Dorchester Bay City (nee Bayside Expo Ctr.) | Columbia Point

JoeGallows

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Plan to Redevelopment Expo Site

The owner of the Bayside Exposition Center yesterday floated a plan to replace it with a $1 billion residential, retail and office development, creating a new waterfront neighborhood that juts out into Dorchester Bay.

Corcoran Jennison Cos., the developer, says the expo center was doomed by the flight of its core tradeshow business to the gigantic Boston Convention and Exposition Center, which opened three years ago less than four miles away. But now the developer sees a golden opportunity to redevelop a 30-acre peninsula that is arguably one of the most valuable waterfront parcels in the city.

In a meeting with reporters yesterday, executives involved with the project said they plan to file a detailed plan with the city by September. In the meantime, they will meet with residents, business owners and elected officials in the area to hear their concerns. Preliminarily, they said the development could have roughly 1,000 new housing units facing the bay, a commercial section with a grocery store, dozens of shops and expansions of the existing office building and hotel on the end of the site closest to the JFK-UMass Red Line station. Connecting the two would be a "main street" with green space, sidewalks and both water and street access.

"We're at the very beginning of this process," said Richard Heapes, a partner at Street Works LLC, a White Plains, N.Y., developer that is Corcoran Jennison's consultant on the project. "We wanted to see whether we are just out on Mars with this, does it resonate with anyone out there or should we just stop right here."

By Keith Reed, Globe staff
Posted by Boston Globe Business Team at 04:36 PM
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Aside from what I assume is an error in the title (-ment), $1 Billion?! I've never been to this area, but it wasn't a month or so ago looking at the site on Google Earth I was thinking it ought to be redeveloped to something more useful.
 

JimboJones

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Shorthand

Didn't the city of Boston (meaning, our Mayor) screw Bayside when he forced us to build an $800-million convention center?

So, the city should give Corcoran whatever they want. And then more.
 

Ron Newman

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Before it was the Expo Center, it was a strip mall ... one that didn't succeed and eventually closed.

(The convention center is owned by the state, not by the city.)
 

nico

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^The BCEC or the Expo is owned by the state?
 

Merper

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this is great news. question is:

will we get another SBW? Or is there a chance for something more urban? More than likely they'll use Harbor Point as a model. Here's hoping its not 'gated'. This area is right on the water, next to a beach, AND with direct access to the red line.

Huge opportunity.
 

singbat

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There is already a shopping area including a grocery store (stop&shop?) at the Jfk/Umass stop.

don't think the new convention hall did in the Bayside all by itself. my sense is that the Bayside was flailing at least as far back as the late 80s. among other things, the Bayside scrolling sign used to say "Hold your Christmas party here" from october till the 1st of the year. doesn't sound like a fantastic business model to me.
 

kennedy

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HUGE oppurtunity. fucking HUGE! for a residential community? wtf? for a billion dollars!?!?!? WTF is CORCORAN THINKING? aah it makes me cry.
 

JimboJones

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I forgot about that ...

Right, Ron, the state owns the BCEC and the Convention Center Authority runs it.

Whether or not it will ever turn a "real" profit is up for debate. Which I'd rather not get into. Ha ha.

This is an architectural forum, after all.

I'm excited about the Expo Center.

Traffic is just terrible around there, though. Even in your wildest dreams, not enough people will use the Red Line as their primary mode of transportation, meaning Columbia Road area will be a tortured mess, right?
 

Ron Newman

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nico said:
^The BCEC or the Expo is owned by the state?
the BCEC and Hynes are both owned by the state Convention Center Authority.
 

palindrome

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Maybe umass boston would be interested in putting dorms there. Or maybe even some private dorms, like the one proposed for fenway.
 
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bosman

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I agree that this area *MUST* be redeveloped soon. This is a prime area of real estate that is being squandered by a run down convention center. However, I agree with kennedy when he gets upset over the proposal being primarily residential. I can understand if the top one or two floors of a complex were developed into condos, but I really think that this area would be best suited for it to be some sort of entertainment destination. Too much housing, not enough retail.

If Corcoran really is going to follow through with this, I am almost inclined to say that they should do something to help improve the transportation situation in that area. Traffic is already horrendous, and the addition of a new complex such as this will make that area hell on Earth.
 

