🔹 What's Happening With Project X?

DZH22

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What did people hate about it so much?
To me I didn't like the base, the treatment of Bromfield Street, and getting rid of the Payless building. However, the tower portion itself looked bleeping amazing and I stand by that 100%.
 

bigpicture7

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What did people hate about it so much?
Foremost: that it destroyed the historic bromfield street-level facade/experience...with, to be frank, an insultingly sterile streetwall that showed no effort to honor the context.

Secondarily: it looked like a giant glass cactus (the one is more debatable)


All of this said, I'd love to see a revised design proposed.
 

odurandina

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During the period around the time of its unveiling, Datadyne is one of the few commenters who attended the meetings and was on top of the factual shortcomings of what was always going to be a compromised design–if a 700' tower was ever to have been built (re; problems with the lower level cladding, garage/lack of public amenities, retail etc, problems with the garage entrance/exit traffic, vendors, deliveries, sanitation, etc.... there were serious issues). But they were problems that likely could have been solved. DD offered his take--without throwing a fit over the massing, design and height.

The effort was daring, if not inspiring. A lot of thought and consideration went in and was shown in a very advanced stage at the BCDC meeting. i was in attendance and listened to the presentation, and reasons for each aspect of the design. i thought the cactus-shaped design tower was interesting. i neither loved it or hated it–but there were very good reasons for doing it. Admittedly, mostly i loved the 2nd (or third) reasonably tall peak for the skyline and urbanism for DTX. The retail area is still, sleepy, deactivated and blighted. i appreciated how they were trying to keep to a small footprint for the benefit of the street level. The effort and clear possibilities of revision were overshadowed by only-negative actions taken the nimby-biased BCDC, who send mixed messages to the development and design community at large. We have too much shitty architecture, and holes in the City–as a direct outcome of the BCDC's poor messaging.

The site (including shadows) allows for an outcome as expressive and iconic as Accordia's design for Winthrop Square. Killing the height decimated the economics for suitable revisions, and a decisive result.

Blowing up another skyscraper at a site so well suited (albeit challenged) for a 700' tower isn't easy to brush off. The BCDC did not act in Boston's best interests, here. They overreacted.

Foremost: that it destroyed the historic bromfield street-level facade/experience...with, to be frank, an insultingly sterile streetwall that showed no effort to honor the context.
i agree; the design team strongly miscalculated by not preserving the podium. But, the angst seems a bit overblown. Their reasons for doing it were to cloak the above ground garage (itself, a tough pill). It was actually worse: The street level glass would have been only minimally-transparent! It would have looked very close to ridiculous at street level.

Better; "the podium is too generic, and should be distinguished from the tower's upper floors, and bolster the character of the neighborhood, and include more retail space" would have sufficed. And possibly, an elevator garage, with cars going up above the street. It probably would have meant losing 1 or 2 floors of residential space. But, the sentiment to "kick the invaders out of the club" is a bit strong in this town. The residents of 45 Province Streets will have to adjust to life at the top of the real estate investment pyramid in the center of Downtown Boston.


 
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Lrfox

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Foremost: that it destroyed the historic bromfield street-level facade/experience...with, to be frank, an insultingly sterile streetwall that showed no effort to honor the context.

Secondarily: it looked like a giant glass cactus (the one is more debatable)


All of this said, I'd love to see a revised design proposed.
Mostly this. I actually liked the tower design, but there's absolutely no reason you can't have a beautifully designed tower and also maintain a human scale street level. The absolute destruction of the Bromfield streetwall was way too high a price to pay for a tower that's neat to look at.
 

stick n move

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I hated that tower. The overhangs were stupid and clashed with literally everything. Its actually kind of scary that one building can ruin an entire skyline like that after hundreds of years of a slow and deliberate crawl towards the nice skyline were finally getting now with MT, then winthrop sq and SST.

