Raffles Boston (40 Trinity Place) | 426 Stuart Street | Back Bay

stellarfun

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The Saunders Hotel Group, which formerly owned and operated the Park Plaza and Copley Square hotels, is part of a team looking to construct a skyscraper on the site of the former John Hancock Hotel & Conference Center.

No formal plans have been filed with the city, but people with knowledge of the project said the developer intends to seek approval for a 400,000-square-foot hotel and residential complex along Stuart Street. These people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss it publicly.
More here:
http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2012/03/01/saunders_hotel_group_trinity_stuart_plans_35_story_tower_near_copley_square/?p1=News_links
 
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datadyne007

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

tmac's dream came true!! Something to distract the NIMBYs from Copley Place!!!
 

JSic

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

Now if only we could get rid of the Hancock garage...
 

statler

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.



I know everyone here will have a boner over the shiny new thing, and I recognized that this building isn't in way historically or architecturally significant but I still think it is fair to say it has more texture, made of better materials and is most likely better crafted than what will replace it.

That's not to say I'm opposed to the new plan (unless it's truly awful) but just a recognition that this won't be a 100% win.
 

datadyne007

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.



I know everyone here will have a boner over the shiny new thing, and I recognized that this building isn't in way historically or architecturally significant but I still think it is fair to say it has more texture, made of better materials and is most likely better crafted than what will replace it.

That's not to say I'm opposed to the new plan (unless it's truly awful) but just a recognition that this won't be a 100% win.
It might be nice if they kept the pedestal (~first 3 floors).
 

PlanBoston

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

It might be nice if they kept the pedestal (~first 3 floors).
Agreed, it would be nice; however the cost - benefit of doing that just doesn't make sense (see Salvation Army building / Liberty Mutual).
 

kmp1284

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

I wonder if this finally means the end of the University Club? They've been on their way out for quite a while and they seem to be rather upfront with their admissions policies on their website which is never a good sign in the private club world.
 

tobyjug

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

I was a member of the University Club up until about 10 years ago. Had my first trip there around 1962. It has had ups and downs, including the sale of the building to John Hancock, opening to women, and contracting inside under a long term lease. It had a big remodelling inside a few years ago. When LA Sports Club opened, a bunch of trainers jumped. The UC is still a force in squash.

The building is really nice, and it would be a shame to see it go. There are many others that deserve execution.
 

Bos77

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

And build over the pike
Amen. I could repeat that as much as Riff repeats about his lost stadium on the waterfront.
 

kmp1284

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

I was a member of the University Club up until about 10 years ago. Had my first trip there around 1962. It has had ups and downs, including the sale of the building to John Hancock, opening to women, and contracting inside under a long term lease. It had a big remodelling inside a few years ago. When LA Sports Club opened, a bunch of trainers jumped. The UC is still a force in squash.
It's always sort of surprised me that Boston never was able to sustain a more comprehensive private athletic and social club along the lines of the NYAC, LAAC, the former Downtown AC or Detroit AC.
 

KentXie

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

I hope the existing structure is kept as part of the design. The current building, while not elegant, has its appeal.
 

Officejab

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

If this were to be built and depending on the building shape and height. Would the tower help block winds heading toward the Hancock and that whip around Copley Sq or only make for more turbulence in the surrounding area.

Anyway I just glad this rumor will be the shiny object to distract some of the NIMBY's from dragging their feet on Copley Place for a little while at least.
 

tmac9wr

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

tmac's dream came true!! Something to distract the NIMBYs from Copley Place!!!
Haha yes it is! The fact that this will be destroying a (semi) historical building will be sure to kick up some dust too. Copley Tower could potentially roll from here.

If this were to be built and depending on the building shape and height. Would the tower help block winds heading toward the Hancock and that whip around Copley Sq or only make for more turbulence in the surrounding area.

Anyway I just glad this rumor will be the shiny object to distract some of the NIMBY's from dragging their feet on Copley Place for a little while at least.
I'm not sure whether this will do much to quell the wind going into Copley Square, but I would imagine more towers would probably be better in terms of wind as opposed to one monolithic structure.

In my two years working in the Hancock, I often thought about how great it would be to hang a giant wind turbine above the corner of St. James & Clarendon Streets...I think it would be able to reduce the wind that actually affected Copley Sq and would probably generate enough energy to power all of Back Bay.
 

whighlander

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

It might be nice if they kept the pedestal (~first 3 floors).
I suspect that there will be the usual Boston fascadectomy -- aka the colonial face transplant

If you have a pediment -- there is a good chance that the fascade or at least the first few floors will be preserved

Hotel tower may join skyline
35-story building a plan in Back Bay
A development group is said to be looking to construct a skyscraper on the site of the former John Hancock Hotel & Conference Center; no formal plans have been filed with city officials.
By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / March 1, 2012

Here are some pertinent quotes from the story:
http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2012/03/01/saunders_hotel_group_trinity_stuart_plans_35_story_tower_near_copley_square/?page=2

“We are all excited about the opportunity to bring a well-designed hotel and residential concept to this site that will be an asset to the Back Bay neighborhood,’’ the joint venture, known as Trinity Stuart LLC, said in its statement.

