One Mystic | 1 Mystic Avenue | Charlestown

Equilibria

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LOI:


29 stories, 334 feet, 552,000SF. Residential with ground level market/food hall. I don't know that I've seen an LOI that goes to this much trouble to justify height and prominence, so hopefully they're serious about keeping it.
 

Massachoicetts

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Wow that's tall. Sounds like they are prepared for the backlash. Can't wait for these renders. .
 

JumboBuc

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For those wondering, FAA height here is about 425-450.

The parcel layout here is a bit funky and doesn't quite match the street grid, but ten parcels at the corner of Dorance and Mystic, including 1 Mystic, are all owned by various members of the Flynn family. At the corner of Mystic and Sherman is actually a defunct public square.

I understand that every proposal gets opposed, but this lot is bordered by MBTA land on the E and S, train tracks and I-93 on the W, and industrial lots to the N. The only real neighborhoods anywhere around are on the other side of 93 and/or in Somerville. I know people will oppose height here, I just kind of wonder who.

Stacking 695 rental units here sounds to me like a good plan to create generally affordable--if not "Affordable (TM)"--workforce housing.
 

iamdjmichael

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This is really going to be a huge area of mid-rises. Driving in from 93 N is already crazy with Northpoint, I’m excited to see the change
107E9DA8-6A0C-4D1B-AFE9-ABF6E58F60F8.jpeg
 

DBM

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In principle I'm all for this; however, I cannot help but notice that this site is well within the 528-foot threshold of I-93 NB/SB to incur the risk of "Black Lung Lofts" summarized here (see approx. the 20th paragraph for the 528-foot reference).

But now that I think about it, isn't the entire Ink Block residential complex within 528 feet of the Southeast Expressway? It sure feels like you can reach out and touch it when you're driving southbound. I wonder how many hi-rise residential towers in Boston around the Storrow Drive/I-93/I-90 juncture would also be considered "Black Lung Lofts" by the epidemiologists involved in those studies...
 

curcuas

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Sullivan could use a heckuva a lot of housing (TOD or whatever you want to call it) and Charlestown is hot. The demand is there. Also a somewhat decent number of jobs nearby at Sullivan and new rising complexes.
 

Equilibria

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Some part of me thinks that this proposal will end up like its neighbor down the road https://archboston.com/community/threads/leggat-mccall-bha-bunker-hill-charlestown.5719/
Maybe, although that project is both semi-public (and therefore more responsive to NIMBYs) and more integral in the neighborhood. This site is barely in Charlestown.

It would be the tallest building north of downtown Boston.
Tim Logan used that quote when tweeting out the article - what an odd thing to call out. It would be the tallest by, like, 10 feet. Ecore is 319', and while I can't find the height for Assembly Block 8 or 30 Prospect Street back in the threads I'm pretty sure they're both in the 325' range. Also, why just north? 334' would be the tallest anywhere outside of Downtown/Back Bay (again, by a dozen feet) until something taller happens at the MXD or Volpe sites.
 
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JumboBuc

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Some part of me thinks that this proposal will end up like its neighbor down the road https://archboston.com/community/threads/leggat-mccall-bha-bunker-hill-charlestown.5719/
Maybe, although that project is both semi-public (and therefore more responsive to NIMBYs) and more integral in the neighborhood. This site is barely in Charlestown.
Yeah, the Leggat McCall project is a redevelopment of BHA public housing one block from Monument Sq in the heart of Charlestown. This project is just about as far away on the fringes of the neighborhood as you can get. It's much closer to the Casino, Exelon station, and new stuff in Assembly than it is to the Monument or Navy Yard.

Tim Logan used that quote when tweeting out the article - what an odd thing to call out. It would be the tallest by, like, 10 feet. Ecore is 319', and while I can't find the height for Assembly Block 8 or 30 Prospect Street back in the threads I'm pretty sure they're both in the 325' range. Also, why just north? 334' would be the tallest anywhere outside of Downtown/Back Bay (again, by a dozen feet) until something taller happens at the MXD or Volpe sites.
This would be about the same height as the Pierce building at Boylston and Brookline in the Fenway too. That building feels tall, sure, but not overwhelmingly so.
 

shmessy

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A developer wants to build a 29 story building in Sullivan Square. Wasn't it a few weeks ago that think-tankers were saying COVID 19 was the death knell of cities?
 

Equilibria

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A developer wants to build a 29 story building in Sullivan Square. Wasn't it a few weeks ago that think-tankers were saying COVID 19 was the death knell of cities?
Developers don't know any more about what happens after COVID than anyone else does.
 

shmessy

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Developers don't know any more about what happens after COVID than anyone else does.
They have money at stake.

The people with skin in the game are far more reliable than a NYT guest columnist from the Hoover Institute.

Mark Felt told Woodward the truth about life almost 50 years ago and people still look elsewhere.
 

DZH22

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Tim Logan used that quote when tweeting out the article - what an odd thing to call out. It would be the tallest by, like, 10 feet. Encore is 319', and while I can't find the height for Assembly Block 8 or 30 Prospect Street back in the threads I'm pretty sure they're both in the 325' range. Also, why just north? 334' would be the tallest anywhere outside of Downtown/Back Bay (again, by a dozen feet) until something taller happens at the MXD or Volpe sites.
Isn't Encore 372', and the tallest Assembly Square building finishing up 275'?
 

Vagabond

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The freaking Globe trying to rile everybody up.
1.They don't mention that only 240 parking spots are proposed for the 695 units.
2. They don't include a map showing that this site is far away from just about anyone who would care about height and views, but drop in the hint about the monument.
3. They don't show a picture of how blighted the site is. It's gross. And the existing pedestrian experience there is just dangerous. I'm interested in how they propose to improve it.

