Bulfinch Crossing East Parcel | Congress Street | West End

MrDee12345

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Thats correct. The development is made up of 2 parcels and the change only affects parcel #2.
Thanks.

Let's look at what we're losing and what we're gaining here:

Losing:
"Iconic" retail (whatever the hell that means)
Hotel/Condo
Boutique Office

Gaining
Lab space
Ground floor retail

I'm not all that bothered about losing the office or the "iconic" retail, but the loss of the hotel and/or condo hurts. Bringing more people downtown should be the key and we're going to lose that potential vibrancy. Maybe if the new ground floor retail becomes a bar or 24 hour diner or something like that, the area can still be vibrant without the condos.
 
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RandomWalk

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Iconic retail sounds like an aspirational placeholder for a flagship Apple Store. Otherwise, there aren’t many retailers who can swing that type of space these days.
 

Blackbird

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Iconic retail sounds like an aspirational placeholder for a flagship Apple Store. Otherwise, there aren’t many retailers who can swing that type of space these days.
Maybe the hope is that the Hard Rock Cafe moves out from under the other garage?
 

Suffolk 83

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I'm not all that bothered about losing the office or the "iconic" retail, but the loss of the hotel and/or condo hurts. Bringing more people downtown should be the key and we're going to lose that potential vibrancy. Maybe if the new ground floor retail becomes a bar or 24 hour diner or something like that, the area can still be vibrant without the condos.
I'm tired of tourists personally, we have plenty of them
 

dshoost88

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A few thoughts on Highlight #’s 1, 2, and 8.

1- Terrace/Pavilion (Potential Retail): its tough to lament the omission of “iconic retail” from this latest plan… the standalone Sephora at Quincy Market still has me scratching my head. There are a number of global retail brands with a Boston-area story or connection that I think an iconic retail space would be cool for, but for the most part they’ve already established their footholds elsewhere in the city (I.e. Sam Adams Tap Room, Converse @ Lovejoy Wharf, OG Dunkin in Quincy). If NESN or a local news network ever looked for a central spot to hold their broadcasts from, this would be a compelling spot.

2- Bus shelter(s): I’ve been wondering what the shelter would look like, if the pedestrian link to the Surface Road most-adjacent shelter island is raised and the shelters themselves are heated, this would be an improvement.

8- Future Potential MBTA Access: this could be promising. The current access leaves much to the imagination… a Gov’t-Center or Copley Square-style glass enclosed head house here would be appreciated.

Curious what BCDC and/or IAG add to the conversation.
 

Max Power

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Thinking in a broader context...

This is the second marquee project in as many months where HYM has sought to replace residential(/hotel) space with Lab. You may remember that in Suffolk Downs, in lieu of I believe 2 residential buildings, they are going with lab space. Thoughts:

1) While I think the lab boom is fantastic, it's clear that it is now crowding out investment in other uses. Not good for the future of housing affordability.
2) Is there trouble at HYM? It shouldn't be 'that' hard to sell a hotel group on this location (Hilton is going in essentially next door as we speak). Does this put the affordable housing at Suffolk Downs at risk? Are they undercapitalized? Big questions not just for them, but for the city which is essentially banking on them to provide a huge chunk of housing in the coming decade.

3) Obligatory "WTF did they do" to this development from a ground floor perspective. This development is supposed to link the vibrant areas of North Station/Bullfinch, the North End, and Faneuil Hall in what used to be largely a dead spot. This revision leaves a lot to be desired. I hope the city comes back and has them go back to the original plan (if they want lab to fill in the some of the top floors, so be it)
 

DZH22

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In many ways it feels like the lab building will much more oppressive than the garage.

IMG_1541 by David Z, on Flickr
 

shmessy

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It appears CBT knows no other way than glass and colored metal paneling based on their life science portfolio. And if you want a company to find innovative solutions to making lab buildings look more humane, urban, and well-designed, I wouldn't look to CBT for answers, at least for lab buidlings...

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The acceleration of Life Sciences and their lab buildings was bound to come, but I think we're in an okay position, considering the amount of talent here that has proven they can continuously reach breakthroughs. But yes, I'd venture in saying Downtown Boston should avoid lab buildings as often as possible. In fact, with how much lab space we're adding (and the jobs that come with them), we should be pushing for more and more residential downtown. It will likely see strong demand with the high-paying salaries that come with these jobs.
Exactly. Downtown should be 24-7, not 9-5.
 

jklo

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The acceleration of Life Sciences and their lab buildings was bound to come, but I think we're in an okay position, considering the amount of talent here that has proven they can continuously reach breakthroughs. But yes, I'd venture in saying Downtown Boston should avoid lab buildings as often as possible. In fact, with how much lab space we're adding (and the jobs that come with them), we should be pushing for more and more residential downtown. It will likely see strong demand with the high-paying salaries that come with these jobs.
I don't think Lab Techs make that much. It's not like Techbros and their stock options.
 

BeeLine

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Charlie_mta

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Hot take: The garage was/is far more architecturally interesting than anything going up around here - including One Congress.

Terrible urbanism though. For the best that it's going.
As I recall at the time it was originally developed, the thinking was that the GC Garage's massive size that dwarfed the old elevated Central Artery, as well as its stark perpendicularity to the elevated highway, would help blunt the linear visual impact of the old elevated highway through the area. But when the foil of the elevated highway was removed with the burial of the Central Artery, the garage became too obtrusive and really stuck out like a sore thumb,
 

xec

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I once posted the idea of making the garage less of a barrier and more of a visual asset by taking down the section of parking over Congress Street but leaving the offices above intact to make a sort of Grande Arche du Bulfinch Triangle. I'm proud to say that our preeminent poster ablarc thought it was an interesting idea to pursue if the garage was staying.
 

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