BCEC expansion

Arlington

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Plenty of closely spaced spires stand directly in each other's viewshed. One Dalton and a Hynes Tower would be a football field apart--far enough that each would be a sparkly gem in the other's field of view on upper floors (and screened from each other by the Sheraton on lower floors)
 

kmp1284

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Plenty of closely spaced spires stand directly in each other's viewshed. One Dalton and a Hynes Tower would be a football field apart--far enough that each would be a sparkly gem in the other's field of view on upper floors (and screened from each other by the Sheraton on lower floors)
Now put yourself in the shoes of the guy who paid $6.3m for a two bedroom on the 38th floor and try to imagine someone wanting to pay anything close to that with a giant wall a measly 300 feet away.
 

JumboBuc

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Now put yourself in the shoes of the guy who paid $6.3m for a two bedroom on the 38th floor and try to imagine someone wanting to pay anything close to that with a giant wall a measly 300 feet away.
I can't imagine anybody paying $6.3m for a two bedroom without also understanding that such an investment would entail risk.

And unless they bought in the past few weeks, the Parcel 15 tower right next door to the Hynes was schedule to be built at the time of their closing.
 
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bigpicture7

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I can't imagine anybody paying $6.3m for a two bedroom without also understanding that such an investment would entail risk.
...agree, not many: and not anyone I would feel particularly sorry for anyway (and I'm generally an empathetic guy, sometimes to a fault).
 

DZH22

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Now put yourself in the shoes of the guy who paid $6.3m for a two bedroom on the 38th floor and try to imagine someone wanting to pay anything close to that with a giant wall a measly 300 feet away.
If we could actually build better proportioned buildings (taller/thinner) then it wouldn't resemble a giant wall anymore! You're just too used to the Boston MO to make everything as fat as possible. One Dalton isn't fat and they got pretty damn high with that one. Another similarly proportioned building with a crown/spire on top for the final height wouldn't be terribly overbearing in this area.
 

Rover

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Wait a minute, I though there were no actual residents of One Dalton and it was all empty apartments for foreigners to launder money through. :confused: We could build a new tower that blocks all of their views and we shouldn't hear a peep, right? :)
 

kmp1284

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I can't imagine anybody paying $6.3m for a two bedroom without also understanding that such an investment would entail risk.
Obviously. I'm not saying that at all. What I was saying is that a tower here would be a potential detriment to the views and values at One Dalton and that the owners would likely be inclined and in my opinion, entitled, to do whatever they feel is necessary to preserve the zoning conditions at the time of their purchase or at least minimize the impact.

And unless they bought in the past few weeks, the Parcel 15 tower right next door to the Hynes was schedule to be built at the time of their closing.
As for parcel 15, the unit that I referenced doesn't face in that direction and I haven't seen what kind of numbers units on that side are fetching so it's kind of irrelevant. The difference is that buyers were aware of that project. A potential Hynes redevelopment is coming from left field and a tower would probably not be consistent with current zoning.

If we could actually build better proportioned buildings (taller/thinner) then it wouldn't resemble a giant wall anymore! You're just too used to the Boston MO to make everything as fat as possible. One Dalton isn't fat and they got pretty damn high with that one. Another similarly proportioned building with a crown/spire on top for the final height wouldn't be terribly overbearing in this area.
Even the most perfectly proportioned building would be a detriment from the abutters' standpoint - Marriott, Hilton, Boston Properties and One Dalton all have something to lose. I'm not saying that I would be opposed myself(idgaf either way) but rather simply suggesting that there might be somewhat legitimate and well-founded opposition(and extremely well-funded opposition).
 
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bigpicture7

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As for parcel 15, the unit that I referenced doesn't face in that direction and I haven't seen what kind of numbers units on that side are fetching so it's kind of irrelevant. The difference is that buyers were aware of that project. A potential Hynes redevelopment is coming from left field and a tower would probably not be consistent with current zoning.
...not only is it relevant, but it's kind of the entire point: this isn't about "i did my due dilligence and therefore rationally priced my offer based on on-the-radar other developments." This is about the fact that ALL of these people, having bought non-coastal property in a high-rise in a city should expect that their view could be blocked in the future, and should have only paid as much as the property would be worth it to them with a blocked view. If any of them paid more than that, then they are either a) gamblers, or b) disconnected from reality.

Now, do I suspect some such folks will still protest? Sure: because (beyond the blocked view) what more do they have to lose at that point by protesting? If it were ME, would I protest?: absolutely not. First, I wouldn't blame anyone external for what happened to me, and second, hell, it's the Four Seasons...maybe I'll just go do some laps in the pool or grab a scotch at the bar and smile to myself, thinking: it's been a damn good life.
 
