Pinnacle at Central Wharf (Harbor Garage) | 70 East India Row | Waterfront | Downtown

jl326

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Can someone refresh my memory about what legal power the harbor towers have over this site. Like I know that residents there have been one of the largest opposition groups and that the new development guarantees like 300 parking spots for tower residents. My question is: why? Why does the developer have to do anything to appease the harbor towers?
The shortest and most succinct answer is that Harbor Tower folks are a bunch of whiny asshats who oppose attractive development that will make their buildings look even uglier in comparison. :)
 

stick n move

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I dont know the exact details, but it has to do with the harbor towers mechanicals being located in the garage and also the residents have some kind of agreement where their parking is in the harbor garage. So this means if the garage is demoed youre demolishing harbor towers parking, and on top of that their mech systems.

So they have a say about their mech systems and parking being demolished, obviously. If it is to go through somehow during construction there would need to be a way to give temporary parking and somehow temp mech systems. Due to the location this is obviously very hard to do and can/will lead to disruptions to the harbor towers etc. Theres more to it too which Im sure someone will expand upon, but thats the gist of it.

The last obvious point on top of these is that they will also be losing their views from many units so on top of the other real problems they are also against it for personal reasons as well. Im sure once the tower goes up many units value will drop drastically due to blocked views, so dozens of family assets net worth will be slashed the day this thing tops out so this is another reason. Thats part of living in the city, but if a tower is going to knock 10% of your propertys value off if its approved I do understand why people would be against it. I do want this to go up though, but I can see their perspective.
 
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Blackbird

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The shortest and most succinct answer is that Harbor Tower folks are a bunch of whiny asshats who oppose attractive development that will make their buildings look even uglier in comparison. :)
I get that, but at the end of the day, they’re just like any other Boston residents. As much as I usually hate this argument, it’s true that they can just move if living downtown becomes too overwhelming for them. I’m sure tons of people would jump at the chance to live there.

Have to wonder why they decided to buy a condo a stone’s throw from the financial district if they oppose projects like the garage redevelopment. Like...what did they think they were getting into?


youre also demolishing harbor towers allocated parking, so thats why they have a say.
Wow! Wonder how they landed an agreement like that!
 

stoweker

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Me too. Feels like I place I would want to work for and a group of people I would want to work with.




FAA height limit, coupled with shadow on the harbor laws, precluded this one from exceeding 600'. If we get right to that 600' limit (and not, say, 598') that's good enough for me! In fact, even a few feet lower is good enough, the tower is awesome. I just like the symbolism of hitting 600'.
Don C as an individual is a huge troll - not to smack talk someone on an online forum but he's kind of crude and likes to pick fights with people in social settings and i could never tell if it's because he likes to get a rise out of people or because he's just a jerk with limited self awareness.
 

stick n move

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As much as I want the tower I can understand the perspective of people in the towers who have their most valuable asset in their home possibly going to have its value dropped by idk 30 thousand dollars if a tower goes up next door and now the views are gone. Thats the price of city and especially high rise living, but still its tough out there these days and then to take a hit like that... I get it. Still love the tower tho, but its not just that theyre all huge nimbys its going to drop dozens of peoples assets by a huge margin in 1 swoop after decades of work to build it up. That being said... build it!
 

stellarfun

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The building of the Harbor Garage was undertaken by the Boston Redevelopment Authority concurrently with construction of the HT towers. The residents of the HT were given an easement that reserved x number of parking spaces in the garage for them. I believe the easement ends in 2021, after 50 years. (Chiofaro gives the exact number of spaces in the Pinnacle documents; I recall it being in the range of 300-400. spaces.)

The HT residents also have a second easement, apparently in perpetuity, for mechanical infrastructure that is situated in the garage parcel. An easement in perpetuity means Chiofaro can't redevelop the garage site unless and until he relocates/accommodates this mechanical equipment. The HT residents would need to agree with any re-location / accommodation.

When Chiofaro bought the HT garage, he bought a property encumbered by those two easements.

In The Pinnacle documents, Chiofaro expressly addresses the HT parking space easement, saying the new garage will provide HT residents with a comparable number of spaces to that in the existing garage.
 

