Bulfinch Triangle Infill & Small Projects

Deetroyt

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This is for the tiny little triangle along Valenti and n. Washington? Glad they wanna build here, always thought it would be to difficult from an ROI perspective for a developer to build here.
 

citylover94

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Yeah it is. I just read the PNF there is a five foot cantilever above the second floor so they can fit enough rooms on each floor to make the economics work. The only disappointment is they don't include ground floor retail because of space constraints.
 

sm89

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Well this is a surprise. I'm not so sure about their curbside needs though. The City has been adamant about new hotels having all valet and loading inside the building's footprint. If they don't, it really hogties the City when they need to reallocate that space to better use. For example, if they need an extra travel lane, it's fairly easy to remove parking meters, but how do you take away a Valet zone (even though it's rented from the City) without killing the hotel or encouraging double parking? They're presented with similar issues for the Mass Ave Vision Zero project. They NEED all of the curb space for the cycle tracks, curb extensions, and lane additions, but there are valets and other private interests/loading zones taking up valuable curb space.

Also, what ever happened to the Canal St hotel mentioned on the previous page? It says it was approved 2-3 years ago!
 

itchy

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This is great, unexpected infill. Filling in crappy lots like this does wonders for quality of life.
 

JumboBuc

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There are plans to tear down the former Friend Street Hostel at 234 Friend St and replace it with a new "hostel/hotel" of seven stories and 14,00 square feet. Reception and "take out (snack bar)" on ground floor, shared sleeping rooms floors 2-6, and proposed restaurant and deck/balcony on floor 7.

Article 85 demolition delay and abutters meetings are Monday, May 16th.

I wish this could incorporate the empty two-story building next door.
 

JumboBuc

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The owner of 234 Friend St plans on tearing down the existing 1899 three-story brick-and-beam structure and building a seven-story "Poshtel" pod hotel in its place. They looked into renovating and/or adding to the existing structure (which is in pretty rough shape), but the amount of improvements necessary to meet zoning, ADA, and FEMA flood compliance made this infeasible. Since the building is in the Bulfinch Triangle (a designated historical area) they have to go through extra review before demolition.

New structure would have ground-floor reception, five floors of primarily "pod style" beds (26 pods plus two guest rooms per floor), and top floor restaurant with retractable-roof deck. They're aiming for a $40-$80 per night price point.

Zoning allows 80 feet of height and proposed structure would be about 69 feet tall. FAR would be about 6.4, slightly above zoning FAR of 6.0, so they'd need to go before the ZBA.

Sorry for the crappy photo:


Three sides will be party walls, two with light wells. The only street frontage will have two rows of windows per floor, with each of the pod quarters (stacked two high) having its own window. Architect plans on some sort of three-dimensional facade with different sized apertures.
 

Shepard

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WUT. There are empty lots galore around the Bulfinch area. I am against destroying any fine-grained urbanity to build tacky shit like this.
 

whighlander

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WUT. There are empty lots galore around the Bulfinch area. I am against destroying any fine-grained urbanity to build tacky shit like this.
Shepard -- there is something about property rights that some folks a few blocks away started making noise about circa 250 years ago

So if you feel so dedicated to preserving the existing building -- then make the guy an offer that he can't refuse for his existing place

and if you are really nice you'll buy a nearby empty lot and give it to him so that he can build his boutique hotel with the convertible roof-top deck
 

cjbski

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WUT. There are empty lots galore around the Bulfinch area. I am against destroying any fine-grained urbanity to build tacky shit like this.
If you go to Google Maps, this lot is pretty simple, and the whole street is pretty dingy. I'm normally in the camp you detail above, but in this case it doesn't appear to be much of a loss...

https://www.google.com/maps/place/234+friend+st+boston+ma/@42.3644443,-71.0609941,3a,75y,224.83h,90.84t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sFntpl4TvUyQb99lzLfcgSg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xf9f66cbddcb1e452!6m1!1e1
 

JumboBuc

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^ Those empty lots in the Bulfinch Triangle are parking lots, which bring in more revenue at less expense than small awkward buildings like this. Abutting this there was another old but awkward three-story building that was torn down just last year and replaced with another parking lot.

