The Alcott (née Garden Garage Towers) | 35 Lomasney Way | West End

PaulC

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Not much info available and I don't know what to call this thread
Residential developer Equity Residential wants to raze the old Garden Garage near the TD Banknorth Garden and replace it with underground parking and about 500 units of housing.

The Vienna, Va., developer wrote in a filing with the Boston Redevelopment Authority that the parking would be replaced under the housing.

The parcel off Lomasney Way and Thoreau Path is about 3 acres and falls within the old West End, an area that includes significant regulatory hurdles to new development. Visitors to the area may know the garage by the giant bubble that encloses it.

Read more: Developer wants to raze Garden Garage - Boston Business Journal
http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2010/08/23/daily18.html


Check out slide 65,66, and 108-110
http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/pdf/PlanningPublications/West End Area Planning Community Meeting 5-05-09 PowerPoint Presentation.pdf
 

briv

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Re: New West End building

Why are there "significant regulatory hurdles to new development" in Charles River Park?
 

czsz

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Re: New West End building

Vienna, Va., developer
Sounds like a bad omen for good urbanism...

Lomasney Way and Thoreau Path
Can we junk these suburban street names along with the garage? Thoreau probably wouldn't have been down with 20 stories of concrete, whether or not they were "in the park".
 

Mike

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Re: New West End building

What will happen to Basketball City?
 

Ron Newman

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Re: New West End building

Lomasney Way was Lowell Street, long before the West End was demolished. It's named after this guy.

Thoreau Path is just a walkway, not a street. I don't think any residence or business has an address on it.
 

Mike

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Re: New West End building

Housing planned next to Garden
Developer wants to replace garage
By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / August 25, 2010


A residential developer wants to tear down a parking garage next to TD Garden and replace it with 500 rental apartments.

Equity Residential, which has built several buildings in the nearby West End Apartments, filed plans for the new apartments yesterday. They would be in several buildings, and the 650 parking spaces of the five-story Garden Garage would be moved to an underground facility, with 200 spaces added.

The new complex would add to the redevelopment of the streets around the Garden in recent years.

Trinity Financial completed the Avenir apartments last year and is proposing to build another complex with a supermarket, parking garage, and dozens of additional apartments off Causeway Street. Equity Residential added five buildings to the old Charles River Park, since renamed West End Apartments.

An executive at Equity, a national developer, said plans for the Garden Garage site are being refined, and that the company will solicit input from neighbors in coming weeks on height and design of the new buildings.

?We are in the process of reviewing various scenarios,?? said Greg White, a vice president of development for Equity. ?As in the past, we will continue to work with the community at every stage.??

The 3-acre site is across the street from the Garden and is bordered by Lomasney Way and Thoreau Path. The architect for the project is Elkus Manfredi Architects, which also designed Equity?s buildings at West End Apartments.

The director of a prominent civic group in the neighborhood said demolition of the hulking, five-story concrete garage would be a welcome change to the area.

?It?s a rather unattractive site as it is right now,?? said Robert O?Brien, executive director of the Downtown North Association. ?Obviously there are a lot of details to be worked out, but the entire area around Nashua Street would be improved by some redevelopment.??

John Palmieri, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, said Equity must be sensitive to concerns about height, but removing the garage would help reconnect the site to surrounding properties.

?There is a real opportunity here,?? Palmieri said.


Link
 

Shepard

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Re: New West End building

Who's sensitivity about height is Palmieri referring to? Is that just a kneejerk statement? I would think there are few NIMBYs in the surrounding area, with CRP being largely (all?) rental...

Anyway I think that this is the garage in question, and seen from the other side as well.

EDIT: And here's a higher perspective from within CRP.
 
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GW2500

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Re: New West End building

Why must Boston be so affraid of height. I'm starting to think the BRA's forte is creating an enviorment where stumps are the only options. I mean this spot dosn't need to be a 1000 footer, but the fact there is this mentality of "Dahh it's gotta be short" is so weak and when applied to real life economics (developers do this for profit) it gets you stumps that use cheaper materials and are mediocre at best.
 

Shepard

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Re: New West End building

John Palmieri, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, said Equity must be sensitive to the need for ground level retail and amenities along the blighted stretch of dead streetscape that greets arrivals at North Station and visitors to sporting events.

?There is a real opportunity here,?? Palmieri said.
Fixed.
 

choo

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Re: New West End building

ground floor is really the key here. The West End has a terrible street presence. The Bulfinch Triangle and area right around north station have a good presence but need to fill out on the edges. this will hopefully do that. (Avenir does it pretty well).