I'm impressed with the stated residential scale, but trying to add a retail component on this island seems like a stretch. There are no pedestrian connections here to draw from, and no parking for other visitors. The bus yard isn't going anywhere, so there is no future neighborhood density. The "market" concept would be great sited AT Sullivan station, but here seems out of the way. Hopefully this will spur some additional development proposals across the street at the underused parking lots to finally let Sullivan realize it's TOD potential.
 
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Equilibria

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Isn't Encore 372', and the tallest Assembly Square building finishing up 275'?
Not according to Wikipedia, but that could be occupied height.

They have money at stake.

The people with skin in the game are far more reliable than a NYT guest columnist from the Hoover Institute.

Mark Felt told Woodward the truth about life almost 50 years ago and people still look elsewhere.
I get that, but I also think they don't know as much as they think they do. Nobody knows what's coming, even those making big bets - this is an unprecedented event. There's no wizard standing behind curtain here smiling to themselves, it's just people trying to make money and acting on FOMO.

The freaking Globe trying to rile everybody up.
1.They don't mention that only 240 parking sports are proposed for the 695 units.
2. They don't include a map showing that this site is far away from just about anyone who would care about height and views, but drop in the hint about the monument.
3. They don't show a picture of how blighted the site is. It's gross. And the existing pedestrian experience there is just dangerous. I'm interested in how they propose to improve it.
To be fair, on the first two they're working directly from what was in the LOI. You can argue they should have gone beyond, but they're parroting the case the developers are making for themselves.
 

shmessy

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I get that, but I also think they don't know as much as they think they do. Nobody knows what's coming, even those making big bets - this is an unprecedented event. There's no wizard standing behind curtain here smiling to themselves, it's just people trying to make money and acting on FOMO.

This pandemic is not an unprecedented event. And The Roaring 20's and the rise of urban Art Deco after Influenza are a testament to this.

What IS unprecedented are the 21st century demographics of people over age 65 and how much longer and more active their retirements are going to be. These are the people whose kids are out on their own, they don't need big homes, they want to be near medical centers/restaurants/theatres, they have alot of disposable money (yes, I understand not all do, but tens of millions of people DO) and they don't want to have the onus of owning a vehicle and doing yard work.

This isn't subjective. This is objective and it is obvious. The demand for cities like Boston will only grow for many many decades ahead.

The pandemic is a short term situation. I agree it will most certainly CHANGE life going forward (more residential and labs, and fewer white collar offices) and the health policy changes that will occur will make life safer for future pandemics.
 
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Ruairi

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As someone said in that globe article, this reeks of 'put in for 29 stories and settle for 15'. I'd be fine with that.
Also cant believe the amount of 'don't build this, fix the traffic and do up the T station instead' comments, almost as if the MBTA are proposing this.
 

Equilibria

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This pandemic is not an unprecedented event. And The Roaring 20's and the rise of urban Art Deco after Influenza are a testament to this.

What IS unprecedented are the 21st century demographics of people over age 65 and how much longer and more active their retirements are going to be. These are the people whose kids are out on their own, they don't need big homes, they want to be near medical centers/restaurants/theatres, they have alot of disposable money (yes, I understand not all do, but tens of millions of people DO) and they don't want to have the onus of owning a vehicle and doing yard work.

This isn't subjective. This is objective and it is obvious. The demand for cities like Boston will only grow for many many decades ahead.

The pandemic is a short term situation. I agree it will most certainly CHANGE life going forward (more residential and labs, and fewer white collar offices) and the health policy changes that will occur will make life safer for future pandemics.
Things that did not exist in 1918: car culture. suburbs. the internet. teleworking.
Things that will be critically (even prohibitively) important to how our economy and culture respond to COVID: car culture. suburbs. the internet. teleworking.

I haven't been participating in the COVID economy threads and I'll leave it there. But you do not have a crystal ball.

And how many people do you really think are going to look to spend an active retirement next to the Charlestown bus yard, hemmed in my railroad tracks and parking lots? This is a commuter building.
 

shmessy

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Things that did not exist in 1918: car culture. suburbs. the internet. teleworking.
Things that will be critically (even prohibitively) important to how our economy and culture respond to COVID: car culture. suburbs. the internet. teleworking.

I haven't been participating in the COVID economy threads and I'll leave it there. But you do not have a crystal ball.

And how many people do you really think are going to look to spend an active retirement next to the Charlestown bus yard, hemmed in my railroad tracks and parking lots? This is a commuter building.

What was human life expectancy in 1918?

What was the concept of retirement?

Demographics. You cannot ignore the exploding demographic issue of people with money, freedom and longevity. A very large percentage of that booming group is not going to want to live in the country or suburbs with automobile and home upkeep requirements. They are going to want to live in cities near medical centers/restaurants/ theatres, etc. This simply inevitable.

When I started my financial advisory practice 28 years ago, the software planning analyses we did for families ran to life expectancies of 83-84. They now run to 94-95. I can see a tectonic shift in their plans for their retirements and their actual moves once they reach retirement. It is far different than in the 1990's. This is a wave that is happening and will only get more massive.

Re: your last paragraph - that area from Sullivan Square to the Mystic will be changing drastically. The Seaport Hotel went up and was well occupied for years in a veritable desert.People have moved and are still moving to currently unattactive places like Alewife and Chelsea where there are plenty of parking lots, bus yards and other things surrounding. Change is coming. The actual positioning of Sullivan Square is far better long-term.
 
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