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odurandina

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Anyone care to comment about the Sheraton losing much of it's northern views once a tower is blocking it? Unless the company chooses to tear down that tower and incorporate a new hotel into the expanded Hynes/Sheraton footprint....
A large-scale upgrade for the Sheraton is a very possible thing imo.
1. remove 2 sections from the North Tower (east side of the bldg)
2. build a 650' hotel on the Pru side of the parcel joining the remaining North
Tower + existing South Tower forming a u-shaped complex, including about ~480' of height on the north end of the new tower (on the terra firma of those demoed North Tower sections).
3. re-clad the old towers.

Unfortunately, Sheraton doesn't have a strong track record for exciting and bold renovations. It's not in their DNA. But the BPDA could stimulate such a project by offering them this type of attractive deal.
 
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Massachoicetts

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Im okay with this. Expand the BCEC since height restrictions are lower there... funnel in all conventions to one single convention center. Sell Hynes to a developer and get a new tower/infill. Doesnt have to be tall, but just make that part of Boylston Street fill in.
 

tangent

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I generally don't have any objection to selling Hynes... or selling/privatizing the convention center (and eliminating the hotel tax that subsidizes it) for that matter... as long as it was done in an orderly way to maximize taxpayer's investments and provide a net benefit to the local economy

But I would object if Hynes ends up getting sold for pennies on the dollar. That is a billion dollar taxpayer funded property in my book. Even subtracting the $200 million in near term "needs", that works out to be in the $650 million to $800 million range needed to make a deal clearly positive. I think getting $500 million or less would be a waste of our commonwealth resources and turning around and putting proceeds from a sale into what amounts to a net loss in convention space doesn't make sense from the perspective of the mission of the convention center.

So hopefully they have a deal in mind that would be a lot better than $500 million, because that doesn't cut it.
 

whighlander

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Strange arithmetic -- Hynes pays no taxes for the use of what is about 6 acres of the prime-st space in the Back Bay still undeveloped

let's say you allow a FAR of 7 that 6 acres turns into 42 acres of floor space paying taxes -- that's the Boston Common

by the way the FAR of the footprint of the Pru itself is about 50!
 

tangent

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Strange arithmetic -- Hynes pays no taxes for the use of what is about 6 acres of the prime-st space in the Back Bay still undeveloped

let's say you allow a FAR of 7 that 6 acres turns into 42 acres of floor space paying taxes -- that's the Boston Common

by the way the FAR of the footprint of the Pru itself is about 50!
The whole point of the convention center is to bring in out of state revenue to the city that otherwise would go to other cities in other states.

The math gets a bit fuzzy on where the net benefit really is on the current taxpayer investment, but a deal where there is a bottom line reduction of 8% of net convention center space sounds like a bad deal and a big taxpayer subsidy for a developer to come in and bulldoze a productive facility when we are waiting decades for developers to come in on other air rights parcels.

Unless they come up with $650 million, then they should focus new investment elsewhere. And call this what it is... a taxpayer giveaway.
 

odurandina

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^^correct. they ran every public meeting for the rezoning of 2 lots.
It was like the rest of the City didn't exist.
Same for Parcel 15, 1 Bromfield St, etc......
This methodology for growing a City is fatally flawed.
There is virtually no one that will permit development above 140' anywhere without some incident, or legal threat.
 
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whighlander

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A large-scale upgrade for the Sheraton is a very possible thing imo.
1. remove 2 sections from the North Tower (east side of the bldg)
2. build a 650' hotel on the Pru side of the parcel joining the remaining North
Tower + existing South Tower forming a u-shaped complex, including about ~480' of height on the north end of the new tower (on the terra firma of those demoed North Tower sections).
3. re-clad the old towers.

Unfortunately, Sheraton doesn't have a strong track record for exciting and bold renovations. It's not in their DNA. But the BPDA could stimulate such a project by offering them this type of attractive deal.
You seem to be out of the loop -- Sheraton was bought by Westin and now the whole assemblage is Marriott
here are some relevant excerpts from a BizNow/Boston article
Marriott 'Still Digesting' Baker’s Plan To Sell Hynes Convention Center
September 19, 2019 Cameron Speran

