Hurley Building Redevelopment | 19 Staniford St | West End

Equilibria

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Purchase price is going to be based on the 400' ft height because the state can't control whether a zoning variance will be approved. I'm highly skeptical a zoning variance would fly here given proximity to Beacon Hill (even with a 600fter @ Congress a stone's throw away).
That logic would also have applied at Winthrop Square - we got a tall building and the City got lots of money. Same with the Commonwealth itself at 1000 Boylston (that project died for other reasons) There's also no reason that logic only applies to the Commonwealth selling land - wouldn't it also apply to private sellers? The whole City has an artificially suppressed height limit and land for tall buildings has been sold before. I doubt this is much of a problem.
 

meddlepal

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That logic would also have applied at Winthrop Square - we got a tall building and the City got lots of money. Same with the Commonwealth itself at 1000 Boylston (that project died for other reasons) There's also no reason that logic only applies to the Commonwealth selling land - wouldn't it also apply to private sellers? The whole City has an artificially suppressed height limit and land for tall buildings has been sold before. I doubt this is much of a problem.
City owned the Winthrop Sq. Garage and it's easy for the city to align itself because everyone reports to the mayor.
 

shmessy

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This. #no more 500'ers.
Start the next 20 year urban war to build twin towers as tall as the FAA will allow.
Rename Beacon Hill: Shadow Cerro.
Let's clear the arteries while putting on 400lbs. This city is about to choke on its growth. BRC and NSRL!!!!! (and get some payments from the developers to help - this city is red hot - squeeze their wallets a bit). Boston CAN have its cake and eat it too.
 

Rover

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Purchase price is going to be based on the 400' ft height because the state can't control whether a zoning variance will be approved. I'm highly skeptical a zoning variance would fly here given proximity to Beacon Hill (even with a 600fter @ Congress a stone's throw away).
Can't the state simply pass a law saying the height on this parcel is up to FAA limits? As in state trumps city, but feds (FAA in this case) trumps state?

Zoning variance problem goes away and state maximizes its value. Whether nor not winning bidder chooses to build up to FAA levels is of course up to them.
 

odurandina

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That logic would also have applied at Winthrop Square - we got a tall building and the City got lots of money. Same with the Commonwealth itself at 1000 Boylston (that project died for other reasons) There's also no reason that logic only applies to the Commonwealth selling land.....
This is a whole other ballgame.
i'm embarrassed i've been talking about skyscrapers (here) for so long.
i was hoping they wouldn't try to develop this site for another 15 years after the area filled in a bit with height.
The Beacon Hill nimby's are really the Black Hand.
15-20 years of delays, and maybe you'll get 30' tacked on. Same for Center Plaza.
 
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meddlepal

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Can't the state simply pass a law saying the height on this parcel is up to FAA limits? As in state trumps city, but feds (FAA in this case) trumps state?

Zoning variance problem goes away and state maximizes its value. Whether nor not winning bidder chooses to build up to FAA levels is of course up to them.
Yes, but it won't. Just like the Federal Government could have told Cambridge to go pound sand with Volpe, but it didn't.
 

odurandina

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Yes, i doubt even Joe Larkin's skillful PR will make much of difference.
It's just going to be more 400' pieces added to the Pemberton Sq plateau.
 

stefal

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Thanks for finding! It may be too early for this, but none of these proposals look like they address the street experience for any part of the Hurley Building they save. That's important IMO. If you're going to save it, it needs to be more welcoming and more permeable.
They note pedestrian experience, street level interaction and urban design are large concerns designers will have to address in each proposal. I don't think it was within the scope of work for this report to find solutions at this stage.


--

Also interesting to note they make the claim A, B, and C all pose challenges toward commercial feasibility, only D is said to be commercially feasible. C had some language that indicates it may be possible, but difficult..
 