It sucks, but it's life. Lots of these small infill buildings that were put up cheaply 100+ years ago are a VERY long way from meeting current code. Apparently the building in question here used to be five-stories, but was chopped down to three after a fire ate the top two floors many decades ago. The investment necessary to make these structures useable today is simply too much to be undertaken by any rational owner. That means these buildings either get left empty, torn down for parking, or torn down and redeveloped. Of those three options, I think I'll take the third.
 

whighlander

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^ Those empty lots in the Bulfinch Triangle are parking lots, which bring in more revenue at less expense than small awkward buildings like this. Abutting this there was another
that was torn down just last year and replaced with another parking lot.

It sucks, but its life. Lots of these small infill buildings that were put up cheaply 100+ years ago are a VERY long way from meeting current code. Apparently the building in question here used to be five-stories, but was chopped down to three after a fire ate the top two floors many decades ago. The investment necessary to make these structures useable today is simply too much to be undertaken by any rational owner. That means these buildings either get left empty, torn down for parking, or torn down and redeveloped. Of those three options, I think I'll take the third.
JumboBuc -- there are also true "Boston Stumps" -- older multistory not particularly distinguished office buildings which were truncated during the Depression to reduce the taxes on the building so that the owner could hold out a few more years

I suspect that some of the fires that might have started in the attic and only damaged the old attic and roof leading to a stumpification -- well they might have had an economic origin.

Some of these stumps later developed sheds and other seemingly temporary structures on top of the stump to accommodate 1950's expansion

I think they can go before some of the empty lots as they don't even offer a good rate on parking
 

odurandina

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Shepard -- there is something about property rights that some folks a few blocks away started making noise about circa 250 years ago

So if you feel so dedicated to preserving the existing building -- then make the guy an offer that he can't refuse for his existing place

and if you are really nice you'll buy a nearby empty lot and give it to him so that he can build his boutique hotel with the convertible roof-top deck
Do you all think the city can benefit from more hostel units to make it easier for more hot Russian chicks to learn about Boston? Are the local hostel/s near capacity?
 

CSTH

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Does anyone have an estimate of how much money has come to the city & state as a result of the 'air rights' projects in the bulfinch triangle (One Canal, Victor, Merano, etc.)?

Interested in both the 'sale value' and the 'tax value' (the annual figure and / or the present value)

... trying to put together an estimate of what portion of the Big Dig cost has been / is being paid back by these projects (hypothesis is that it is small but meaningful, especially if the denominator is the state investment in Big Dig, rather than the much larger federal investment) .... as part of my broader (and probably well-known among this crowd) interest in value-capture as an enabler of infrastructure investment

Thanks in advance...
 

palindrome

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Does anyone have an estimate of how much money has come to the city & state as a result of the 'air rights' projects in the bulfinch triangle (One Canal, Victor, Merano, etc.)?

Interested in both the 'sale value' and the 'tax value' (the annual figure and / or the present value)

... trying to put together an estimate of what portion of the Big Dig cost has been / is being paid back by these projects (hypothesis is that it is small but meaningful, especially if the denominator is the state investment in Big Dig, rather than the much larger federal investment) .... as part of my broader (and probably well-known among this crowd) interest in value-capture as an enabler of infrastructure investment

Thanks in advance...
Interesting project. You'll have to poke around on the suffolk county deeds site here:http://www.masslandrecords.com/suffolk/
and the Boston city assessing site here: https://www.cityofboston.gov/assessing/search/ to compile info.

Looking quickly I found Avenir is on an 87 year lease from the MBTA for $20,000,000 and then paid the city $1.4m in taxes last year.
 

CSTH

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Lrfox

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Was the sidewalk on the south side of Causeway Street widened? It looked much wider than it used to when I was walking there a few weeks ago, and the streetside concrete was new. .
Yes it's been widened. The median is gone from that section of Causeway too.
 

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