Harbor Garage Redevelopment Pontificating | Waterfront

stellarfun

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Whether he ran over my dog or my pet turtle is immaterial.

It was a hollow offer; the ultimate determiner of what gets built in place of the HT garage is the Commonwealth (because of Chapter 91), not the city of Boston. Menino knew that, and presumably Chiofaro did as well. If he didn't, he was more than foolish to spend $153 million for 57,000 sq ft of land that is subject to Chapter 91 constraints.

Briefly, Chiofaro's proposed project, by definition, is a non water-dependent use building. As such under Chapter 91, non-water dependent use building heights are limited to 55 feet over or within 100 feet of the water, sloping up one foot vertically for every two feet away from the project shoreline. There are separate requirements for open space (the 50 percent open to the sky standard).

Without a waiver from Chapter 91, Chiofaro cannot build higher than 125 feet on the garage site.

In 2009, one year before Chiofaro's $50 million offer, the Secretary of Energy and Environment wrote to Chiofaro saying this about his proposed two tower project (the 59 floors and 40 floors version).

The proposed project is at such wide variance from the applicable state and local permitting requirements currently in force that it simply cannot be constructed as currently designed.....

In order to progress through the environmental process in a timely fashion the proponent will have to submit a dramatically different proposal.
 

Rover

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Condolences on the loss of your turtle. Don should be held accountable for that. :mad:

Why should Chiofaro negotiate against himself? I wouldn't. Keep making a PROFIT (which we already discussed) on his garage until the city/state grants him a waiver, or just keep the garage as is until the end of days. As far as Chapter 91 goes, if its absolute, and there's no waivers to be had, could you kindly explain to me what the IMAX is doing there, and when will the court system order it to be torn down? Because the part I'm confused about is if Chapter 91 is sacred.......how did the IMAX get built? :confused: Doesn't that set a precedent for negotiations?
 

cadetcarl

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I'm just a broke guy on the internet--I thought my problems were bad, but I've never been left holding a $150M bag, sheesh.
 

DZH22

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Without a waiver from Chapter 91, Chiofaro cannot build higher than 125 feet on the garage site.

In 2009, one year before Chiofaro's $50 million offer, the Secretary of Energy and Environment wrote to Chiofaro saying this about his proposed two tower project (the 59 floors and 40 floors version).
A lot has happened since 2009. It's time for him to seek his waiver. Frankly, it's a pretty simple argument to point out that the 50% open space requirement is keeping 90% of the harbor blocked on that parcel. They should be able to fall somewhere in the middle, say a 35-40% open space requirement in order to bring down the existing structure. That would still increase the harbor access substantially compared to the current situation, and be just what is needed to make this project economically feasible.

The can refer to this as the Common Sense Amendment as a tool for improving harbor access all across the commonwealth.
 

atlantaden

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WAs far as Chapter 91 goes, if its absolute, and there's no waivers to be had, could you kindly explain to me what the IMAX is doing there, and when will the court system order it to be torn down? Because the part I'm confused about is if Chapter 91 is sacred.......how did the IMAX get built? :confused: Doesn't that set a precedent for negotiations?
Good question and I've wondered how many of the buildings on Fan Pier, the Pier 4 office building, and many of the other new buildings and presently under construction along the waters edge in the Seaport were approved under Chapter 91? All received wavers?
 

statler

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I remember some folks (Harbor Towers?) being pissed about the IMAX because somehow the NEAQ was exempt due to non-profit status? I don't have time to research it right now.
 

Rover

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Two things happened with the IMAX as best I can recall. First is that waterfront groups didn't push the issue too hard because the NEAQ said the project was vital to their survival. Nobody wanted to be known as the group who tied them up in court for decades and put them out of business. Purely selfish motivations but plausible.

