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

Johnnyrocket891

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I just listened to this--


The comments are horrifying from the Aquarium-- Erik Krauss and other members against the project.
Talking about racial equity and climate change, rising seas. WTF- does that have to do with reconstruction of the garage?

The builder is offering 10 Million dollars to help create a better environment for the guidance of the Blueway park area. According to Erik Krauss that is small portion. These are the same groups of people that love mammals so much that they have allowed the seals to swim in same fiberglass containers built in the 70's and charge $40 dollars admission per individual? If anybody is creating income inequality the New England Aquarium is #1 case especially to Erik Krauss favorable six figure salary. The average inner city Boston child cannot afford a day at the Aquarium.

What a disgrace these hypocrites are. Who is funding these puppets to read what they are told to say?

The builder has been the only group to present a solution for the area to take down the garage.

I have not heard one opposition with other ideas or other solutions what do with a garage that seems very economically favorable to keep intact.
 
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BuilditDenser

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For the first time I submitted comments on a projects (obviously in favor of it). I'm 25 and I'm planning to buy a condo in the next 5 years. The more supply that is built between now and then, the better. The alternative, a hulking parking garage in very prominent location, is a terrible alternative.
 

Rover

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There's something critical that NIMBY'S (and steller, who's not a nimby I don't believe) don't get. If nothing happens and the garage stays, Don is about to reap a windfall. 300 HT parking spaces via an easement are going away next year. 300 x $40 a day x 250 weekdays a year is an extra $3M (!) In Don's pocket before taxes as I doubt there's any incremental costs to the extra spaces. So you either 1) Let him build what he wants, or 2) stare at an ugly garage until the end of time as it's owner realizes bigger profits than ever before via the gain in former HT parking spaces. There are no other alternatives. What part of this do some people not understand?
 

stellarfun

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I am not a NIMBY, but as I posted the other day, Chiofaro doesn't own the Harbor Garage. Prudential does. Current net revenue (or loss) from garage operations are material with respect to Prudential's accountants, and investors. Losses can be beneficial from a tax standpoint, see the other Donald.,

(I don't want to posit that Chiofaro has zero ownership interest, but any stake is a small one, and Chiofaro's company is Prudential's representative on this project. This relationship is an outgrowth of Chiofaro losing ownership of IP in his fight with Tishman Speyer, when Prudential threw him a lifeline. Press reports were that Chiofaro succeeded in retaining a small, fractional ownership stake in IP.)

From what I have read, most of the voices at this particular community meeting were just so much noise. The basic design, volume, height, provision for parking, resiliency, zoning, etc. etc are set and approved. Those in opposition don't get second bites of the apple, nor do they get to introduce new issues outside the approval framework, or re-litigate concerns that have already been addressed. Particularly at a meeting such as this one.
 

curcuas

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The easement expiring next year is fascinating. He may just be able to wait it out and build even more housing...
 

stellarfun

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The easement expiring next year is fascinating. He may just be able to wait it out and build even more housing...
The expiring easement is for the HT residents parking spaces. The easement for the HT mechanicals is not expiring.

The design has nothing to do with 'waiting out' the end of the parking space easement. The design is constrained by the approved DWMHP
See most recently,

From the PNF
Project height and volume
PDA DWMHP spec 585 feet to highest occupied floor (and in no case shall any structure exceed the FAA height limits or 600 feet, whichever is lower)
Chiofaro: 585 feet to the highest occupiable floor and no more than 600 feet in total height.
___________________________________
PDA DWMHP spec 15.7 FAR, 900,000 square feet, 9,500,000 –10,500,000 cubic feet*
Chiofaro 864,600 square feet, and 10,500,000 cubic feet.
*DWMHP and subject to additional limitations such as maximum of 30% being located on the north side of the site adjacent to Milk Street
__________________________________
Open space
Chapter 91 required 50%
Chiofaro 50%
____________________________
Parking
Under Article 23, the minimum number of off-street parking space[s[ [sic] required for the Project Site is one for each 1,200 sf of gross floor area of retail on the ground floor, one for each 2,400 sf of gross floor area of office and retail (other than ground floor retail), one for every 20 seats in a restaurant, and one-half for each residential unit

Chiofaro is going for fewer spaces than the minimum number.
_________________________

Resiliency and climate change, apparently big with the Aquarium folks.

