How would you describe/characterize the current build cycle??

How would you describe/characterize the current build cycle??

  • a significant expansion of Boston's built environment

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • 'mixed bag:' substantial growth tainted by too many failed, delayed or unbuilt highrises

    Votes: 8 32.0%
  • a pleasant/surprising growth cycle: dense infill, mid-rise & highrise construction

    Votes: 9 36.0%
  • dramatic, (almost) shocking change w/ infill, mid-rise & skyscrapers getting done!

    Votes: 3 12.0%

  • Total voters
    25
  • Poll closed .

odurandina

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Has Boston changed iyo?

How do you think Boston has changed?
 

tysmith95

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I don't care as much about the height of buildings, it's getting rid of vacant lots in the city's and some dense TOD that I like.
 

FitchburgLine

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I would say that it's large in comparison to postwar building in Boston, not large enough to address the rising cost of housing, and primarily focused on redevelopment of ex-industrial land. This has resulted in the boundaries of the urban core expanding (Seaport, North Point, NY Streets, Broadway) which has started to knit together previously disconnected sections of the city. However, there has been limited densification of existing residential neighborhoods (Southie being the exception), so the benefits of additional activity+population have been limited to a subsection of the city.
 

TheMagicMan

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How would you describe/characterize the current build cycle??

The current building cycle has not addressed any major issues the city faces today or offers any real solutions for Boston concerning traffic congestion, Housing affordability.

It only seems that its a money grab without understanding the consequences of the city long-term. :sad: Boston =NYC
 

stick n move

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Id love to see the luxury housing boom run its course, nation wide... and developers have to move towards housing the enormous number of people who need housing but cant afford whats being built now. Theres an untapped market right now of millions upon millions of people that would buy cheaper priced housing and I think once someone figures out how to make the boom reach these people thats where the real changes will come of densifying outside of the core.

Right now supply and demand is not making this viable, I hope somehow it will. If millions of units were added to the neighborhoods of US cities with ground floor retail in these buildings, rethought pedestrian access, transit oriented etc... I think thats when the real shift happens. Right now you see a lot going on but not much of it affects most avg ppl.
 

BarbaricManchurian

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They really need mandatory zoning minimums for the urban core and a big public housing effort especially at transit hubs. But the powers that be are happy with Boston as it is so this is obviously not going to happen. Not considering affordability, I think Boston looks great these days, and it’s better than ever. But the lack of affordability means it has become an exclusive city for the rich. Anyway all this is much more than I hoped for when I first joined the site, attitudes were very pessimistic back then, and development didn’t really start to boom until 2010.
 

stick n move

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Its all about supply and demand and profits in the free market. Right now due to current construction methods, materials, and land costs luxury brings the largest roi for the developers. We need an Elon Musk of housing. Instead of a dick measuring contest over useless crap like mars right now some billionaire needs to find a way through innovation to make it more profitable to build affordable housing.

But how? Affordable building need to be as profitable as luxury. We stopped building public housing in the 70s and although other countries have figured it out I think that ship has sailed. Right now you can charge a lot more for luxury units but the land costs are insane and so are materials and services. Im sure there is big money to be made by packing the most units into the cheapest land using easy prefab construction that can be built off site and shipped to site in pieces and installed by basic crews and assembled. To build luxury units you have to use expensive materials and finishings, with highly skilled crews, and buy expensive land and theres only so much of it. If companies can create good quality prefab that looks good, built off site, can go up quick, is cheap to assemble and is functional and innovate ways to use space in say micro apartments to cram as many units as possible it can happen. Theres too many multi bedroom houses/apartments on the market as is for this generation of homebuyers. There is a real demand for single bedroom apartments/condos, that are small but use the space efficiently. I really think prefab and “micro/small” units on outer borough but near transit land is the answer. An example would be say a 5-10 story prefab building built off site that can be shipped and assembled assembled near a Quincy red line stop with 100 studio loft apartments. Things like that I think can be the answer. People are working on things like this and NYC allowed a waiver for a building with like 100 sub 400 sq ft micro units to be built. Its the first one... hopefully of many. Ive done the whole college roommate rent a room bs.. a micro apartment would be an upgrade for lots of people. Bring on the micro apartments and prefab construction!
 

BarbaricManchurian

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Well coliving is a good market solution and I would like living in one but they’re still not affordable for the poor. Allston with roommates is still going to be the cheapest bet. Honestly as long as regional affordability (in places like you know, Worcester) isn’t terrible it’s not quite as bad as the Bay Area, where you really gotta be making 6 figures or more.
 