2nd is the NEAQ successfully made a big stretch of the argument which is that the IMAX was actually compliant with being related to waterfront usage. :confused: Astounding but apparently that flew in terms of maybe a Harbor Towers lawsuit? If that's the standard, showing aquatic related movies and charging the public to view them, then Don should just put a small viewing area in his lobby and show Finding Nemo, A Perfect Storm, and Jaws on a continuous loop and charge the public 10 bucks a pop to watch them. :D

People like stellar should actually be happy Don is the developer because he's had the patience of a saint. Probably helps that he's local and is lining his pockets with garage revenue. Some deep pocked international developers get hold of this and they're going to sue right up to the SJC and the business friendly SCOTUS if the potential profit is good enough. You can't apply one standard to a favored entity next door and a completely different standard to a developer you don't like.
 

Sicilian

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Good question and I've wondered how many of the buildings on Fan Pier, the Pier 4 office building, and many of the other new buildings and presently under construction along the waters edge in the Seaport were approved under Chapter 91? All received wavers?
I've answered this before and Rifleman elected to ignore my response.

CLF was deeply engaged in the drafting and approval of the South Boston Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan (ca. 2000), under which 21-acre Fan Pier secured its Chapter 91 licensing at EOEA. The Menino administration, relying on Fan Pier landowners (e.g. the Pritzker family) to guide the SBW MHP conversation, took a similar posture to CLF we see today -- characterizing CLF as a bunch of NIMBY obstructionists.

At one point, CLF threatened legal action because the MHP provided for insufficient public benefit. There were countless compromises, but thanks to the aggressive engagement of CLF and advocates, Pritzker and BRA relented.

The Fan Pier Chapter 91 package included land for the ICA and the two parks (including a sweet tidal park designed by M. Van Valkenburgh, quietly jettisoned years later, post-Pritzker). The Chapter 91 license also required a number of interior public, civic and cultural spaces as well as active ground floors (restaurants, retail) where private lobbies might have been a preferred use.

The writer's group Grub Street will occupy one of the Chapter 91 spaces on Fan Pier and there is more space remaining to be tenanted.
 

stellarfun

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...
As far as Chapter 91 goes, if its absolute, and there's no waivers to be had, could you kindly explain to me what the IMAX is doing there, and when will the court system order it to be torn down? Because the part I'm confused about is if Chapter 91 is sacred.......how did the IMAX get built? :confused: Doesn't that set a precedent for negotiations?
The Commonwealth is allowing Chiofaro to build above the height of the otherwise allowable limit of 125 feet. In essence, he has received a waiver. But the waiver does not allow him to build 1.5 million square feet and 59 stories. He can build a building that is roughly 2/3rds the size of what he initially proposed.

In return for receiving this waiver, Chiofaro has agreed to provide monies for certain waterfront-related uses and activities.

And to help meet the 50 percent open space requirement, Chiofaro will use 30 percent of his land for the entrance/exit ramps to his now buried parking garage. This area, facing Milk St. will be open to the sky. How well the garage ramps will fit with Aquarium's proposed Blueway is yet to be determined.

There is a big distinction under Chapter 91 between a building or structure that has a water-related use, e.g., an aquarium, and a building that does not, e.g., a residential condo.

In 1979, the Supreme Judicial Court upset the fishmongers cart, so to speak, in a ruling affecting the development of Lewis Wharf.

......Neither party to this litigation has addressed the question whether the present use of the disputed property is a public use consonant with the purposes for which the land was granted. This question remains open after our opinion today. We do hold, however, that BWDC's title to the land in Area B is subject to that same public trust on which the Commonwealth originally held it, and that it may be used only for a purpose approved by the Legislature as a public use.

The essential import of this holding is that the land in question is not, like ordinary private land held in fee simple absolute, subject to development at the sole whim of the owner, but it is impressed with a public trust, which gives the public's representatives an interest and responsibility in its development. This concept is difficult to describe in language in complete harmony with the language of the law ordinarily applied to privately owned property.
BOSTON WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs. COMMONWEALTH.
378 Mass. 629
http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/378/378mass629.html

A consequence of this SJC ruling is that Chiogaro does not own the Harbor Garage property in absolute fee simple. Rather, the Commonwealth retains the right, forevermore, to determine what gets built on the property.
 