In that case business as usual would have actually been good. If it was approved then had a design change but kept the height it would have been a win. It actually probably would have been perfect because the design was extreme so if they simplified it, it could have turned out fine, vs when something starts out as average and then still gets ve’d.
 

Gameguy326

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Main Street in Cambridge, where the abandoned, MIT-owned buildings are...730-750 Main Street, I think. There's now construction going on in them. Does anybody know what's happening here? Any plans? Looks like some sort of renovation.
 

odurandina

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If it was approved then had a design change but kept the height it would have been a win. It actually probably would have been perfect because the design was extreme so if they simplified it, it could have turned out fine, vs when something starts out as average and then still gets ve’d.
They needed to change the shape of the cantilevers. The footprint is too small to sustain a commercially viable tower. The building itself needed to be wider. Developers need to be able to show a breakaway economic viability in order to secure financing. Something you learn by actually speaking to the design team. Yes, this was going to be a very tight, compromised design. If it ever gets built, it may in fact be the most controversial tall building in the City's history--more than even an 800' tower at NSS [no such site] (should a commercially/politically viable proposal eventually come about).
 

Massachoicetts

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Are they going back to the drawing board on One Bromfield... or are they completely off the project? Its not really clear what happened after BCDC shut the tower down for its disgusting/offensive street level.

Should we expect a new concept in coming months-years from the same developer?
 

stick n move

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I doubt it because of the new shadow laws. If it had been approved back when it was proposed it could have probably been grandfathered in. Now... itd have to be shorter. Which in my opinion is great because it was ASS ugly anyways, so unless its redesigned into an icon.. please dont ruin downtowns skyline that is finally coming into its own as a short yet respectable skyline.

Winthrop place went through because of its long stalled, replacing a blighted brutalist garage in the center of downtown, menino legacy, massive amounts of money going towards affordable housing/emerald necklace, common...etc, design competition winning, Millennium gets shit done/gets shit done right/so they get to build, reduced height, downtowns new tallest, Boston needs an icon downtown, “public” connector hall, wink wink handshake grandfathered in (just get the friggin thing done already), cant have ANOTHER hole smack dab in the center of downtown-in a city where they cant approve things fast enough-that would look terrible... history of the parcel.
 

mass88

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Union Point is no longer the sponsor of the terrace area at Gillette, it's now sponsored by Encore Boston Harbor. Is this a sign that project is struggling?
 

Neon

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Union Point is no longer the sponsor of the terrace area at Gillette, it's now sponsored by Encore Boston Harbor. Is this a sign that project is struggling?
LStar is out at Union Point.

 

Gameguy326

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Main Street in Cambridge, where the abandoned, MIT-owned buildings are...730-750 Main Street, I think. There's now construction going on in them. Does anybody know what's happening here? Any plans? Looks like some sort of renovation.
My question has been answered. It's their new location for The Engine.

 

Equilibria

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Union Point is no longer the sponsor of the terrace area at Gillette, it's now sponsored by Encore Boston Harbor. Is this a sign that project is struggling?
I think it's a sign that it's dead, basically. That sponsorship was always a mirage.
 

whighlander

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My question has been answered. It's their new location for The Engine.

I think this will have a major impact on that part of Kendall - Central Sq as graduates of the Engine move into their own facilities -- they seem to favor old industrial that has been renovated
slightly edited version of the MIT News story with my highlights in BOLD

Since its founding in 2016, The Engine has pioneered a new framework for investing in and supporting tough tech startups working on transformative technologies — ranging from commercial fusion power and ultra-efficient semiconductors to next-generation cell therapies and new manufacturing methods for metals, among others. This framework clears a path to commercialization for companies by providing capital, infrastructure (labs, equipment, office space, and more), and a support network. In October 2018, hundreds of members of The Engine’s network of companies and supporters joined forces in the Boston area at the first annual Tough Tech Summit.