The hotel company with the most exposure to Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay isn’t ready to weigh in on what would happen if it closes. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to sell the Back Bay convention facility to fund a 500K SF expansion of the newer Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the Seaport advanced Monday through a Massachusetts Convention Center Authority executive committee. The full MCCA board is expected to vote Thursday on the plan. The Hynes needs $200M in building improvements over the next decade to maintain its operating state, and hoteliers have pushed for BCEC expansion to host overlapping conferences and reduce the number of off nights at area hotels. But three Marriott brands — the Westin, Marriott and Sheraton — with more than 3,100 rooms combined are connected to the Hynes and would arguably have the most to lose if the older convention facility shuttered. If the company is concerned, it isn’t ready to say so publicly. “We’re still kind of digesting the news at this point, so we can’t comment,” Marriott International Vice President Matthew LaBarre said Thursday at Bisnow’s Boston Hotel Summit......
But Spot On Ventures principal Robin Brown, who is a co-developer of the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport under construction across from the BCEC, said the Hynes is not inviting due to it being set back from Boylston Street and behind a stone exterior. “The Hynes is a tough, big monster, and it’s not user-friendly,” Brown said. Brown, who has developed several Boston hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental, said he was previously part of a team that looked to buy the Sheraton and tailor it to connect better into the Hynes’ event space. He suggested Marriott explore a redevelopment in the style of Gaylord Hotels (which Marriott controls), where the hotel controls the convention center, if the Hynes sale moves forward. “It would, to me, make the most sense,” Brown added.
Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/boston/news/hotel/marriot-still-digesting-bakers-plan-to-sell-hynes-convention-center-100915?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

That would make the most sense -- Marriott could buy the Hynes:
retain / refurbish a part of the Hynes and tightly integrate it into a newly redone Sheraton [possibly with a new tall Tower -- the whole complex would be something like the old Seaport / WTC complex -- with:
  1. a large Ballroom
  2. 50,000 sq ft multipurpose floor space for some exhibits
  3. a few dozen meting rooms of varying sizes
Then Marriot could sell or lease the remaining say 2 acres to some developer [most likely Boston Properties which owns the Pru, other office towers on the site and Pru Center Shops] to build some more of the Pru Center not currently possible on the existing site

This would be a Win-Win- Win-Win====
  1. State / BCEC gets the money for BCEC expansion
  2. Boston gets tax revenue from currently untaxable property
  3. Marriott gets an integrated 4-season Conference Center in the midst of Back Bay with attached 3,000 rooms, a big Ballroom and some exhibition space -- 21st C -style
  4. Boston Properties gets some additional land to extend / expand the Pru Center
Later the Midtown Hotel and Dalton St Parking Garage lands can be developed and integrated into an further expanded Pru Center
 

odurandina

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Weigh;
Yes, i'm well aware of this. i'm familiar with the inventory, and disambiguation of the mega-infrastructure of Westin & Marriot. i made an inquiry with the corporate body about a possible St. Regis coming to Boston (a few months before Jon Cronin secured the St Regis brand as his tenant for 150 Seaport). *i'm fairly certain that Accordia would have become a St Regis, had they been awarded the rights to build at Winthrop Square.
i was planning an attempt for a new project, summon members of the development community, including Cronin, Millennium & Accordia with the specific target being a St Regis at a new site..... (You can probably guess exactly where. Imagine the Accordia design tweaked, proposed at another site).

One of the oddities of Sheraton brand specifically, is the business model has nearly taken on the appearance of "a slumlord hotel chain," around the US. That's just an opinion.
i looked to see if there was any recent movement to upgrade the chain. i didn't see it. (i'm sure someone will come back with a counter-argument). But, looking around the country, it was was just the impression i got (circa ~late winter, 2018).
 
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whighlander

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Weigh;
Yes, i'm well aware of this. i'm familiar with the inventory, and disambiguation of the mega-infrastructure of Westin & Marriot. i made an inquiry with the corporate body about a possible St. Regis coming to Boston (a few months before Jon Cronin secured the St Regis brand as his tenant for 150 Seaport). *i'm fairly certain that Accordia would have become a St Regis, had they been awarded the rights to build at Winthrop Square.
i was planning an attempt for a new project, summon members of the development community, including Cronin, Millennium & Accordia with the specific target being a St Regis at a new site..... (You can probably guess exactly where. Imagine the Accordia design tweaked, proposed at another site).

One of the oddities of Sheraton brand specifically, is the business model has nearly taken on the appearance of "a slumlord hotel chain," around the US. That's just an opinion.
i looked to see if there was any recent movement to upgrade the chain. i didn't see it. (i'm sure someone will come back with a counter-argument). But, looking around the country, it was was just the impression i got (circa ~late winter, 2018).
Odurandina -- Westin did keep Sheraton as a "2nd class" operation ever since they bought Sheraton [an original Boston Hotel corporation] and moved the Hq out of 60 State St

Marriott is still digesting Westin and figuring out how to reposition the various hotel brands -- I'll bet that given the opportunity to re-do the Sheraton [still Boston's largest hotel] by incorporating Hynes land and perhaps even some of the existing Hynes building -- they might really leap to the opportunity
 

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