BCEC expansion | Seaport

odurandina

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If they get $650 million I think it is worth it. If they get $500 million I wouldn't object strenuously, but I wouldn't say it is a good deal at all. If they get $300 million I think that is a steal... as in someone should go to jail.
I don't know. This might be the diciest call in Boston. i suspect Millennium is out. What do revenues support? (ok that's determinate). Are revenues stable over the next 20~25 years? Maybe. The property's true condition is murkier. Add the complex (no make that) nightmare process for Air Rights: fiasco's (now up to) 1 proposed (1999) + 3 approved towers (2014~2018) for the Boylston Square/Copley area. Developers may find themselves neck deep in quicksand. When i saw that iag packing the table for 1000 Boylston, i could hear a giant sucking sound. Not much surprise when the project ultimately was shelved.
Time is of the essence. The economy is softening. Is the City already planning in the next cycle? The City/State must partner up to create a job site (soon), including possibly a tower designed for height and revenue. Golden should hire an MIT math/economics whiz tomorrow to write a formula for Air Rights. If the correct formula can be attained, it'll be a pain saving measure serving the public good.
 

BeeLine

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Someone help me with the math of this deal. We add 205K sf to the BCEC. We sell off the 300K sf Hynes which gives us a net loss of 100K sf. We (Boston) also lose the 120K Seaport/Commonweath Hall which is being repurposed. Total net loss of 220k sf of convention and exposition space. How is this going to help grow the business?????
 
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stick n move

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I don't know. This might be the diciest call in Boston. i suspect Millennium is out. What do revenues support? (ok that's determinate). Are revenues stable over the next 20~25 years? Maybe. The property's true condition is murkier. Add the complex (no make that) nightmare process for Air Rights: fiasco's (now up to) 1 proposed (1999) + 3 approved towers (2014~2018) for the Boylston Square/Copley area. Developers may find themselves neck deep in quicksand. When i saw that iag packing the table for 1000 Boylston, i could hear a giant sucking sound. Not much surprise when the project ultimately was shelved.
Time is of the essence. The economy is softening. Is the City already planning in the next cycle? The City/State must partner up to create a job site (soon), including possibly a tower designed for height and revenue. Golden should hire an MIT math/economics whiz tomorrow to write a formula for Air Rights. If the correct formula can be attained, it'll be a pain saving measure serving the public good.
Once the economy softens and building slows in my opinion that would be the perfect time to start knocking out infrastructure projects like any of the many T projects and the pike realignment.
 

Suffolk 83

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Someone help me with the math of this deal. We add 205K sf to the BCEC. We sell off the 300K sf Hynes which gives us a net loss of 100K sf. We (Boston) also lose the 120K Seaport/Commonweath Hall which is being repurposed. Total net loss of 220k sf of convention and exposition space. How is this going to help grow the business?????
Why arent more people asking this question? Its bizarre. Also I know the seaport is coming along now but my industry does a huge show at the BCEC that takes up the whole thing. Some of the old timers who remember it being at the Hynes said they liked it better when it was in the middle of the city. Granted, old timers gonna old time but I think its a fair point, especially for smaller conventions. The heart of back bay vs seaport is still not even a race
 

Suffolk 83

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Also killing the Hynes should be seen for exactly what it is- a cost cutting move. All fine and well but when you're mortgaging the future to pay for the present its not a well thought out idea.
 

George_Apley

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Also killing the Hynes should be seen for exactly what it is- a cost cutting move. All fine and well but when you're mortgaging the future to pay for the present its not a well thought out idea.
GOP gonna GOP 🤷🏻‍♂️

In all seriousness, this is totally within Baker’s MO. The fear of spending any money that’s not off-set is central to his cautious-but-pragmatic conservatism.
 

stick n move

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The omni has a massive banquet hall that makes up for some of that space lost mentioned above.
 

Rover

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Also will all of the Hynes space be lost or will some be maintained? As a taxpayer I don't want to be spending millions of dollars to fix up an aging convention space when there's already a newer one AND the older convention center can be sold for a windfall. If the demand remains for the Hynes space some developer will make it work while hopefully building a large skyscraper on the portion that's not over the Pike. Win-Win situation.
 

