Development Map and Chart

HelloBostonHi

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So this is the exact opposite of a future development chart... but check out the new Leventhal Atlasscope Mapping app! They've scanned and posted all of their maps online to show an overlay. “With AtlasScope, we identified 100 of the most important atlases within Boston and its immediate neighbors. There are atlases for all over the state, but we decided to focus on Boston property and the near suburbs and within the times where we know we have the copyright.”

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Similarly, www.mapjunction.com has some incredibly detailed history of Boston
 

Gunner02

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10.28.20 - Also not sure where to place this but interesting, nonetheless. Haven't seen this anywhere but I could have missed it. #bancars among most will appreciate.

 

eddy2698

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Does anybody know how many bay village/back bay/downtown crossing buildings are currently owned by developers who have yet to submit proposals for redevelopment?
 

dshoost88

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BBJ: Boston officials signed off on $8.5B in development in 2020

Aside from a month-by-month highlight of major projects, there’s this nice summary in the article:

The BPDA approved a combined 15.8 million square feet in 2020, including 10,123 residential units — of which 2,826 are income-restricted — representing a combined development value of more than $8.5 billion.
IF developers succeed at delivering the 10,123 residential units approved in 2020 and the units house an average 2.1 persons each (roughly average Boston household size today), Boston would not only be on track for fulfilling its housing goals but also house an additional 21,500 people. And if the BPDA/City maintain the same rate of new development approval, Boston could, therefore, double the number of new residents it saw during the last decade, eclipsing its 801,444 population record some time around 2026-2027. Here’s hoping everyone keeps it up!
 

shmessy

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BBJ: Boston officials signed off on $8.5B in development in 2020

Aside from a month-by-month highlight of major projects, there’s this nice summary in the article:



IF developers succeed at delivering the 10,123 residential units approved in 2020 and the units house an average 2.1 persons each (roughly average Boston household size today), Boston would not only be on track for fulfilling its housing goals but also house an additional 21,500 people. And if the BPDA/City maintain the same rate of new development approval, Boston could, therefore, double the number of new residents it saw during the last decade, eclipsing its 801,444 population record some time around 2026-2027. Here’s hoping everyone keeps it up!
Due to the changing dynamics and demographics post-pandemic, I think this will happen, not because of government edict, but because of market demand. Office towers are going to be taking a back seat to massive residential towers - - mainly catering to the rich or semi-rich, with government edict set-asides for some affordable.

Pre-2014, how many 25+ story residential towers was Boston seeing? How many since then? And the momentum is building.
 
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curcuas

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Pre-2014, how many 25+ story residential towers was Boston seeing? How many since then? And the momentum is building.
Famously next to none, because Menino made it hard to build anything, especially if he didn't like the look of it; Flynn before him had a similar policy.
 

Suffolk 83

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Famously next to none, because Menino made it hard to build anything, especially if he didn't like the look of it; Flynn before him had a similar policy.
I've heard this about Menino before- is there any literature that fleshed out the idea that Menino was anti-development?
 

dshoost88

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I've heard this about Menino before- is there any literature that fleshed out the idea that Menino was anti-development?
There's a few books I've read that talk about Boston's development patterns and some political influences... not necessarily anything that explicitly states "Menino was anti-development," but contextually they illustrate city's historic development patterns, development during Menino years, and (filling in the blanks with content from ArchBoston) development post-Menino.

Suggested readings:
Boston's Back Bay: The Story of America's Greatest Nineteenth-Century Landfill Project. by William A. Newman and Wilfred E. Holton (2006)
The Hub's Metropolis: Greater Boston's Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth. James C. O'Connell. (2012)
The Heart of the City: Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century. Alexander Garvin (2019)

I don't think Menino was 'anti-development' per se; however, I think it's clear that he and some staff under his eye could've made certain decisions under his watch that would've enabled more development to happen in Boston than did during the Menino years. To curcuas' point, Menino did make it hard to build anything. For example, in grad school I had the weird opportunity to interview longtime BRA Director of Planning Kairos Shen (weeks before he was very publicly fired from the agency in 2015). He spoke very candidly about how the office and how the city worked to extort extract as much value as possible from new development--taxable value, community amenities, new jobs, etc.--and how that level of oversight often meant that the City is a lot more critical about new development than you might see in other places. Specifically the city was incentivized not to change zoning code for larger development as-of-right because it means the city holds onto those bargaining chips with developers needing to apply for a variance. The obvious downside of this is that it artificially inflates the cost of building anything new in Boston, but the oft-ignored upside is that this strategy enriched the City's coffers with many more dollars/resources necessary for overall governance. Despite COVID-19, Boston's tax base has proven more resilient than almost any major US city because of how much it leverages from property tax value rather than fees, special taxes, PILOTs, and other means.

Although I think City development policy hasn't changed that much since Menino was Mayor, I do think Imagine Boston 2030 was a major step in the right direction for zeroing in on development goals and how to achieve them... it was the city's first master plan in 50 years.
 
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curcuas

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It's great to say that at some philosophical level Menino wasn't anti development, but the permitting numbers show absolutely anemic housing growth through Menino's tenure despite a long economic boom and the end of rent control. The measure of "pro development" in a mayor is whether they let infill bloom in all corners of the city, not whether a couple downtown towers got built.
 

donkeybutlers

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It's great to say that at some philosophical level Menino wasn't anti development, but the permitting numbers show absolutely anemic housing growth through Menino's tenure despite a long economic boom and the end of rent control. The measure of "pro development" in a mayor is whether they let infill bloom in all corners of the city, not whether a couple downtown towers got built.
Maybe ending rent control isn't good for housing? 🤔
 

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