Once a proposal is filed with the city, the project will undergo a lengthy review process during which neighbors will have an opportunity to comment and suggest changes.

Trinity Stuart purchased the property in December from John Hancock Life Insurance Co. for $22.6 million. The site includes the eight-story John Hancock Hotel & Conference Center, which is next to the University Club and across from the 60-story Hancock Tower. The building has since been renamed the Boston Common Hotel & Conference Center. It is unclear whether Trinity Stuart will seek to demolish the building or incorporate it into its new complex....City and state planners in recent years have sought to encourage development of large-scale buildings in the Back Bay, at times clashing with neighborhood groups about increases in traffic and the impact on public parks, among other issues.

A neighborhood panel recently flagged the property acquired by Trinity Stuart as a site that could host a significant redevelopment. The panel of residents and business leaders found that the parcel could accommodate a building of up to 400 feet, or between 30 and 40 stories, which is significantly taller than the 125 feet allowed under existing zoning.

To qualify for the additional height, the developers must show that the project will not increase wind in the area or cast shadows on surrounding parks or historic structures, according to guidelines established by the panel. They also must commit to funding neighborhood improvements, such as adding public art or paying for upgrades to nearby open spaces.

The panel’s guidelines have not been formally adopted by the city but are likely to be used to assess development proposals in the neighborhood. The guidelines say that new buildings should help create a “varied skyline’’ in the Back Bay and increase vibrancy along the street, which has pockets that are dark and desolate.

The Trinity Stuart partners have significant development experience in the area. Warshaw previously worked with developer Ron Druker on the construction of the mixed-use Atelier|505 project in the South End, and the Saunders Hotel Group developed the Back Bay Hotel at the former Boston Police Headquarters. The company also owns and operates the Lenox Hotel.

Sounds as though this is another one of the "No formal plans"...rather rapidly followed by "quiet BRA approval" type of projects -- we might see two more big Back Bay towers sprouting in the next 2 years

from a Globe photo gallery of projects (under construction, planned, or proposed):
http://www.boston.com/realestate/gallery/current_construction_projects?pg=17


PS:----PST -- don't tell anyone -- but it kinda looks like the "High Spine" :=]
 
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statler

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

I'm not sure.

Even though the rates in this area could probably justify the added cost of the facadectomy, I'm not sure the building has the pedigree to demand it.

Unless there is something special about that building I don't know or can't see, which is possible.
 

HenryAlan

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

I know everyone here will have a boner over the shiny new thing, and I recognized that this building isn't in way historically or architecturally significant but I still think it is fair to say it has more texture, made of better materials and is most likely better crafted than what will replace it.

That's not to say I'm opposed to the new plan (unless it's truly awful) but just a recognition that this won't be a 100% win.
The NIMBYs will go nuts on this one. I'm even having a bit of a mixed reaction, although mostly because I've attended a number of meetings in the building, and really enjoyed some of the space. There is a beautiful solarium/indoor porch that is the sort of place I've always thought I'd want when I join the 0.1% and have my mansion. It's the sort of thing that doesn't happen in new construction. On the other hand, much of the rest of the building is old, dated, and run down. And it doesn't do much to bring life to that corner, whereas a condo/hotel tower will.

Interestingly, if this gets built, along with Copley place, and if a version of Columbus place eventually happens, and throwing in Liberty Mutual, the Stuart st. corridor will start to actually look a bit like the Manhattan that so many NIMBYs fear. That's a lot of towers fairly densely packed. Combine that with the straight, wide, one way streets, and we have Manhattanization. Oh noes!

I for one, look forward to that day. Not all of downtown should look like Manhattan, but a few areas are ripe for it, and this is one of them.
 

PaulC

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

Perhaps some of the older section might be worth keeping to add old world style class to any new hotel. Any building can have a shinning new lobby.
 

kmp1284

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Re: New hotel tower Triunity Place near Copley Sq.

The other issue I am seeing is execution. Other than the Lenox, there's nothing in Saunders' portfolio that indicates capabilities beyond the rest stop motel sort of place. What brand do they plan to partner with on this project? I am aware that Starwood, Marriott and Hilton would all like a piece of the action with one of their more upscale brands but why would they go with a small-timer like Saunders? This isn't the sort of property one would piss away on a Comfort Inn(I hope).
 

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