Ron Newman

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The Red Line is already steps away, so I don't know what else you would need to do to improve transportation.
 

Bobby Digital

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UMB already tried to build dorms on campus.... got shot down by Dot NIMBYS saying there would be too much traffic on morrisey.

I don't see this as a HUGE opportunity at all... anybody here actually been to harborpoint? Just cuz its on the waterfront, doesnt make it "Prime" real estate.

Its good for that area of Dot and people in southie, but nobody else is gonna travel there.

If they try to turn this into some yuppie haven its gonna fail horribly.
 

singbat

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Bobby Digital said:
UMB already tried to build dorms on campus.... got shot down by Dot NIMBYS saying there would be too much traffic on morrisey.

I don't see this as a HUGE opportunity at all... anybody here actually been to harborpoint? Just cuz its on the waterfront, doesnt make it "Prime" real estate.

Its good for that area of Dot and people in southie, but nobody else is gonna travel there.

If they try to turn this into some yuppie haven its gonna fail horribly.
that's not fair, BD. some of that area is very nice, especially towards southie and along the water. and the Bay view out towards the islands is great. The particular parcel isn't nice today, but there's better stuff on both sides, and no reason it couldn't itself be a lot better.

the transit options are good: red line at JFK, bus across to Mass ave, dudley, etc. and (potential?) commuter rail. obviously the expressway is both convenient and inconvenient at the same time -- but it probably nets out a positive in the sales description.

also, fwiw, the area draws people from all over boston, and beyond. as well as UMB, there are the Mass State Archives, and the JFK library right next door. don't know if Dorchester Yacht Club counts as another attraction, but I'm sure there's something else i missed.

as far as UMB and dorms, btw, i'm with the NIMBYs on this one -- 100% against it. between my wife and i, we have 12 or 13 years of UMB education under our belts. that school is dorm free for a good reason -- it caters to a different demographic. UMB is a hybrid crossing the genes of a research university with those of a community college. the point is to drive workforce quality up at the best price point (for the state) possible. adding dorms doesn't come into that equation, other than possibly as a venture that allows UMB Admin to cop out of their civic responsibilities (i.e. agitating for better higher ed funding) by picking up some cash on the side.

When i was there UMB was fulfilling its job admirably by churning out some pretty smart people each year who lived in neighborhoods all over Boston -- with an average age of 28...

also, ihmo, living in a dorm never made anyone a better student, based on what we saw at the three other tonier schools we've been (commuters) at.

so, getting back to the point, yeah, it probably won't be a "yuppie haven", but real people live all over that area and you could do a lot worse.
 
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bosman

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Ron Newman said:
The Red Line is already steps away, so I don't know what else you would need to do to improve transportation.
I was thinking more about improving the road access around that area. All of my experiences have been traffic-filled when I go to that area. The options are very good, I agree, but the road situation isn't.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Oh my, that doesn't have nearly enough open space. These urban dwellers need their vast amounts of unusable open space to make them think that this is just like a suburb!

This will probably end up looking like something out of South Florida.
 

shockingboston

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vanshnookenraggen said:
Oh my, that doesn't have nearly enough open space. These urban dwellers need their vast amounts of unusable open space to make them think that this is just like a suburb!

This will probably end up looking like something out of South Florida.
I see what you are saying, but I bet the new development will have to be designed to what the area streets can handle. The rush hour traffic is already horrible in this area.

I like the idea of redeveloping the Expo area, but I hope UMass does not get involved and I hope it does not turn into some high end luxury complex (Yuppie's Point).
 

Ron Newman

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It's right next to the Red Line, so I don't think there is any need to take traffic into account at all.
 

Bos77

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traffic

Unfortunately you HAVE to take traffic into account here.

Cars/traffic are inevitable with any new development and this is no exception. The Red Line already exists when there are shows at the EXPO and a lot of people take it and a lot don't. But it's always a nightmare when there is a big show.


The Morrissey and Day Blvd clusterf*k/rotary is beyond awful and has to be addressed. I sadly have to drive through an average of 1-2 times a day and say a prayer before I go in, and give a huge sigh of relief when I exit it. I have had cars hit on all sides of me, and fortunately have always escaped the carnage.
 

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