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

xec

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I'm assuming the analogy is being made because, allegedly, the international "Boston brand" and the international "Venice brand" are equivalent in that people think of both as being ornaments trapped inside a snowglobe--metropolises overly-reliant on quaint, sentimental perspectives on their long-ago history, and also overly-reliant on their rich endowment of historic architecture.

That may be the case. But I'm curious, in terms of relative regional economic dynamism, how reasonable an analogy that is. I

If you stack Venice's GDP versus that of Milan, Turin, Genoa, and Bologna, Florence ... and then do the same for Boston versus Philly, NYC, Providence, Hartford, and Portland/Portsmouth, how do those two hierarchies look side-by-side?
That's pretty much it, with the caveat that the Bloomberg article is about American cities and in my post I was talking about the average American. Said person probably doesn't make it a point to keep track of the GDP of American cities, much less foreign ones, and the Boston metrics and rankings they're most likely to know about involve the Patriots and the Red Sox, not NIH research funding.

Conversely, I assume many of the people aB members meet overseas are highly educated and well-traveled professionals, not average citizens of their country, and are more likely to know about Boston's ranking in NIH funding than its ranking in Superbowl championships.

In other words, my analogy was not based on regional economic dynamism or other technocratic metrics. It's just my impression of what some random American in the street tends to associate with Boston, probably because they first learned about the city in a US history class or similar context. (Colonial) Williamsburg might have been a better choice for the analogy, but it doesn't work as well as "Venice" in rephrasing the "Athens of America" sobriquet. "Boston is the Colonial Williamsburg of America" sounds like that old movie line about Rolls-Royce being the Cadillac of automobiles.
 

xec

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Just wanted to add that my original post I intrepreted the phrase "secondary cities" in the usual sense, but as KentXie pointed out, what they're really talking about is secondary airports, so the post was off the rails right from the start. Airport metrics/rankings are something I don't know much about. As a proud Hobbit-American I try to live up to my heritage by traveling as little as possible.
 

#bancars

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stefal

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This f'ing city sometimes

Based off his housing policy, and what he's saying here, I don't think Barros has a clue how development works.

Barros said he would engineer a deal with Chiofaro to build something smaller that would satisfy the neighborhood’s parking needs and continue to house part of the ventilation system for the adjacent Harbor Towers residential complex (which, by the way, is not exactly subtle at about 400 feet tall).


Barros would seek to transfer Chiofaro’s development rights to another parcel, where a tower makes sense, citing how the city successfully negotiated to keep the Huntington Theatre by working with the developer. The fate of the historic theater was up in the air after its building was sold.

“We can be creative,” said Barros. “We can do that in Boston.”

RELATED: Developers are hedging their bets in a six-way mayoral race
While Barros envisions a low-slung structure to replace the Harbor Garage, he said it would be far from mundane. Think Sydney Opera House, a signature building that is only about 200 feet tall.

“It should be a wow statement in front of the aquarium,” he said.
Somehow, we're going to get a low-rise multi-hundred million dollar piece of iconic architecture (with parking and mechanical systems still in place somehow), and we're supposed to trust him that the math works out on that....


Campbell's housing policies actually held some weight, she's one of the few that have discussed parking minimums, and the fact that she only voiced concerns over the community input process, and not that a tower replacing a garage here at half the footprint is a bad idea, solidifies her as my top candidate. Wu rain into this campaign with a lot of momentum, though.
 

Equilibria

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Can we all agree that Michelle Wu is completely full of shit?
I'll give Barros credit - he at least tried to propose an actual solution.

The logic is just nonsense, though. No one will ever bother to explain why "a tall tower doesn't belong on the Waterfront", or what the City would gain from "a comprehensive strategic plan for the Waterfront". Just be honest. You're against this because there's no political cost to being against this (voters don't see this garage much and don't care if it's there) and there is a cost to being for it (the CLF and deep-pocketed Harbor Tower residents will oppose you). Chiofaro became radioactive because of some spat with Menino that no one remembers well enough to explain, so it's fun to dunk on him. And meanwhile, the Waterfront keeps being held hostage by a bunch of rich jerks who value the public Waterfront so much they fence it off and cover it in astroturf to sun themselves before retreating to their 400-foot tower that "doesn't belong on the Waterfront."

Here's a compromise. Let's tear down the garage, tear down the Aquarium, tear down the Harbor Towers, give all the land to the City, materialize some funding from thin air, and make a nice little museum and cultural complex there. That costs, like a couple of billion dollars. I'm sure Councilor Wu has it between her couch cushions.

Campbell's housing policies actually held some weight, she's one of the few that have discussed parking minimums, and the fact that she only voiced concerns over the community input process, and not that a tower replacing a garage here at half the footprint is a bad idea, solidifies her as my top candidate. Wu rain into this campaign with a lot of momentum, though.
You complain about the community input process when you want to oppose something but don't want to bother to think of a reason why. As a bonus, it's a completely subjective objection that only you can decide has been resolved, since you'll always be able to find some person or group of people who will say they haven't had their say.
 

