mayor Menino, setting the standard for mediocracy."

Oh what am I talking about. It's already certain the design will be crap. What kind of aesthetic can you afford if you can only build 200ft above a parking garage while needing as much square footage as possible to compensate for the cost?
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #2064
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Great. So how long before we hear that the Congress Street garage is also staying put, just with some condos stacked on top?
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:34 PM   #2065
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
Huh? Any building - even the tower proposal - is going to block the waterfront, unless the ground floor is somehow invisible.

Rifle, I share your excitement for what could have been here, but I'm not sticking all the fallout on Menino (although some of the intractability of the process definitely falls on his lap). I think in general this was the wrong proposal from the wrong developer at the wrong place and time.
Shep and the rest -- I somehow doubt that the garage will still be with us

this what the Chiofaro people said
Quote:
Ted Oatis, co-founder of the Chiofaro Co. “We’re planning something for the garage that’s going to work for the city, the neighborhood and for us.”

Chiofaro and Oatis sent a letter to Boston Redevelopment Authority director Peter Meade late last month stating they “wish to formally withdraw our proposal” and participate in the agency’s upcoming municipal harbor planning process for the downtown and wharf district.
This what Peter Meade ostensibly said
Quote:
"Sources tell the Boston Business Journal that Meade told Chiofaro: “Ill help you get the project built, but you have to stop talking to the press.”
Or perhaps -- "you mak a lik a you a bowin befo dagodfada -- den deal shesa don"

Last edited by whighlander; 06-06-2012 at 02:38 PM. Reason: improved clarity and attribution of source
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:56 PM   #2066
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Well, it doesn't sound like it's a sure thing that Chiofaro will just build on top of the garage - but regardless, this is horrible news!

While I sort of agree with Shepard and underground that, ceteris paribus, re-skinning the garage, moving retail closer to the street, and building a 200ft tower is better than the current parking garage, I have to side with Rifle here. This single project could have single handedly saved the Greenway and redefined an aging skyline. I don't think some of you realize, but Don's original proposals called for two slim skyscrapers with space in the middle opening up the Greenway to the harbor (like Rowes Wharf). Even the best reskinning job of the existing garage and best looking 200 footer will not change that.

I would much rather that nothing happen to the garage for the time being. Hopefully when Menino is gone a wiser mayor will recognize the promise in this parcel and demand a fitting development.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #2067
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Exactly how I feel too. Reskinning the garage still keeps the hulking mass and separation from the water. The benefit of a new building on this plot is that the ground floor can be glass to allow transparency through the building and the massing can (and was proposed to be) broken up, allowing views and circulation through the site. Whoever asked on the previous page what's the difference if there's a new building there -- that is the difference.

But... idk where people are even getting this idea that he will keep the garage. Let's just hope as part of his 200' plans, the garage goes and new spatial ideas get introduced into the site.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #2068
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Originally Posted by Lennon McCartney View Post
Even the best reskinning job of the existing garage and best looking 200 footer will not change that.
It is a question of taste. You are a Gisele admirer. The boys over at City Hall are chubby chasers.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:46 PM   #2069
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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could have single handedly saved the Greenway
No. Let's not get our knickers in a twist. The Greenway is far too large an urban design problem for any single building to fix, particularly yet another large-footprint skyscraper. This is not even the part of the Greenway that has the most serious problems (and in the part that does, the much beloved Rowes Wharf, model for this complex, doesn't do all that much to help).
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:57 AM   #2070
Lennon McCartney
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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No. Let's not get our knickers in a twist. The Greenway is far too large an urban design problem for any single building to fix, particularly yet another large-footprint skyscraper. This is not even the part of the Greenway that has the most serious problems (and in the part that does, the much beloved Rowes Wharf, model for this complex, doesn't do all that much to help).
I agree (my exaggeration), it's not in the part of the Greenway with the most problems. Getting the original proposal built however would be a big step in the right direction
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:00 PM   #2071
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Everyone seems so hung up on some parking spots and HVAC units.
Phasing phasing phasing. Chop the garage down to what is needed, then start burying a new garage, then install new HVAC and backfeed the buildings, then demo rest of garage. Unfortunately Don doesn't hire the poeple to put this together, but just look at the One Congress plans which included and detailed the phasing of the garage.