DZH22

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The building of the Harbor Garage was undertaken by the Boston Redevelopment Authority concurrently with construction of the HT towers. The residents of the HT were given an easement that reserved x number of parking spaces in the garage for them. I believe the easement ends in 2021, after 50 years.......

In The Pinnacle documents, Chiofaro expressly addresses the HT parking space easement, saying the new garage will provide HT residents with a comparable number of spaces to that in the existing garage.
By the time this gets built, Chiofaro should give them 0 spots as a "thank you" for holding him up for 15 years. He waited them out, so there's no reason to play nice at this point.
 

Blackbird

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As much as I want the tower I can understand the perspective of people in the towers who have their most valuable asset in their home possibly going to have its value dropped by idk 30 thousand dollars if a tower goes up next door and now the views are gone. Thats the price of city and especially high rise living, but still its tough out there these days and then to take a hit like that... I get it.
Boo hoo hoo.

imagine the price they paid when it was first built? Imagine the price while the expressway was still up? If cashing out was all they cared about, they could’ve done so long ago.

...That’s assuming that harbor tower residents tend to be older and long-term. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

The building of the Harbor Garage was undertaken by the Boston Redevelopment Authority concurrently with construction of the HT towers. The residents of the HT were given an easement that reserved x number of parking spaces in the garage for them. I believe the easement ends in 2021, after 50 years. (Chiofaro gives the exact number of spaces in the Pinnacle documents; I recall it being in the range of 300-400. spaces.)

The HT residents also have a second easement, apparently in perpetuity, for mechanical infrastructure that is situated in the garage parcel. An easement in perpetuity means Chiofaro can't redevelop the garage site unless and until he relocates/accommodates this mechanical equipment. The HT residents would need to agree with any re-location / accommodation.

When Chiofaro bought the HT garage, he bought a property encumbered by those two easements.

In The Pinnacle documents, Chiofaro expressly addresses the HT parking space easement, saying the new garage will provide HT residents with a comparable number of spaces to that in the existing garage.
Thank you for the history!
 

rjacobs

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Question: "I believe the easement ends in 2021, after 50 years." When the Towers lose their parking easement, is that any type of a game-changer for strengthening Don's position? Don's hands are tied forever due to the mechanicals easement, but will the Tower residents have one of their hands tied due to losing their parking easement?
 

Rover

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I suspect Don has two reasons to play nice on the harbor towers parking spaces even after the easement expires. First he's earning some goodwill with the city as the permitting process goes through. Next he's blocking any viable argument in the inevitable lawsuits that are coming. If Harbor Tower NIMBY'S are being made whole with parking and the legally required mechanicals, they've got no basis to complain
 

citydweller

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Im obsessed with this tower and how gorgeous it looks. This one specifically, I will push for the city to build. I didnt like the two tower design earlier this decade. It is pure elegance, and for me (probably not everyone), it will be the closest thing to a crown in the Downtown part of the skyline.

Im a champion for this! If you havent already.. fill out a comment card!!! Lets get the Pinnacle built!
I'm not an advocate of building (very) tall buildings at water's edge and would generally oppose it, but the design of this building is indeed exceptional. It would be a great addition to the skyline, despite the location.
 

Massachoicetts

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I'm not an advocate of building (very) tall buildings at water's edge and would generally oppose it, but the design of this building is indeed exceptional. It would be a great addition to the skyline, despite the location.
Very respectable view. I generally agree with you was well.
 

Life Coach Mike

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I get that, but at the end of the day, they’re just like any other Boston residents. As much as I usually hate this argument, it’s true that they can just move if living downtown becomes too overwhelming for them. I’m sure tons of people would jump at the chance to live there.

Have to wonder why they decided to buy a condo a stone’s throw from the financial district if they oppose projects like the garage redevelopment. Like...what did they think they were getting into?