BeeLine

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The omni has a massive banquet hall that makes up for some of that space lost mentioned above.
Excellent point, but the 120K sf the Omni brings online covers the loss of the Seaport/Commonwealth Hall, We are still 100K+ sf in the hole and regressing. We should be expanding the conference and event footprint not shrinking. I would up grade the Hynes and add 500K sf to the BCEC. What about buildimg one of those hanging monorails from the Back Bay Station down the middle of the pike over the SE expressway and Fort Point Chanel to the south end of the BCEC hall. Maybe extend it to the Design Center and Cruise Terminal. This might even help with the Seaports (workforce) transportation issues. It sure would help, the visitors to the city, get around.

The one thing I do like about Bakers proposal is giving the city back it's land.
If I can't get my 25K seat multi sport sports stadium how about a dense mini neighborhood.
I hope the city is smart enough (????) to use it wisely. No 1 or 2 story structures or large parking lots. How about that fire station, school, super market, police station and of course workforce housing? A lot of 5 to 10 story structures on a proper street grid.

Oh well one can dream.
 
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George_Apley

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Definitely agree that this needs to be looked at carefully and not rushed through. If the governor’s plan would create a net LOSS of sq footage for the appearances of saving money that’s something that needs to be trumpeted.
 

tangent

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Also will all of the Hynes space be lost or will some be maintained? As a taxpayer I don't want to be spending millions of dollars to fix up an aging convention space when there's already a newer one AND the older convention center can be sold for a windfall. If the demand remains for the Hynes space some developer will make it work while hopefully building a large skyscraper on the portion that's not over the Pike. Win-Win situation.
If it could be sold for a windfall I would agree. I just don't see that happening. They are positioning this for a $250 million dollar deal at best and I don't see that as anything less than a toss away when we can't build a full replacement in a less desirable location for less than $650 million and the plan is to build just a partial replacement for $500 million. $500 million would be around sort of break even. Otherwise whatever developer money there is could be pointed at half a dozen different properties in the immediate area or an air rights parcel. I am ready to be dazzled, but not for $500 million or less.

I would be interested to hear if Wynn/encore was looking to add more convention space. That would be a win-win in terms of getting convention space and it being from a tax paying entity.
 

brucepf

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Someone help me with the math of this deal. We add 205K sf to the BCEC. We sell off the 300K sf Hynes which gives us a net loss of 100K sf. We (Boston) also lose the 120K Seaport/Commonweath Hall which is being repurposed. Total net loss of 220k sf of convention and exposition space. How is this going to help grow the business?????
Do those who run the BCEC feel that they need to increase floor space because they are losing out on larger conventions to other cities? Even though city loses total space they will increase overall convention attendence by attracting larger events. Not saying this is true, just guessing at reason behind selling Hynes.
 

stick n move

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I do know that was a complaint as far as hotel space making them lose out to other cities, which omni will help a lot.
 

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I know the Sheraton hosts quite a few conventions, but i feel bqd for the Hilton, Sheraton and to a lesser extent... The Westin. Theyll take quite a hit. I hope whatever replaces the Hynes is something unique that will drive in tourism / people.
 

whighlander

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Marriott has expressed interest in the Hynes -- since Marriott corporate now owns Marriott, Sheraton and Westin -- the opportunity to retain some of the Hynes footprint for conventions [possibly as a really big Ballroom for the Sheraton] with some additional meeting rooms and then develop a combined Residence & Hotel Tower [in the One Dalton model perhaps as JW Marriott or something else in their higher-end like Bulgari] would seem quite compelling