Phasing always adds cost, but these 2 items are merely speed bumps, and not steel barricades.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #2072
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

^^^^^

The entire situation right now comes down to the BRA & Mayor. Chiofaro presented a development well over 600ft towers knowing the site was zoned for 155FT and all of sudden the BRA drops the ball and creates the Greenway Study which tells them 400Ft tops in the study.

So what does the BRA & mayor say..... 200ft Tops...now go fuck yourself. "This development will cast shadows over the Greenway."

So why move forward with solutions when the Mayor and the BRA are killing your project before it even gets started?

Last edited by TheRifleman; 06-07-2012 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:51 PM   #2073
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Why? Because a few extra bucks, studies, and planning go along way to shooting down all the BS complaints and leave it at the City being the obstruction. Get rid of the red herring's and people can actually see Menino for the schmoe he is.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:32 PM   #2074
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Folks seem to forget that elected officials take the community's viewpoint seriously, and city/state agencies probably aren't going to want to spend (waste) a lot of time on a proposal that has huge legal issues like the fact that something like half the garage is long-term leased to the neighboring condo towers....ergo, why wouldn't the developer have started with by addressing the neighbors' rights and take those issues off the board? I bet if all those opposition letters that got written about the now-dead mega-tower had been support letters, the city and elected officials might have thought differently about it....I think it's a matter of strategy more than anything.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:53 AM   #2075
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Someday I'd like to see the residents take the city's best interest seriously. But alas, they are too concerned about shadows being cast on their awful suburban pool and their own selfish interests to actually care about the effect it might have on the city as a whole.

Maybe someday Boston will grow out of it's fiefdom stage.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:11 AM   #2076
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

^
Rights are rights stat. Before you start talking about altruism or the common good, this is like if a landlord told an office or retail tenant with a long-term lease for half a building that they were going to demolish the building and kick the tenant out, how do you think the tenant would react? And we can argue about it all day but I don't think many people who thought about it actually felt that the old proposal for the garage site was in the city's best interest.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:42 AM   #2077
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

1.) Don doesn't have the money to build. He doesn't have enough equity in IP after his bankruptcy, and the departure of Ropes and Gray lleft him with hundreds of thousands of square feet of empty space and cut his ability to leverage IP.

2.) Don doesn't yet have the money in hand to pay the balloon note due next June for the purchase of the garage. If Don can't refinance, meet the new owners of the Harbor Garage: http://www.himco.com/

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/st...?t=email_story

3.) He can't get a commercial space tower financed without a major tenant signed up. Don liked to claim he charged the highest office rents in Boston. Does anyone see that long line of eager tenants snaking along Atlantic Ave clamoring to rent space in the Arch?

4.) He won't get a residential tower financed because people who can afford $1,500 sq ft condos don't want to live atop Don's mini-Boston-sized version of Times Square. Don has pitched the Arch as a destination. Destinations mean crowds. Crowds mean noise, and the hoi-polloi congregating outside my residence lobby.

5.) Which leaves a hotel. But to make the numbers work, the hotel would have to charge the highest room rates in Boston.

The short of it was Don paid about $2,700 a square foot for the land, land encumbered by easements and covenants held by others, and occupied by a very large parking garage which he has to spend millions to demolish.

Shall I start a poll to see how many here think
> a.) Don got a steal;
> b.) Don got a good deal;
> c.) Don got snookered.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:42 AM   #2078
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

I'll be happily surprised if this ends up being anything other than a total POS box.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:46 AM   #2079
TheRifleman
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Originally Posted by greenwayguy1982 View Post
^
Rights are rights stat. Before you start talking about altruism or the common good, this is like if a landlord told an office or retail tenant with a long-term lease for half a building that they were going to demolish the building and kick the tenant out, how do you think the tenant would react? And we can argue about it all day but I don't think many people who thought about it actually felt that the old proposal for the garage site was in the city's best interest.
Rights are rights. Like gambling in the state was illegal and was just recently overturned due to creation of jobs.