TheRifleman

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You guys just don’t get it—-

Chiofaro/pru dont have to build if the garage is cash flow positive that’s where chap 91 contradicts itself on existing structures that already block the waterfront 90% access. How can the Public retain 50% of open space when 90% is already blocked?

There is no incentive to the developer or investor to make the area better for the public especially if the investment justifies itself.

It’s common sense—- it’s the garage or the developers proposal. Or just let the garage rot overtime and laugh your way to the bank.
 

statler

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Now it's just rehashing the same old bullshit.

I want this project to move forward just so everyone will shut the fuck up about it.
 

statler

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I really shouldn't post first thing in the morning before I've fully woken up.
 

odurandina

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Now it's just rehashing the same old bullshit.

I want this project to move forward just so everyone will shut the fuck up about it.
i was wondering when you or someone would
say this.

nice.
 

TheRifleman

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Now it's just rehashing the same old bullshit.

I want this project to move forward just so everyone will shut the fuck up about it.
WE DID IT

Report: Boston Has the Worst Traffic in the Country[/B]https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Report-Boston-Has-the-Worst-Traffic-in-the-Country-485136321.html

One Question to all these gurus on this board. Why did our Leaders invest 100's of millions of dollars in corporations to build in the Seaport without any proper MBTA infrastructure to help the overall congestion in the city?
*That's part of the reason why people drive into work with all the jobs created in the Seaport their is no easy access to the area besides car.

As our leaders continue to skip over Harbor Garage sitting right on top the MBTA transit line.

Congrads beating LA TRAFFIC--
Great things happening in Boston.
#1 Worst Traffic in the country---
#2 Fixed and working Middle class getting priced out of the area--
#3 More Taxes coming. Greenway tax is in effect
Congestion tax
Gambling Tax
Drugs Tax
Higher Property Taxes
#4 Give away priceless land to corporations for Tax incentives

Don't worry the casino won't make it worse--Just drive off times. like 5 in the morning

This state rocks for the few entitled political elite. Get your pensions at 40 years old if you work for the state then double dip for another one.

You know what I'm getting sick of Traffic & TAXES


At this point the state/city should work with Logan to draft guidelines for taller and bulky skyscrapers since Boston has limited space especially for Harbor Garage and Southstation. 1,000 Foot towers in my opinion.
 
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TheRifleman

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WE DID IT

Report: Boston Has the Worst Traffic in the Country[/B]

One Question to all these gurus on this board. Why did our Leaders invest 100's of millions of dollars in corporations to build in the Seaport without any proper MBTA infrastructure to help the overall congestion in the city?
*That's part of the reason why people drive into work with all the jobs created in the Seaport their is no easy access to the area besides car.

As our leaders continue to skip over Harbor Garage sitting right on top the MBTA transit line.

.


NO BITES---- Nobody can answer this question. WHY WOULD OUR LEADERS focus on INVESTing 100's of Million in our tax dollars without investing in a MBTA Transit grid in that part of the city for the overall good of the public.

This would have seriously helped the Traffic scenario.

Now they want to tax the overall public in a Congestion Tax?
 

HenryAlan

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Granted, the Silver Line is less than we might like, but I take the MBTA pretty much every time I go to the seaport, and it works fine. As for the thread topic, I think the Harbor Garage/Aquarium/Long Wharf area is well served by the Blue Line's Aquarium stop and is also pretty accessible from Green (Gov Ctr) and Orange (State).
 

stick n move

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I ran out of free articles, but...

“Boston officials push for zoning change to allow Harbor Garage tower”

if someone can check out the Link and report back thatd be great.
 

stellarfun

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I ran out of free articles, but...

“Boston officials push for zoning change to allow Harbor Garage tower”

if someone can check out the Link and report back thatd be great.
The article is two months old. See also:

Nothing has fundamentally changed.
 

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