Rover

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This build environment has been great and is much more than just the new construction. Boston has shaken off a lot of the parochial back room dealing crap of the Menino era where only two developers were allowed to build anything and is now expanding to try to fit its population growth. For too long anti-development activists ruled and were the only voice while semi-literate politicians went along with them under the guise that "everybody's moving out of the city anyway". Thankfully all that has changed and while I wasn't around in the 70's this seems to be the most robust development cycle since at least then.
 

tysmith95

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They really need mandatory zoning minimums for the urban core and a big public housing effort especially at transit hubs. But the powers that be are happy with Boston as it is so this is obviously not going to happen. Not considering affordability, I think Boston looks great these days, and it’s better than ever. But the lack of affordability means it has become an exclusive city for the rich. Anyway all this is much more than I hoped for when I first joined the site, attitudes were very pessimistic back then, and development didn’t really start to boom until 2010.
Zoning hurts more than it helps. Without restrictions developers will build densly, the market pressure is to have as many apartments or office space as is cost effective for the plot of land.

Where zoning hurts is in places (outside of downtown) where there are still outdated zoning regulations. For example requiring a minimum amount of parking for developments, even when they're near transit.
 

Beton Brut

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I would describe/characterize the questions and how they’re being asked as leading and lacking in nuance.
 

Rover

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I would describe/characterize the questions and how they’re being asked as leading and lacking in nuance.
We definitely needed some pro NIMBY choices. My suggestion to "balance" out the questions would be:

1) Its the Manhattanization of Boston come true!!!

2) Next, they'll be skyscrapers in the North End (replace with "the Common" if you'd like)

3) The shadows! Won't anybody think about the shadows?

4) Ah, its all money laundering for wealthy Chinese/Saudi/Russian/Martian investors anyway. Nobody actually lives in the city anymore.

Now before somebody blows a gasket again, all in good fun. ;)
 

Charlie_mta

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"How would you describe/characterize the current build cycle??"

Lack of a master plan for the metro area perpetuates the growing traffic gridlock and housing un-affordability. The 1965 Plan for Boston addressed transit, highways, development and redevelopment in a very site-specific master plan. It only included Boston, but what's needed now is a similar type of master plan encompassing the entire metro area extending out to I-495.

I understand the challenge to this posed by the jigsaw puzzle of provincial fiefdoms that comprises the metro area, but still...
 

odurandina

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i took several hundred photos in Chicago last night, and well into the wee hours. What an incredible experience! i swear to god, i thought i was in some kind of strange world: It was almost, i say almost a psychedelic experience--like i had been transported to China or something.

The proliferation of new added height, urbanism, lit tower crowns........

Jesus, Chicago is fucking incredible.

i know, i know "So asshole, why don't you move there so we can be rid of you?"

I already am here. Like so many of you all; i get around to see urban planning given present realities outside of Nimby Occupied Boston.


*i'll maintain that at least, in the case of Boston, the nimbyism is so extreme, it has crossed well past the divide, into an urban type of fascism, that is clearly risking a less than ideal future for our small City. That's what i happen to believe.
 

fattony

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i took several hundred photos in Chicago last night.

i swear to god, i thought i was in some kind of strange world, like in China or something.

The proliferation of new added height, urbanism, lit tower crowns........

Jesus, Chicago is fucking incredible.

i know, i know "So asshole, why don't you move there so we can be rid of you?"

I already am here. Like so many of you all; i get around to see urban planning given present realities outside of Nimby Occupied Boston.


*i'll maintain that at least, in the case of Boston, the nimbyism is so extreme, it has crossed well past the divide, into an urban type of fascism, that is clearly risking a less than ideal future for our small City. That's what i happen to believe.
You don't know the meaning of fascism.
 

Charlie_mta

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i took several hundred photos in Chicago last night, and well into the wee hours. What an incredible experience! i swear to god, i thought i was in some kind of strange world: It was almost, i say almost a psychedelic experience--like i had been transported to China or something.

The proliferation of new added height, urbanism, lit tower crowns........

Jesus, Chicago is fucking incredible.

i know, i know "So asshole, why don't you move there so we can be rid of you?"

I already am here. Like so many of you all; i get around to see urban planning given present realities outside of Nimby Occupied Boston.
I agree. Chicago impresses me as a world class city, a real city, the "city of the big shoulders" as it's been called. Boston is great in its own right, but extremely provincial and fussy by comparison. Boston seems so small compared to Chicago, not just in size, but attitude.
 

odurandina

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@Boston Peak Highrise. We are now past Peak Highrise.
i'll get some pushback. But looking 2.... 3.... 4 years out;
The euphoria of the Spring/Summer 2016 seems an eternity ago.
speaking to highrises taller than ~390'
highrises even taller than ~280'
the End is nearer than we think.
 

kmp1284

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@Boston Peak Highrise. We are now past Peak Highrise.
i'll get some pushback. But looking 2.... 3.... 4 years out;
The euphoria of the Spring/Summer 2016 seems an eternity ago.
speaking to highrises taller than ~390'
highrises even taller than ~280'
the End is nearer than we think.
 

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