E.1 – Sea Level Rise and Storms – Design Conditions
Proposed projects should identify immediate and future adaptation strategies for managing the flooding scenario represented by the Sea Level Rise Flood Hazard Area (SLR-FHA), which includes 3.2’ of sea level rise above 2013 tide levels, an additional 2.5” to account for subsidence, and the 1% Annual Chance Flood. After using the SLR-FHA to identify a project’s Sea Level Rise Base Flood Elevation, proponents should calculate the Sea Level Rise Design Flood Elevation by adding 12” of freeboard for buildings, and 24” of freeboard for critical facilities and infrastructure and any ground floor residential units.

What is the Sea Level Rise - Base Flood Elevation for the site (Ft BCB)? 19.5 feet

What is the Sea Level Rise -Design Flood Elevation for the site (Ft BCB)? 20.5 feet

What are the Site Elevations at Building (Ft BCB)? 21 feet (also first floor elevation)

The Project Site and the adjacent Harborwalk will be elevated, which, in conjunction with the proposed development in the vicinity of the New England Aquarium site, creates a barrier for tidal flooding and protects the access to the surrounding Downtown Waterfront District. In addition, storm water retention throughout the Site is provided to control localized storm water flooding as the result of ground and sewage saturation.

Critical systems will be installed above the second level of the building. If placing sensitive building mechanical equipment at higher elevations is cost-prohibitive, ground-mounted equipment will include waterproofing measures, such as setting equipment on pads, curbs, at equipment room entrances, and/or floor drains. Automated flood barriers will be integrated in building entrance and underground vehicle access.
________________

Owner RHDC 70 East India LLC (Rams Head Development Co.)
c/o The Chiofaro Company as development agent
 

Vivanna

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What a disgrace these hypocrites are. Who is funding these puppets to read what they are told to say?

I have not heard one opposition with other ideas or other solutions what do with a garage that seems very economically favorable to keep intact.
Look no further than Lewis Wharf and the Barr Foundation for funding and an anti-development agenda. Millions of dollars to CLF to file law suits to block projects such as this one.
 

Mike02125

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I wonder what's going to happen with the Aquarium in the long-term. Caging animals for entertainment in circuses, aquariums and zoos continues to be frowned upon and I don't see that trend abiding. Do those seals and penguins look happy to be in those little tanks, or do they look terrified and constantly pecking at the corners of the tank hoping for escape? I always feel sad when I see them - just like when you see a tiger at the Franklin Park Zoo laying on a rock and giving you a "please kill me" look. I think these zoos are an artifact of the past, not the future.
 

shmessy

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I wonder what's going to happen with the Aquarium in the long-term. Caging animals for entertainment in circuses, aquariums and zoos continues to be frowned upon and I don't see that trend abiding. Do those seals and penguins look happy to be in those little tanks, or do they look terrified and constantly pecking at the corners of the tank hoping for escape? I always feel sad when I see them - just like when you see a tiger at the Franklin Park Zoo laying on a rock and giving you a "please kill me" look. I think these zoos are an artifact of the past, not the future.
I agree with that........as I eat my bagel and lox this morning.
 

Johnnyrocket891

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I wonder what's going to happen with the Aquarium in the long-term. Caging animals for entertainment in circuses, aquariums and zoos continues to be frowned upon and I don't see that trend abiding. Do those seals and penguins look happy to be in those little tanks, or do they look terrified and constantly pecking at the corners of the tank hoping for escape? I always feel sad when I see them - just like when you see a tiger at the Franklin Park Zoo laying on a rock and giving you a "please kill me" look. I think these zoos are an artifact of the past, not the future.
I can't believe the Aquarium management makes 100,000's dollars a year and thinks this is okay. Where are the animal activists concerning this. Zoo's and Aquariums should only be open to sick or wounded animals that would not be able to survive the wilderness. The rest should be let go.

Everything wrong in society just look at the entitled Aquarium officials who most likely are part of the elite political class who need to act like they are important in life saving the animals and the globe from climate change.
Give me a break.

They are so lazy that they couldn't even have a fundraiser to provide a habitat that is somewhat positive for the Seals but their willing to call the builder 10Million to help create a blueway vision a short fall.

I trust the builder over the Aquarium executives anyday of the week. At least the builder is giving solutions to the site.
 
