South Station Tower | South Station Air Rights | Downtown

found5dollar

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I don't think we talk about the bus terminal expansion here enough. it is going to be absolutely transformational. 1/3 more bays and indoor access to south station will make the experience of the terminal so much nicer. When it is not a pandemic I take a bus in or out of the terminal at least once a month and I cant wait for this!
 
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stefal

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Is the terminal expansion being booted by the developer? Hefty price tag...
 

HelloBostonHi

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Can you point out where you see this? I cant find this entry on the plans I could find online (and the one above).
It's where the orange spiral is in the site plan above. That's a garage ramp, I've been complaining about it for a few years at this point. Here's a few screengrabs from presentations.
Screenshot_20210214-185912_Drive.png
Screenshot_20210214-185956_Drive.png

Screenshot_20210214-190827_Drive.png
 
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squidman1

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No this is all for the bus terminal expansion. We won't see tower steel go up for quite some time.




The footprint of the new tower sits within the concourse area, but won't interfere with the actual head house building. You can see the outline of the tower below.

Ah, thanks for noting. Before I had much information about this project I was getting scared that the footprint of the tower would just be taking up a bunch of space inside the actual main concourse.
 

JeffDowntown

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That parking garage entry onto Atlantic Ave will be on our biggest failures in urban design in years I think. A parking garage with direct interstate on-ramps and yet someone thought it necessary to put an entrance across a busy pedestrian area.
I suspect part of the urban planning consideration is that pedestrian flow along Atlantic Avenue should be reduced with the new expansion. People moving from train or T to bus, or vice versa will move through the interior connections in the bus terminal expansion, not via Atlantic. People being dropped off for the bus will drop at the bus terminal end. People being dropped off for trains will be dropped at the train station end. There really should be less pedestrian flow along Atlantic.
 

whighlander

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That parking garage entry onto Atlantic Ave will be on our biggest failures in urban design in years I think. A parking garage with direct interstate on-ramps and yet someone thought it necessary to put an entrance across a busy pedestrian area.
HelloBoston -- perhaps you weren't here yet or perhaps you don't remember
This is the CLF's doing -- that parking garage is not accessible from the interstate -- only buses and similar vehicles can use the ramp from the interstate

You could argue that it shouldn't be there to begin with -- but if you assume that the garage is needed [for instance for employees who have to be at work before the T cranks-up ] -- then you have to have a way to get to / from it
 

HelloBostonHi

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HelloBoston -- perhaps you weren't here yet or perhaps you don't remember
This is the CLF's doing -- that parking garage is not accessible from the interstate -- only buses and similar vehicles can use the ramp from the interstate

You could argue that it shouldn't be there to begin with -- but if you assume that the garage is needed [for instance for employees who have to be at work before the T cranks-up ] -- then you have to have a way to get to / from it
That was definitely before my time, but the correct me if I'm wrong but the current public parking garage located on top of the bus station appears to be accessible from the interstate ramps? There is an HOV Ramp but there's also a non-HOV ramp back at Exit 20. Takes you up this way (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.344...4!1sKunK16gxzWFFQQ9cqVjVsg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192) to the current parking garage here: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.348...4!1sior0c2Ydgjy9DF1auwS_Xg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

My question is what is wrong with the current parking access that has been in use for decades? I presume the answer is increased volumes. And yes it looks like the entrance from the Pike EB is marked as HOV 2+, but worst case you take a loop around Lincoln St to get back on SS Connector.
 

whighlander

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Ah, thanks for noting. Before I had much information about this project I was getting scared that the footprint of the tower would just be taking up a bunch of space inside the actual main concourse.
Squidman -- the fopotprint of South Station the outdoor concourse and the train platforms is however changing
The work which is currently underway is shortening the platforms and expanding the outdoor concourse as well as moving the doors between interior South Station and the currently open concourse area

some of the transformation is temporary for the construction work to go on*1 while keeping passenger access between the train platforms and the waiting area functional]
some of the transformation will be permanent providing a larger concourse area undercover of the Tower [open to the wind hopefully not so much the snow]*2

see the animated sequence for the details


*1
STAGE 1 (JANUARY 2020 - MARCH 2021):
Stage 1 includes the following construction activities:
Three construction zones are in place:​
Atlantic Avenue construction zone​
Summer Street construction zone​
Track 13 construction zone​
The contractor will begin expanding the outdoor concourse area to create a temporary outdoor concourse that is 22% larger than the existing area to accommodate pedestrians and rail passengers throughout construction of the project.​
Some retail kiosks inside South Station have been relocated to accommodate changes to passenger circulation.​
At the end of March 2021, the Tower construction zone will be created and the temporary outdoor concourse area will be complete.​