Height here really doesn't matter at all, and its disheartening that thats the first thing that is brought up. What surrounds this is a punch of brutalist federal buildings, a bunch of apartment complexes that are literally walled off from the city around them, and a sports arena with nothing to cover its bland parking lot exterior. Let them build up a nice 35-45 stories, and make sure it doesnt come out like the longfellow apartments. that and the street level should be the BRAs only priorities on this project. I mean, didn't they fall head over heals for 650' at the gov't center garage?? I wouldnt be upset if this were a 15 story building, but lets not from the outset start making shadow concerns.
 

Suffolk 83

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Re: New West End building

I'm glad I don't have any actual stake in this city or else I would've gone insane a long time ago.

There's nothing around here, why does this have to be sensitive towards height? Is the BRA's argument the 'ol slippery slope? I don't get it. I don't see their vision of the city now or in the future.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Re: New West End building

You won't get ground floor retail here, not enough foot traffic.
 

Shepard

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Re: New West End building

Van, that could be true, but it would be much more beneficial for the area in the long run for the BRA to insist on ground floor amenities here than on height restrictions. Also, the ground floor retail is far less of a burden on the developer, and in any case ground floor residential units rent for less and have greater security issues.

Also, it's a chicken and an egg question - if there's never ground floor retail built in an area, of course there will never be foot traffic. Should retail never be built in the Seaport because too few people walk around there at present?

There's an Italian food market (J. Pace and Sons) stuck smack in the middle of CRP. Why not move it out to the street at this location?
 

erikyow

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Re: New West End building

Needless to say, I was a bit gobsmacked to see the 'h' word in there. Given that all of Charles River Park is a couple hundred feet (minus the townhouses, and clearly they aren't bothered), the Nashua St Residences are slated for (eventual) building at a bit over 400 feet, there is the Longfellow Place complex nearby at several hundred feet and the remaining buildings in the area don't house whiny NIMBYs to complain about views being spoilt (I don't think a guy in the ICU at MGH is going to care much if a sliver of sky is no longer visible from a room he hopefully won't be in for too long. So, I ask Mr. Palmieri, with the utmost respect, who the FUCK has concerns about height in this area?
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Re: New West End building

Van, that could be true, but it would be much more beneficial for the area in the long run for the BRA to insist on ground floor amenities here than on height restrictions. Also, the ground floor retail is far less of a burden on the developer, and in any case ground floor residential units rent for less and have greater security issues.
The developer doesn't have any interest in seeing this as a long term quality of life issue. It could be argued that the street might one day have the traffic but this is just one street in Boston that will never have the foot traffic. This street has always acted as a back alley for the city, that's why a garage was built there in the first place; it was and still is a great place for a garage. It isn't really a chicken-egg argument (though in other places I do agree that it is) here due to the location. Any retailer will take Causway St over Lomansey Way any day of the week.

The developer will look at it this way: retail space in a low traffic area and bad economy? Or extra apartments in a great location that can take in top dollar?

No question here. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if he added "retail" space just to appease the neighborhood and used it for storage or the leasing office.
 

Mike

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Re: New West End building

You guys have forgotten just how bad the West End NIMBYs can be. They threw a shit fit last time around when Equity wanted to build a couple 20-something story buildings in the area. I'm sure that's why they didn't give any specifics this time around and instead talked about "working with the community at every stage".
 

czsz

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Re: New West End building

Who's sensitivity about height is Palmieri referring to? Is that just a kneejerk statement? I would think there are few NIMBYs in the surrounding area, with CRP being largely (all?) rental...
Nashua Street Residences ran into a NIMBY hurricane from the CRP grannies. Shadows, wind, everything.
 

blade_bltz

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Re: New West End building

Thoreau probably wouldn't have been down with 20 stories of concrete, whether or not they were "in the park".
Still, where else in Boston but CRP can one approximate Thoreau's ideal living arrangement of 1 person/sq mi?

(I suppose West Roxbury)
 

JohnAKeith

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Re: New West End building

Can you all step back a bit for a second? There is an elderly apartment building next door, no? And something else on that block, no? While their views are obviously affected by the garage, already, going tall on a new building will have some effect so don't cut their heads off completely.

Also, on the back side, the co-op building at the corner at 150 Staniford abuts the garage, too, doesn't it? A tall building would affect their building, too.

This isn't simply a case of random people having a problem with it, it's an issue of neighbors who may (or may not) want to get a better idea of what's going on.

I think the BRA should have been more forthcoming with its suggestion that there might be issues. My guess is, even with the abutters, they'll end up with a tower as high as they want.
 

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