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Old 06-06-2012, 07:34 AM   #2061
TheRifleman
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Don Chiofaro ditches tower plan
Will develop smaller waterfront project
By Greg Turner
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - Updated 10 hours ago

Developer Don Chiofaro — long at loggerheads with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino over the Harbor Garage redevelopment — has officially scrapped the skyscraper project and signaled his willingness to work closely with city planners before going back to the drawing board.

“We’re working hard to be on the same page as the city,” said 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.

That prompted the BRA to change the project’s status to “inactive.”

The hatchet-burying comes 31⁄2 years after Chiofaro first filed his $1 billion plan to replace the squat Harbor Garage with soaring twin skyscrapers filled with offices, residences and a hotel.

The project, located on a key waterfront spot between the Greenway and the New England Aquarium, tested the city’s height limit — and the mayor’s patience. A downsized plan unveiled in September 2010 was essentially dead in the water because it still surpassed the height limit by hundreds of feet.

“We’re thrilled they’re finally moving forward in an appropriate manner,” said BRA spokeswoman Susan Elsbree. “We feel we need to go through a planning exercise ... to make that and all the other projects on the waterfront better.”

Chiofaro recently hired Hub public affairs expert Pam McDermott to advise him and work with abutters and waterfront advocates. McDermott handled the real estate strategy for the Atlantic Wharf and Fan Pier projects.

Next week, the BRA board is expected to approve a plan to hire its own consultant for the municipal harbor plan. Chiofaro noted in his letter he will develop a new project “consistent with the findings” of that plan.

-— gturner@bostonherald.com
This city skyline SUCKS

So Chiofaro ends up keeping the garage intact and builds the 200ft on top.
The BRA should be dismantled after this.
Another BOX POS being built.

Imagine the garage won't be buried infront of the Greenway?

Instead of investing his time in working with developers on good projects like this the Mayor is out doing public relations for a Casino in E.Boston/Revere. The mayor has become a serious IDIOT.

Last edited by TheRifleman; 06-06-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:12 AM   #2062
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Rifleman; elevating the level of debate since 2008.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #2063
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

In 2050, residents will stare at the garage, and they'll think back to 2012, and they'll say we must have all been fucked up in the head.
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:42 AM   #2064
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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In 2050, residents will stare at the garage, and they'll think back to 2012, and they'll say we must have all been fucked up in the head.
Urban planning in the 60s and 70s was essentially "fucked up in the head."

You have to be really fucked up in the head to build a gigantic parking garage on the waterfront, Central Artery or not...
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:46 AM   #2065
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

I think what we'll end up seeing is the current garage pared back to the bare minimum number of spaces that Harbor Towers requires, with a new mid-rise "skin" wrapped up and around it. Personally, I'm not against this if the street level is right. I was never comfortable with the tower proposals on that front
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:52 AM   #2066
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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I think what we'll end up seeing is the current garage pared back to the bare minimum number of spaces that Harbor Towers requires, with a new mid-rise "skin" wrapped up and around it. Personally, I'm not against this if the street level is right. I was never comfortable with the tower proposals on that front
I disagree, I think the Aquarium could use a major overhaul and I would love to see the Garage buried.

Also looking from the Water I think Harbor Towers are ugly, I know other people like them but I would rather see some 21st century slim, thin 600ft tower developments looking from the Harbor and opening up the entire Greenway Area with a good ground floor plan.

Chiofaro will end up with the last laugh.
200ft Garage with above condos on the most important piece of development in the city. The only people that pay are the citizens of Boston for allowing this type of stupidity.

I guess this is what Kairos Shen was talking about fitting Boston DNA. I could do a better job than these political hacks.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:56 AM   #2067
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

They could easily bump out the existing ground level retail to the street, pop on a few more floors, re-skin the whole thing, and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Personally, I've never really hated this building other than it being ugly as sin. There's ground level retail (albiet bumped back too far), and I'd rather have a city with a few huge garages than tons of lots. Parking's gonna happen, so it might as well be efficient.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:58 AM   #2068
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

Really? Couldnt give him 300-400 feet?
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:00 AM   #2069
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

The Greenway is so underused. This development could have opened up the Greenway in a major way.
The Streetscape alone could have been unbelievable.

The BRA, The Mayor and the Greenway Conservancy are responsible for this FAILURE.

The most important parcel on the Greenway and they are busting the guys balls with 200ft. What a bunch of hypocrital fucking scumbags.

Oh we need the Greenway Tax now.......because we need to charge 8.5 Million in maintenance fees to mow the cement.

I'm sick........
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:04 AM   #2070
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Originally Posted by underground View Post
They could easily bump out the existing ground level retail to the street, pop on a few more floors, re-skin the whole thing, and it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Personally, I've never really hated this building other than it being ugly as sin. There's ground level retail (albiet bumped back too far), and I'd rather have a city with a few huge garages than tons of lots. Parking's gonna happen, so it might as well be efficient.
A CEMENT BLOCK of Parking on the Waterfront next to the Aquarium and across the street from the Greenway? Where are you orginally from Mother Russia?

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:18 AM   #2071
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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 ?
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #2072
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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A CEMENT BLOCK of Parking on the Waterfront next to the Aquarium and across the street from the Greenway? Where are you orginally from Mother Russia?
So, you missed the part where I said re-skinned?
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:36 AM   #2073
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
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   #2074
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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   #2075
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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   #2076
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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   #2077
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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   #2078
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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   #2079
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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   #2080
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Re: The Boston Arch (Aquarium parking garage)

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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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