The current version of the "Engine" launched its portfolio in 2017 with investments in seven tough-tech companies. -- located in 28,000-square-foot at 501 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, has provided dozens of forward-looking entrepreneurs with critical access to capital, industry know-how, and specialized equipment. The Engine It has since invested in 12 additional tough-tech founding teams, bringing its current portfolio to 19 companies. Together, those companies have raised approximately $285 million in capital and employ more than 200 people.
And now the New Version [Engine V2.0]


what it looks like now
Google Map image


The Engine announced today that it will create an additional 200,000 square feet of shared office, fabrication, and lab space in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to further foster “tough tech” — transformative technology that takes the long view, solving the world’s important challenges through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering, and leadership.

The design for the 750 Main Street building renovation is slated to be finalized in 2019, with construction scheduled to begin later this year. The Engine’s new space will be complemented by active ground floor uses that will contribute to a more animated streetscape.

The expansion, in collaboration with MIT, will extend and amplify the progress of the thriving innovation ecosystem in Cambridge and the greater Boston region. Central to the effort will be the renovation of the existing building at 750 Main Street to serve as a new hub for tough-tech growth, with the capacity to accommodate approximately 100 companies and 800 entrepreneurs. The initiative will accelerate the development of next-generation technology by providing the vital infrastructure and resources necessary to accommodate fast-growing startups throughout the region.

This new hub will provide a place for companies to put their ideas into action — helping them build transformative technologies as efficiently, economically, and effectively as possible. It will have a natural proximity to academic institutions; access to talent; flexible and affordable lab and fabrication facilities; and a network that will foster relationships for market readiness. It aims to connect the diverse tough-tech ecosystem — entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, leaders in academia and business, investors, and policymakers. The space will be specifically designed for companies at the convergence of technology disciplines across engineering and physical sciences, where access to diverse space and tools are essential for success. This expansion demonstrates MIT’s ongoing commitment to investing in and anchoring the evolving innovation ecosystem in and around Kendall Square.

MIT continues to play a leading role in fostering innovation and research in and around the MIT campus through its Kendall Square Initiative, which will create a vibrant multiuse district with new buildings, open space, and gathering spaces, and will be home to innovative companies, retail, and restaurants. This tough-tech hub will be a new center for The Engine, and a focal point of the innovation ecosystem inspired and cultivated by MIT.
 

odurandina

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Can we get back to fussing over VE, why nothing cool ever gets built, etc.?
20~25 unbuilt highrises.... plus a few mid-rises that would have
been great additions to Boston