HenryAlan

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Thanks for finding! It may be too early for this, but none of these proposals look like they address the street experience for any part of the Hurley Building they save. That's important IMO. If you're going to save it, it needs to be more welcoming and more permeable.
That becomes less of an issue if the building itself shrinks. I see no need, for example, under option C, to do anything with the remaining Hurley portion regarding street engagement. It's no longer so dominant as to be problematic.
 

Equilibria

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That becomes less of an issue if the building itself shrinks. I see no need, for example, under option C, to do anything with the remaining Hurley portion regarding street engagement. It's no longer so dominant as to be problematic.
It's not about being dominant, it's about the street being pleasant to be on and whatever is left of the building adding to its environment. I don't care how much of it is left, not one part of that building is a positive part of its environment today.
 

whighlander

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Purchase price is going to be based on the 400' ft height because the state can't control whether a zoning variance will be approved. I'm highly skeptical a zoning variance would fly here given proximity to Beacon Hill (even with a 600fter @ Congress a stone's throw away).
Meddlepal -- there is a 600 footer on Beacon Hill -- I think its called One Beacon St.
So there is no reason why Boston would need to limit the Hurley+ to anything under the Top of One Beacon -- which because of its being on the side of the hill is way over 650 ft [AMSL]
to the top of the radio mast
 

Rover

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Agreed, that height limit is stupid. Half way down New Chardon isn't near Beacon Hill. I'd be real curious just what kind of shadows a 600-800 foot building (or whatever the exact FAA limit is) truly casts on the residences on the other side of Cambridge St and for the most part its businesses and not private homes fronting the street on that stretch IIRC. In the meantime don't do a sale based on arbitrary zoning that's most likely out of date.

We could see another deal like Winthrop square where whoever wins has to pay a 100M toll to build higher than what's currently allowed.
 

DZH22

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Nobody answered my question before, but what is the highest zoning allowed, as-of-right, anywhere in the city of Boston? Is 400' the max zoning across the entire city, and everything taller needs a variance?
 

whighlander

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Agreed, that height limit is stupid. Half way down New Chardon isn't near Beacon Hill. I'd be real curious just what kind of shadows a 600-800 foot building (or whatever the exact FAA limit is) truly casts on the residences on the other side of Cambridge St and for the most part its businesses and not private homes fronting the street on that stretch IIRC. In the meantime don't do a sale based on arbitrary zoning that's most likely out of date.

We could see another deal like Winthrop square where whoever wins has to pay a 100M toll to build higher than what's currently allowed.
Rover -- Shadows can only be cast if the sun is above the horizon and behind the structure in question
From what I can see from the corner where the Hurley is located -- the only shadow heading in the direction of Beacon Hill is when the sun is a far North as possible near the horizon -- say 5 AM on June 20th
 

odurandina

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Meddlepal -- there is a 600 footer on Beacon Hill -- I think its called One Beacon St.
So there is no reason why Boston would need to limit the Hurley+ to anything under the Top of One Beacon -- which because of its being on the side of the hill is way over 650 ft [AMSL]
to the top of the radio mast
Would you or anyone happen to know the AMSL of the base of 1 Boston Place?
 

Andrew

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Maybe the answer is that it wasn't in scope for this study, but why does the site boundary remain exactly the same even if the part of the building facing Cambridge St is demoed? I feel like squaring it off with the street would make for better use of the overall footprint, given there's already so much sidewalk there.
 

whighlander

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Would you or anyone happen to know the AMSL of the base of 1 Boston Place?
Odurandina -- the AMSL is only easy to find for towers with a Radio Antenna located on top -- then they have to be registered with the FCC. So we can get the Pru, 200 Clarendon, One Financial Center, One Beacon -- they all have antennae -- so they are in the data base as both their architectural height and the height of the antenna above sea level

All I know about One Boston Place height-wise is 601 ft (183 m) -- but that's from the sidewalk to the architectural top [the top of the top hat mechanical penthouse]

I don't think One Boston has a significant antenna mast -- but you can try Google One Boston Place Antenna and see if it does
 

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