STAGE 2 (MARCH 2021 - DECEMBER 2022):
Stage 2 includes the following construction activities:
The contractor will begin work on the expanded bus terminal and parking garage (which will be built over the tracks, platforms and outdoor concourse area).​
The contractor will perform foundation and structure work on the mixed-used tower.​
By December 2022, the newly expanded bus terminal will be opened for public use with access from Atlantic Avenue through the existing bus terminal entrance.​

*2
EXPANDED OUTDOOR CONCOURSE AREA
The new outdoor concourse area will increase in size by 67% for an improved experience for passengers and people passing through the station. The tracks and platforms will be completely covered and the outdoor concourse will be transformed into an architecturally significant gateway to the city.
 

whighlander

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That was definitely before my time, but the correct me if I'm wrong but the current public parking garage located on top of the bus station appears to be accessible from the interstate ramps? There is an HOV Ramp but there's also a non-HOV ramp back at Exit 20. Takes you up this way (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.344...4!1sKunK16gxzWFFQQ9cqVjVsg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192) to the current parking garage here: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.348...4!1sior0c2Ydgjy9DF1auwS_Xg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

My question is what is wrong with the current parking access that has been in use for decades? I presume the answer is increased volumes. And yes it looks like the entrance from the Pike EB is marked as HOV 2+, but worst case you take a loop around Lincoln St to get back on SS Connector.
You might be right about the non-HOV entrance
As for the Atlantic Ave entrance / exit -- that is connected with expanding the parking garage for later phases of the project
work just beginning:
The contractor will begin work on the expanded bus terminal and parking garage (which will be built over the tracks, platforms and outdoor concourse area).
1613418410875.png
 

bobthebuilder

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I can confirm the entrance to the parking garage from the highway as I used to use it all the time picking people up from the bus terminal. If I remember correctly it was free if you were there under 15 min. Even if you were there longer it was worth a few bucks to avoid the craziness of Atlantic ave. From both the pike & 93 it's the same path the buses take except when the buses go left into the terminal cars for right up to the parking garage. The HOV portion is all of 500' when coming from the I90 so I'm not really sure who that "HOV 2+" sign is stopping.
 

JeffDowntown

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A couple questions about the new parking entrance/exit on Atlantic.

1) Do we know that the new section of garage is connected to the old garage? If so, is it a straightforward connection or a convoluted routing?
2) Is the developer sectioning the garage between Bus Terminal traffic and office tower traffic?
 

jklo

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Definitely going to have a different feel with the boarding area being all covered.
 

stefal

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Building over a garage imposes some structural challenges that would have to be addressed during this current phase for something about 10 years down the line. That's a big risk to take without knowing how well you'll sell, and a tough sell to a bank/loan provider, saying "we'll start making money back on these gigantic costs in maybe 15-20 years." Granted, this is -on top- of one of the busiest transit hubs north of NYC, so I can't imagine back during planning they wouldn't have seen any reason to not go larger, at least on the yellow portion. The green low-rise is being constructed over the existing bus terminal - can't get too big without sinking ultra-high costs into retrofitting the existing structure to accommodate a taller tower above it. Visually, also, the yellow portion, if taller, may have interfered with the 'centerpiece' quality SST has, though with its most recent design, it could sure use a more handsome tower next to it to help.
 

Life Coach Mike

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Since they're directly on top of the train tracks, maybe there'd need to be more aggressive and expensive reinforcement for them to go taller? Just an uninformed guess, though.
And maybe views from the tower would be impeded...commanding higher rents if free and clear?
 

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