I think a developer could figure out a way to relocate 400parking spots and remove the HVAC unit from under the garage for a billion dollar development in a responsible manner. For the best interest of the taxpayers & Job creation wouldn't u say?

The taxpayers have spent over 18-20 Billion on the big dig and counting.
The Greenway Conservancy is spending 2.4 Million a year in taxpayers money and are requesting additional 5 million per year.

For the common good of the taxpayer who has funded the entire Big dig-Greenway money pit in an excess of possibly 27 Billion and possibly heading for alot more.

It is the city & Mayor responsibility to work with the private sector to help generate more tax revenue and jobs, not promote programs like BID or the Greenway Tax which puts a burden on the small businesses.

The best interest of the city & Taxpayers would be to knocked down that GARAGE and work with Chiofaro to create real jobs & Tax Revenue to offset this taxpayers money pit in this area.

The BRA & the Mayor (the anti-development squad who only look out for their personal political agendas) shot this down before Chiofaro could ever offer solutions. Believe me if this was one of the Mayor Development buddies the towers would have been built 600+.

Maybe it is time that Chiofaro turns to the dark-side in giving out one of the white envelopes like the rest of the development gang.

Last edited by TheRifleman; 06-08-2012 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:58 AM   #2080
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Originally Posted by stellarfun View Post
1.) Don doesn't have the money to build. He doesn't have enough equity in IP after his bankruptcy, and the departure of Ropes and Gray lleft him with hundreds of thousands of square feet of empty space and cut his ability to leverage IP.

2.) Don doesn't yet have the money in hand to pay the balloon note due next June for the purchase of the garage. If Don can't refinance, meet the new owners of the Harbor Garage: http://www.himco.com/

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/st...?t=email_story

3.) He can't get a commercial space tower financed without a major tenant signed up. Don liked to claim he charged the highest office rents in Boston. Does anyone see that long line of eager tenants snaking along Atlantic Ave clamoring to rent space in the Arch?

4.) He won't get a residential tower financed because people who can afford $1,500 sq ft condos don't want to live atop Don's mini-Boston-sized version of Times Square. Don has pitched the Arch as a destination. Destinations mean crowds. Crowds mean noise, and the hoi-polloi congregating outside my residence lobby.

5.) Which leaves a hotel. But to make the numbers work, the hotel would have to charge the highest room rates in Boston.

The short of it was Don paid about $2,700 a square foot for the land, land encumbered by easements and covenants held by others, and occupied by a very large parking garage which he has to spend millions to demolish.

Shall I start a poll to see how many here think
> a.) Don got a steal;
> b.) Don got a good deal;
> c.) Don got snookered.
Not sure about any of this stuff you posted.

I will comment on the garage thou as an investment. I think its in Chiofaro best interest to keep the garage, Reskin the outside add the apartments on the top will only be extra money for his pocket. Like a CASH REGISTER every month. Apartments, Garage, Lower Retail.....This location = MONEY MACHINE

No headaches in burying the garage, Harbor Tower Residents, I think this is a great long-term investment considering that Fan Pier is losing all their parking spaces and it will only create more demand for parking.

Some areas in NYC parking spots are selling 99 year leases for over a million dollars.

Parking is priceless in the city and this might be the best location in the future.
If I had 155Million this would be the first place I would like to own. The value of this garage will always remain high because of the location. A new political overhaul might even think that Chiofaro idea was a good one in the future.

The real negative aspects
What could have been for the Greenway in this location will never reach its Max Potential.


Stellarfun one thing I don't understand is your talking about Crowds. This location is completely insane with foot traffic. Might be the most in the city.

Last edited by TheRifleman; 06-08-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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