Hilton is the one left holding the near-empty bag
 

12345

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Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) executive director David Gibbons last week updated members of the authority’s board on a planned $500 million expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) in South Boston. Seeking to attract more and larger conventions to Boston, the authority is planning to build an addition with 100,000 square feet of exhibition hall space, a 60,500-square-foot ballroom and 44,000 square feet of meeting rooms onto the hulking convention center in Boston’s Seaport.
That’s where the second RFP that the MCCA is planning comes in. That request would seek a developer to build a hotel of at least 600 rooms next to the BCEC along D Street. The authority is also considering a request for proposals to make parking part of that hotel development.
 

whighlander

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I looks as though the Convention Authority wants to provide land which can be developed for a bunch more hotel rooms

from the story quoted above in part
In addition to the RFP for the BCEC’s expansion, the MCCA is also planning at least four other requests to find developers interested in putting hotels, parking, or both, on MCCA-owned land around the BCEC....

The MCCA’s goal, Gibbons said, is to have a pool of 5,000 nearby hotel rooms that can be made available to people attending conventions. ....r....

that’s where the second RFP that the MCCA is planning comes in. That request would seek a developer to build a hotel of at least 600 rooms next to the BCEC along D Street. The authority is also considering a request for proposals to make parking part of that hotel development.

And there are two more parcels on which the MCCA is thinking about trying to put developments that would include hotel rooms, including the possible expansion of the Westin and another plot of land along D Street.

When the expansion project and the other plans in development are complete, Gibbons said the BCEC will have much more of a campus, or neighborhood, vibe to it. Convention attendees will no longer access the massive building almost exclusively from the main entrance on Summer Street but will be able to enter at different points along at least two sides of the main building.

“Our neighborhood and the center of gravity of the convention center is now going to be D Street, not the front door on Summer Street,” he said. “You’re going to have a different sphere of travel.”
It sounds as if the Convention Authority is trying to recreate along Summer and D St's for the BCEC the cluster of connected Hotel Rooms accessible by Gerbil-tubes, etc. from the Hynes [e.,g. Westin, Marriott, Sheraton + others a short open-air walk away]

as aside -- almost willing to bet the BCEC gets re-name the Menino Center as part of the legislation to come
 

Shepard

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I looks as though the Convention Authority wants to provide land which can be developed for a bunch more hotel rooms

from the story quoted above in part


It sounds as if the Convention Authority is trying to recreate along Summer and D St's for the BCEC the cluster of connected Hotel Rooms accessible by Gerbil-tubes, etc. from the Hynes [e.,g. Westin, Marriott, Sheraton + others a short open-air walk away]

as aside -- almost willing to bet the BCEC gets re-name the Menino Center as part of the legislation to come
I don't know if "Menino Convention Center" is a joke or not, but I don't mind it at all. Better than BCEC, for sure. He does deserve a memorial. My opinion is that he was a somewhat strange, rather provincial, and all-too-slow-moving mayor who nonetheless took his job very seriously and moved the city in the right direction.
 

curcuas

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What a ridiculous idea - that a bunch of hotels in the middle of brownfield next to the convention center would be a "neighborhood." Makes Boston no different than any other convention destination, just with worse weather.

The convention center industry is full of highly paid consultants who overhype projects that fail to meet projections. Baker once knew this and cancelled the first BCEC expansion. How do we know this one will be used ? The BCEC is rarely full.

Hotels are important - but exiling visitors to a hotel neighborhood on the outskirts of town because we won't allow growth downtown, in Fort Point, in Back Bay, etc is silly.

Sell the land for infill - apartments, shops, perhaps offices. Connect it to Southie. Make D st an actual neighborhood.

Also, adding parking, seriously?
 

tangent

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I think I agree with a lot of the above. Public subsidized convention centers make about as much sense as public subsidies for sports stadiums... meaning they don't make sense economically. At best they break even sometimes and can bring in a little money from outside the region, or at least prevent a little money from leaving.

Since there has already been a public investment, however, I don't think the state should be selling public property for pennies on the dollar just because it may have been a bad decision decades ago.

The state should be maximizing the benefits to the public of BCEC (and Hynes). That means short and long term economic impact, jobs, lowering taxation, trying for a net positive inflow of convention dollars. Or selling real estate if the math actually makes sense in the short and long term.
 

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