11-21 Bromfield Street | DTX | Downtown

Gunner02

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Then maybe Midwood should sell the parcels to a developer that has the vision and guts to deliver something better.
Absolutely. It only took them 3 or so years to come back with a 500' reduction, made out of wood*
 

whighlander

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Not surprising that the knee jerk reactions to this are the usual height fetishism and seething about NIMBYs and even disbanding the BPDA but does it ever occur to you folks that this is as much risk as the developer is willing to take on? We’re likely on the brink of a recession and we currently have three major office projects underway, two entirely on spec, one half-leased and a fourth aggressively making its way through the process without a tenant. Beyond that, Midwood doesn’t have a track record of developing large office projects. In addition to what might be a glut of commercial space and Midwood’s inexperience in this sector this is a somewhat small piece of land and when you take into account how much the core would grow to accommodate additional elevators and egress stairs you’re likely looking at relatively little leasable space per floor.
Kmp -- A fairly well stated explanation of the why this now here
Except for the "we are likely on the brink of recession" -- there is no evidence that the US is heading in that direction [almost all the economic data for the past couple of months points to even more than just a continuation of current growth]. Of course we do have the uncertainty of the COVID-19 epi/pandemic. Although here to we are seeing the places that got hit first are starting to turn the corner. Finally, of late the Boston / Cambridge CSA has been booming beyond the regional and even US growth driven by our unique Knowledge-centric economy.

As to the new proposal -- not every building in downtown Boston should be competing for the local height championship -- there are plenty of buildings from the early 20th C which would be unremarkable in height -- yet are great buildings

Finally -- the existing payless is the pastiche of several renos of several remnants of several buildings constructed over a few decades from about 1900 until about 1925. It was never part of one of the great department stores in the area -- it was just "infill" and now its time to leave has arrived
 

jdrinboston

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Then maybe Midwood should sell the parcels to a developer that has the vision and guts to deliver something better.
Yes, that is clearly the game they are playing. Try to get a larger project approved and entitled, then sell the parcel and related approvals off to a larger, more-experienced high-rise developer for a large profit - ideally at a sum larger than what the property is actually worth. Simon Properties played a similar game over at Copley Place and when they found no takers willing to overpay, abandoned the high rise in lieu of concentrating on their bread-and-butter business, which is running indoor shopping malls.
 

sidewalks

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My understanding from the first go round (based on real information) is that the jeweler building occupants threatened to derail the project unless they were given a very significant financial payment. They were also threatened with litigation by the Province street condo board. And now they have hundreds of neighbors in the Millennium. It was my understanding that they were going to go for an as of right deal to avoid variances. But perhaps, they believe that a project of this modest scale will be approved. The neighbors may sue anyway. That would, in all likelihood, kill the project.
 

Blackbird

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I've been following it too and I'd be excited to have have the trend continue here in Boston. Given the dense forest cover in New England and the history of logging/timber processing in Northern New England, I think it's something that would be good to embrace here. Norway is doing it well. Embracing it could give a shot of life to dying mill towns in Northern New England as well as revive a logging industry that has been hurting. Plus is generally better for the environment than what we're currently building with.
Congrats, you’ve changed my mind.

I’m officially excited for this new proposal now.
 

DBM

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Congrats, you’ve changed my mind.

I’m officially excited for this new proposal now.
Why on earth is there all this speculation that this project will be wood-built? One measly rendering has been released--not a full project binder, with dozens of detailed renderings and dozens of pages of description--just one measly rendering! Has this developer ever constructed anything out of wood? Have they ever expressed a desire publicly to do so? Are they considered a leading expert in wood-based tower construction? I'm perplexed... where's the evidence?
 

DBM

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Yes, that is clearly the game they are playing. Try to get a larger project approved and entitled, then sell the parcel and related approvals off to a larger, more-experienced high-rise developer for a large profit - ideally at a sum larger than what the property is actually worth. Simon Properties played a similar game over at Copley Place and when they found no takers willing to overpay, abandoned the high rise in lieu of concentrating on their bread-and-butter business, which is running indoor shopping malls.
On what evidence do you base this claim? I'm puzzled. Here's what we know:

1.) This is the 3rd time this developer has submitted a proposal for this site. That takes a lot of dogged--fanatical?--dedication to a certain vision. A certain emotional investment, even? That doesn't strike me at all like an outfit seek to engineer a zoning approval/sell-off.
2.) They have owned these parcels for decades--at least since 2007, but most likely prior. Like all Downtown real estate, it has appreciated immensely during that time. If they were so itching to make a quick buck, why didn't they sell at any point in the last 3 decades, and make it simple?
3.) Their prior two submissions were full-blown submissions. They hired architects and everything. Surely this one will be the same. Why would they spend such huge gobs of cash--surely millions of dollars, with millions more to be spent--if they weren't intent to build? That doesn't seem like the behavior of an outfit that's trying to execute a zoning approval/sell-off.
4.) Does this developer have a history of executing zoning approvals/sell-offs?

Mind you, I'm not trying to claim these guys are somehow ethically or morally superior if they DON'T engineer such a maneuver--this is no advocacy brief.

I'm just saying--just like all this rampant speculation about it being wood-built--where's the evidence, and what reasoning is built upon it? I get that any new submission for the Downtown core will naturally ignite all sorts of speculation, but, still...
 

Blackbird

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Why on earth is there all this speculation that this project will be wood-built? One measly rendering has been released--not a full project binder, with dozens of detailed renderings and dozens of pages of description--just one measly rendering! Has this developer ever constructed anything out of wood? Have they ever expressed a desire publicly to do so? Are they considered a leading expert in wood-based tower construction? I'm perplexed... where's the evidence?
A good point. If it ends up being a timber-based structure, then I’d probably support it!
 

Equilibria

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Why on earth is there all this speculation that this project will be wood-built? One measly rendering has been released--not a full project binder, with dozens of detailed renderings and dozens of pages of description--just one measly rendering! Has this developer ever constructed anything out of wood? Have they ever expressed a desire publicly to do so? Are they considered a leading expert in wood-based tower construction? I'm perplexed... where's the evidence?
I said that's what the render looks like, and I qualified the statement at the time.
 

DBM

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I said that's what the render looks like, and I qualified the statement at the time.
Cool. In which case, my remarks are directed at others. I'm just going to have to assume it's an extremely misleading palette choice by whoever generated the rendering--but we shall see!
 

stellarfun

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BTW, Midwood owns 1 Milk, and it was they who built the great transition between 1 and 3 Milk, joining the two buildings. This is not wood; I'll vote for terracotta.
 

DZH22

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