Wow! Wonder how they landed an agreement like that!
In all fairness, the towers were built as apartments. They seemed to be linked mostly to the Aquarium and Columbus Park development at the time. Nothing else had been proposed. Nothing. Thus when they went condo (with subsequent tens of thousands to replace windows, balconies, heating pipes) there were still no plans, not even a whimper, to sink the artery and develop the garage. The area was a relative waste land for pedestrians, save for ground level retail at the garage for tourists who stayed at the nearby, new hotel. Since the Greenway was finally finished after decades of dust, I'm sure they've seen their condos increase in value. Yet, if they've been owners for a while, they're likely still paying off the bill for the pipe replacement and frankly, I can imagine they are sick and tired of what comes with more redevelopment and are holding out for the best possible payoff by Chiafaro to take over the garage. Hardball all around. We'll see who blinks first.
 

stellarfun

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Question: "I believe the easement ends in 2021, after 50 years." When the Towers lose their parking easement, is that any type of a game-changer for strengthening Don's position? Don's hands are tied forever due to the mechanicals easement, but will the Tower residents have one of their hands tied due to losing their parking easement?
The easement for the parking spaces for the HT residents ends on the expiration date x-x-2021. The residents can continue to park in the garage, and pay for it. Without the easement, they simply don't have a 'right' to a space reserved exclusively for them,

After reading through Chiofaro's most recent submission to the city, I have come to believe that the city has a say in the future use of the garage. Chiofaro goes on at truly great length about how many parking spaces will be available by time of day for Aquarium visitors during M-F, and on weekends. And it strikes me that he feels obligated to provide x number of spaces for the Aquarium.

Going back to 1971, the city built a 1400 space garage, reserving 300-400 spaces for HT residents. What about the other 1,000 spaces? There was little parking demand in that area 50 years ago. It may be that the garage was built primarily to provide parking for Aquarium visitors, and the city has now told Chiofaro that his development must provide a comparable number of spaces in the future for Aquarium visitors, or else no construction permit. And it also may be that there is a legally enforceable stipulation associated with the original sale of the garage to a private company, and which applies to subsequent purchasers of the garage, that 'guarantees' x number of spaces for Aquarium visitors.
 

JeffDowntown

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The kind of designated usage of parking spaces being proposed are pretty useless. They get buried in the permitting documents and land use agreements. There is no enforcement mechanism, save a lawsuit. And it is nearly impossible to prove whether the usage is happening or not (prove to me that particular car was or was not associated with the Aquarium.)

These agreements make the parties feel good, but have no long term teeth. The BPDA loves writing this kind of useless land use restriction into their permitting.
 

Vivanna

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The easement for the parking spaces for the HT residents ends on the expiration date x-x-2021. The residents can continue to park in the garage, and pay for it. Without the easement, they simply don't have a 'right' to a space reserved exclusively for them,

After reading through Chiofaro's most recent submission to the city, I have come to believe that the city has a say in the future use of the garage. Chiofaro goes on at truly great length about how many parking spaces will be available by time of day for Aquarium visitors during M-F, and on weekends. And it strikes me that he feels obligated to provide x number of spaces for the Aquarium.

Going back to 1971, the city built a 1400 space garage, reserving 300-400 spaces for HT residents. What about the other 1,000 spaces? There was little parking demand in that area 50 years ago. It may be that the garage was built primarily to provide parking for Aquarium visitors, and the city has now told Chiofaro that his development must provide a comparable number of spaces in the future for Aquarium visitors, or else no construction permit. And it also may be that there is a legally enforceable stipulation associated with the original sale of the garage to a private company, and which applies to subsequent purchasers of the garage, that 'guarantees' x number of spaces for Aquarium visitors.
Just curious, why do you think the City would build a massive 1400 space garage 50 years ago when there was little demand? Was this around the time that Fanueil Hall was being reinvented and they thought it was needed for that tourism influx?
 

stellarfun

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Just curious, why do you think the City would build a massive 1400 space garage 50 years ago when there was little demand? Was this around the time that Fanueil Hall was being reinvented and they thought it was needed for that tourism influx?
The Aquarium was built in 1969, two years before HT. Before HT was built, part of the HT site was a surface parking lot.



An aerial of the lot from the late 1960s. Capacity looks to be several hundred cars, at most. Derelict wharves to the south toward Rowes Wharf. Harbor was clearly filled in by the city before enactment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, which prohibited such filling. (Which raises a question of whether the city still owns the harbor land beneath the filled part.))

Quincy Market didn't open until 1976, and before opening, the marketplace was in poor condition, with the city having to spend several million $ in the early 1970s to stabilize the buildings.
 

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