fail·ure
/ˈfālyər/
noun
1. lack of success.
"an economic policy that is doomed to failure"
synonyms lack of success, nonsuccess, non-fulfillment, abortion, miscarriage, defeat, frustration, collapse, foundering, misfiring, coming to nothing, falling through;
______________________________
1. South Bay Tower ~800' planned in the early 2000's cancelled due to market factors around the time of the Great Recession. Odd if we consider the FAA limit is ~300' at Parcel 27. The state has failed to find a buyer for this site and several surrounding parcels.
2. 1 Bromfield Street 709' killed off by the BCDC and 45 Province St nimby's in 2016 after numerous starts & restarts. The FAA height for this site is 710'
3. Boylston Square originally planned for 59 stories and 650' at the edge of the Pike opposite the corner off Mass Ave and Boylston St. Proposal was reduced to 550' then, killed off by intense nimby opposition and BRA planning authority under guidance of Tom Menino cerca 1998. The FAA height for this site is ~990'.
4. 1000 Boylston first planned to reach a pinnicle height of ~627' then was reduced to ~544'. Cancelled in 2019 due to (we assume) risks of ballooning costs for scheduling construction for the decking, vs severely limited height/ volume, market uncertainty and timing. The the FAA limit at this site is ~990'
5. Copley Tower 52 stories/ 625' was set to go u/c. Cancelled in 2016 due to ballooning costs for site prep, risk vs limited scale and height. This tower is the last tower in Back Bay to have been allowed to cast its shadow upon Trinity Church, Copley Square, PG, etc.
*6.0 Leaving out the Hyatt at Fan Pier, which obviously would have impeded air traffic in and out of Logan.
6.1 Harbor Garage Site/Central Wharf, a single tower pushing the allowed, planned height of 600'. Years in, Glasnost from the planning authority has yet to render a formal proposal. The developer needs a bit more volume for the project.
7. New Herald Square 500' another relic of the old Menino administration would have exceeded the FAA height restricted airspace for runway 9-27 by about 160'. 340' would have been a fine outcome for this site.
8. Columbus Ctr tower 35 stories/ 420', and mid-rise cluster over the Mass Pike. Died during the Great Recession after a long approval process, and briefly starting site prep back in 2008. Project to have supplied 750 res units and 250 hotel ended when the developer failed to secure needed, additional loan funding from the State.
9. 45 Worthington St 35 stories/ ~396' died during early planning phase.
10. 2 Charlesgate W, a ~365' transit oriented development w/ several hundred units killed off by Red Sox owner John Henry, despite the tower to have risen 1500' distant from the rear of the Center Field bleachers, and adjecent to 2 T stops. *Returned as a much lower proposal for independently operated dorms.
11. 51-53 High Street. This site was always a long shot: needs NYC-esque levels of planning. But, a tower upwards of 660' is theoretically possible for the site, and next door building.
12. 171 Tremont first proposed as a slender ~355' tower was reduced, reduced again, and the site eventually absorbed by Emerson.
13, 14. 2 hotel towers pushing 280' and 340' were proposed for Chinatown (have since gone quiet)
15. 533 Washington St 29 stories 303', very hard to do: (sacked after neighborhood pushback)
16. Fenway Center tower over the Pike. Fingers crossed that this will still be built. It's been in planning for over a decade.
17 & 18. Dot Parcels 25, 26, 27 & 28, Leather District (2 X 300') + midrise..... unfortunately no developers chose to participate due to the risks vs costs, and other factors.
19. 7 Channel Center/Ft Point Channel/Berkeley Investments 20 stories 255' (has disappeared)
20. One Charlestown/ BHA/Building F/Charlestown; 21 stories ~250'
21. One Charlestown/ BHA/Building N/Charlestown 20 stories 236'
22. One Charlestown/ BHA/Building O/Charlestown; 20 stories 236'
Project has lost the towers, and has a only a few low, mid-rises proposed.
23. GE headquarters main tower/ Seaport, cancelled.
24-26. 55 India St along with 104 Canal & a boutique hotel off the Greenway in Valenti Square in the Bulfinch Triangle have gone quiet. No updates or signs of life for these....
______________________________
height/ density reductions;
1. South Station Tower >800 reduced, then increased to 690' FAA height limit. There's much optimism this project will get underway later this year.
2. Bulfinch Crossing main tower ~745' to ~710' to 601'
3. Winthrop Square 1105' to ~702' to 691' West Tower.
East Tower will reach 579' to the rooftip.
4. Hub on Causeway Residential 659' to 495'
5. Garden Garage 46 stories/ ~510 to 44 stories/ 485'
6. 1 Joslin Place 29 stories, was to have reached a pinnacle height of ~348' site eventually became a ~280' lab building
7. Tremont Crossing, lost 8 floors/90' off each of the 2 main towers.
8. Harrison-Albany Block lost several floors.
 
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Suffolk 83

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Whats going on with the Flower Exchange? Last news was they were hopeful to begin in the spring but havent seen anything yet. Website looks like they are searching for leasers.. have they closed anyone yet?
 

DZH22

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Whats going on with the Flower Exchange? Last news was they were hopeful to begin in the spring but havent seen anything yet. Website looks like they are searching for leasers.. have they closed anyone yet?
I clicked on this thread to ask literally the same question. You beat me by a few hours! The tallest tower had the best height for the area and I was excited to see it happen. Still hopeful.
 

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