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Lrfox

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I wonder what's going to happen with the Aquarium in the long-term. Caging animals for entertainment in circuses, aquariums and zoos continues to be frowned upon and I don't see that trend abiding. Do those seals and penguins look happy to be in those little tanks, or do they look terrified and constantly pecking at the corners of the tank hoping for escape? I always feel sad when I see them - just like when you see a tiger at the Franklin Park Zoo laying on a rock and giving you a "please kill me" look. I think these zoos are an artifact of the past, not the future.
I agree for the most part, but there's the rescue/rehabilitation element to consider. The Aquarium is responsible for a lot of the region's sea life rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Most animals they come in contact with never end up in the display tanks. The most well-known examples are their turtle and seal rescue programs. Almost all of those animals end up back in the wild. Many of the creatures on exhibit are those who couldn't survive a return to the ocean and the exhibits provide revenue which allows for the continued funding for most of the rehabilitation efforts. Almost all of the tropical fish in the Caribbean exhibits were recovered as juveniles along the shores of Rhode Island and Cape Cod after being flushed northward in the Gulf Stream. If you grab a snorkel and fins you can find butterflyfish, boxfish, angels, lionfish, etc. off of Newport or Jamestown this time of year. They'll all be dead by mid-October. Shipping them back to Florida/Caribbean is often fatal as well.

I believe the days of lions, tigers, elephants, orcas, dolphins, belugas, etc. being captured for display are in the rear view (at least here in the U.S.), but as long as there are animals to be rescued and some that can't return to the wild, there will probably always be a place for zoos/aquariums. They just might look different 20 year from now.
 

stick n move

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I agree about the penguins, whales...etc, but I do think that just for fish/stingrays/jellyfish etc you could still have a badass aquarium. Some cool ones Ive seen have like recreations of the local fauna and fish species and each area is turned into like a mini ecosystem representative of different places/species/environment. This would be even better for the kids and more informative imo. This could be done for both fresh and saltwater to great effect.

I think that as long as they were creative and really thought it through how to create a really informative and dynamic recreated environment, theyd do great. I mean besides the penguins, the kids favorite part is the huge glass spiral that you get to stand right next to all the fish at anyways.
 

DBM

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For what it's worth, seminal documentaries can significantly sway public opinion and thus alter the market... for a while, at least: per this site, attendance at Seaworld fell from 24.5 million to 23 million, a 6% decrease, in the year following the release of "Blackfish." But note the amnesia that eventually set in, as inferred from the attendance rebound.

That said, the conservation piece is key--especially given the New England Aquarium's geographic position as the closest major aquarium to the Stellwagen Bank/Georges Bank/Grand Banks marine ecosystem complex. Ya gotta educate the kiddies re: the half-millennium rape of the most productive fishery/richest marine ecosystem on earth, overwhelmingly facilitated by Boston's fish piers.

<otherwise they'll think the most important underlying theme of "The Perfect Storm" was making the world safe for Marky Mark's Bawstin accent--as opposed to the decimation of the swordfish stocks that led boats such as the Andrea Gail to venture out fatally far in pursuit of a rapidly-dwindling prize>
 

Vagabond

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There was a plan at some point offering to move the IMAX theater to create a direct Blueway and partially fund harbor walk expansion. Assuming since the aquarium is so against the project this offer left the table?
 

jl326

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This might be a stupid question.. but reading the recent posts over the last number of days has me a little bit confused on the matter. Do HT residents currently rent and/or own their parking spaces within the garage?
 

stellarfun

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This might be a stupid question.. but reading the recent posts over the last number of days has me a little bit confused on the matter. Do HT residents currently rent and/or own their parking spaces within the garage?
HT residents have a property interest in x number of spaces in the garage. HT pays a monthly fee to the garage owner; I have no idea how much that is, but it's probably not a token amount. I suspect that HT pays for the total x spaces, regardless of whether HT residents are renting all x spaces, or renting only some fraction of the spaces. There are very sound reasons for paying for all the spaces covered by the property interest.

I expect the condo association is the 'owner' of this property interest. Based on the article last year

It appears the property interest in the parking spaces is held in common by the condo association, and there can be no sale of an individual space by a condo owner.

The property interest is the easement

An illustrative example. Some years ago, a neighbor allowed Trammell Crow to use his property to drive shoring for what was to be an office building, being built to the property line. In exchange, he secured two parking spaces in the garage of the new building, and paying a monthly parking fee. This was not an easement in the sense of the HT easement, but it had the same effect. Soon after the building was completed, the embassy of a uber rich Middle Eastern country purchased the building, and bought him out of his two parking spaces.
 

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