Rover

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The whole problem with this development is the total misconception from NIMBY's that they have Chiofaro over a barrel. The oft disproven theory that he paid too much for the garage and is losing money. As we proved out here using actual math he and his partners are in fact making millions, and will continue to do so until the garage becomes structurally unsafe. That means he and his heirs can sit on their profits for as long as it takes and the rest of us get to stare at a garage. It is going to to fun though when Harbor Towers loons lose their parking spaces which will make the garage even more profitable.
 

ccole

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And meanwhile, the Waterfront keeps being held hostage by a bunch of rich jerks who value the public Waterfront so much they fence it off and cover it in astroturf to sun themselves before retreating to their 400-foot tower that "doesn't belong on the Waterfront."
This. This is what infuriates me the most about this whole mess. The Harbor Tower residents are the worst kind of hypocrites for advocating against the same type of development that they benefit from.
 

dhawkins

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I bet it is as simple as the current tower residents don't want to be inconvenienced by construction activities again after ten years of the artery project. I bet there is a bit of PTSD. Also, the landmark aspect of the only towers on the waters edge and the views that come with them will command the highest residential unit prices until there is a competing tower adjacent to them. They don't want to be living in the tired towers next to the new gleaming tower.
 

Blackbird

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This f'ing city sometimes

I already didn’t like Barros much, but this just dropped Wu by a few pegs too.

"Dont believe a high rise belongs on the water's edge"- Why do people act like this is some beach on cape cod and not the middle of downtown Boston?
The article does note the hypocrisy by mentioning that the Harbor Towers are 400ft each.
 

Equilibria

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I bet it is as simple as the current tower residents don't want to be inconvenienced by construction activities again after ten years of the artery project. I bet there is a bit of PTSD. Also, the landmark aspect of the only towers on the waters edge and the views that come with them will command the highest residential unit prices until there is a competing tower adjacent to them. They don't want to be living in the tired towers next to the new gleaming tower.
No to the first one, yes to the second. Add to that a few more things: they don't want their downtown views blocked, they don't want their access to parking inconvenienced, and they want to see how much they can stick a developer up for in payoffs.

Remember, the HT people used to have leverage on Chiofaro because of their parking lease and the way that building mechanicals are integrated into the garage. IIRC this has now dragged on so long that those agreements either have expired or are about to. Hence the CLF bs to keep the fight going.
 

stellarfun

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Posters seem to overlook the fact that the easement allowing HT residents to lease about 400 (IIRC) parking spaces in the garage ends in about nine months. So IMO, Chiofaro is still holding plenty of good cards.,

This means that the Harbor Towers Plaintiffs' leased parking rights in the Garage remain enforceable and will continue to "run with the land" until February 28, 2022, but not thereafter. By agreement, all of the Harbor Towers Plaintiffs' parking rights in the Garage will end on that date
https://www.clf.org/wp-content/uplo...ion-on-Harbor-Towers-Beaton-Mot-Dismiss-2.pdf

This quote is excerpted from the decision by Judge Davis in 2019, dismissing a claim by the HT residents that their easement for parking spaces in the garage ran to perpetuity. (Davis is the same judge who ruled recently that the Secretary for Energy and Environmental Affairs did not have the legal authority to approve the Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Plan.)

As for the mayoral candidates, there is a lot of political pandering going on.. There are over 600 units in HT, many/most? of the residents are registered voters.
 

stellarfun

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No to the first one, yes to the second. Add to that a few more things: they don't want their downtown views blocked, they don't want their access to parking inconvenienced, and they want to see how much they can stick a developer up for in payoffs.

Remember, the HT people used to have leverage on Chiofaro because of their parking lease and the way that building mechanicals are integrated into the garage. IIRC this has now dragged on so long that those agreements either have expired or are about to. Hence the CLF bs to keep the fight going.
See my post supra re: the parking space leases. The easement for the mechanicals runs to perpetuity.
 

anthtucker312

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It's ridiculous the amount of opposition a good-looking tower like this gets simply because it would be "too tall" or "on the waterfront", even though there are several other similarly-sized skyscrapers right down the road. :rolleyes: It's unspeakably annoying how people choose to live in a city only to stand in the way of development. IMO this would have been the best-looking tower coming from this development cycle and it's a shame if it doesn't get built.
 

jl326

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No to the first one, yes to the second. Add to that a few more things: they don't want their downtown views blocked, they don't want their access to parking inconvenienced, and they want to see how much they can stick a developer up for in payoffs.

Remember, the HT people used to have leverage on Chiofaro because of their parking lease and the way that building mechanicals are integrated into the garage. IIRC this has now dragged on so long that those agreements either have expired or are about to. Hence the CLF bs to keep the fight going.
Hitting the nail on the head on this.
 

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