Whats left to build on?

TallIsGood

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The first lot is in Bulfinch Triangle and heights are limited there.
 

Justin7

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I'd be shocked to see a tower in the triangle, but I'm surprised we haven't seen any movement on these.
 

bigpicture7

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Here's a prime surface lot parcel just put up for sale:

The parcel covers about one-third of an acre at the corner of Newbury and Dartmouth streets, a block from Copley Square...

...The lot has been owned for generations by the same family, said Ben Sayles, a director at the real estate firm HFF, which is handling the sale. He expects the listing to draw wide interest from developers and investors.
Per the Globe:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2019/01/15/this-newbury-street-parking-lot-may-sell-for-tens-millions/XJdArSQNhSsC0aih2bIg9H/story.html

Map location:
https://goo.gl/maps/vKkATdUVV6p
 

statler

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Prediction:

Whatever gets built there will be better than a parking lot and worse than everything else around it.
 

TheRifleman

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Prediction:

Whatever gets built there will be better than a parking lot and worse than everything else around it.
I'm actually starting to miss open space. Every possible open space is getting developed. Even the suburbs are starting to feel like everything is closing in on it between condo developments, traffic congestion.

Space has become a very expensive perc now in and around the city.
 
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bigpicture7

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Open space (parks, natural woodlands, waterfront, etc)...and asphalt surface lots perennially filled with cars are two very different things.
 

stefal

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I'm actually starting to miss open space. Every possible open space is getting developed. Even the suburbs are starting to feel like everything is closing in on it between condo developments, traffic congestion.

Space has become a very expensive perc now in and around the city.
This lot is literally 50 steps from the Commonwealth Avenue parkway, which leads to one of the largest urban park areas in the US on one end, and Emerald Necklace, a park system envied by most US cities, on the other. There's no "closing in" feeling on Newbury St or most of the Back Bay roads because it's all human scaled.
 

dwash59

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Open space (parks, natural woodlands, waterfront, etc)...and asphalt surface lots perennially filled with cars are two very different things.
Yep, and it is unfortunate that so many zoning codes treat them identically.
 

JeffDowntown

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This lot is literally 50 steps from the Commonwealth Avenue parkway, which leads to one of the largest urban park areas in the US on one end, and Emerald Necklace, a park system envied by most US cities, on the other. There's no "closing in" feeling on Newbury St or most of the Back Bay roads because it's all human scaled.
And Dartmouth Street has the super wide sidewalk on the west side, by the lot; left over from the former carriage way into Back Bay from Back Bay Station.
 

odurandina

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Very soon to be, and all but ending is the era of >390' construction in Boston. Excepting for South Station Tower, the Harbor Garage site, and possibly, 1 Bromfield, we are effectively 'wrapping up.'

(>390' is a low number, but safe reference of demarcation).

re; the 547' Govt Center Garage residential tower;
Purely my subjective opinion, I've been biting my tongue on this one but some buildings just let you down out of the gate and others do not, this one is not so great... but it's rising from a parking garage so I can deal with it. If anything, I have a new found lukewarm appreciation of the neighboring JFK high rise. Even after 40 plus years, on the whole, its a comparatively more attractive high rise than this building rising today. In lay man's terms, this looks like a plastic modern version of the concrete high rises of the jfk era. That being said, on a positive note, it's a skyline filler and from city hall plaza and other areas it provides a visual sense of enclosure.
i believe the concept, design and materials are all good. It's the people being allowed to disproportionately affect the process, and not in a good way: not allowing the proper a/r's that is fatal brew. If you proposed a West End area crown at 65 Martha, the Suffolk Jail, the low section of the O'Neill Fed, or on one of the parcels adjacent to the tracks, the reaction and outrage would be as incredible and out of proportion as it would be remarkably effective--and result in the same outcome as those who came before; another splendid idea reduced to a Boston resident tower.

A type of bizarre, extreme, urban selfishness & narcissism rooted in prudish, provincialism & leftist authoritarianism (sorry) has produced a very squat city from one end to the other since about the time Flynnino took office. i believe this sentiment is most prevalent in the West End near Beacon Hill, Back Bay, and anything in or near the South End or Chinatown, such as the New York Streets & the area near the Radian, 125 Lincoln St etc--and in Mission Hill.

But, it's not just there; but every parcel in Boston is given the same talking points for why there must be no significant height (ever). Admittedly, you don't want to cast too much shadow upon Back Bay, Beacon Hill or parks. Which is precisely why possibly more height with narrow spires could and probably should have been pushed at BB Station, Church of Christ Scientist, Midtown Hotel etc--and these sites developed. But you can also make the argument that grandfathering Copley Tower, and stopping just there isn't a bad look. When the planned 300~400' towers go up on Back Bay, the unfortunate absence of Copley Tower will be, clear.

a Boston supertall skyscraper: 685~790'
a Back Bay High Spine/Downtown/ West End resident supertall tower: 325~540'
rare exceptions; MT, 1 Dalton
a neighborhood supertall: 140~290'
rare exceptions; the Pierce, Dudley Square.

Rinse & repeat;

1. the sky will disappear.
2. it's out of character for the neighborhood.
3. it's too close to Beacon Hill
4. it's too close to the North End
5. it creates too many shadows.
6. it would cast shadows on the Esplanade.
7. it's too tall for this area of Boston
8. it violates ancient zoning
9. it will contribute to the ruin of Athens
10. it will add too much traffic to the area
11. we don't want an 860' tower built, especially here, period.
12. developers are just evil greedy scum (anyway) that must be stopped.
 

Suffolk 83

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Certain people cant stop their brains from going to some left vs right argument for everything. NIMBY obstructionists cross all political spectrums and all they care about is their own selfish outcomes. It's 100% wrong and unfair to blame it on "leftists" or to bring politics into this whatsoever.
 

Massachoicetts

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BostonUrbEx

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Looking around the area, there's actually a surprising amount of infill that could happen in that part of Eastie. Never realized that before.
 

stick n move

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Id like to see the park extended through there linking the East Boston greenway with the Bremen street park. It is currently connected by a path/rail trail, but I mean creating one continuous park. I think that would be a wonderful asset to the neighborhood and its so obvious that Im sure its under consideration.

East Boston Greenway


Lots of space for a new connector park


Bremen street park
 
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goody

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Id like to see the park extended through there linking the East Boston greenway with the Bremen street park. It is currently connected by a path/rail trail, but I mean creating one continuous park. I think that would be a wonderful asset to the neighborhood and its so obvious that Im sure its under consideration.

East Boston Greenway


Lots of space for a new connector park


Bremen street park
Those Breman Street surface parking lots were for sale last year and I strongly suspect we will see a multifamily proposal for them, hopefully with some upgrades and activation along the greenway.
 

stick n move

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Whats up with this area? Between mass ave and melnea cass, west of BMC. Theres a ton of empty lots here. You could fit a SHIT TON of housing in here.

You could pack in like seventeen 10-15 story residential towers in here and a few thousand units. Id love to see them continue the likes of the northeastern dorms, tremont crossing, huntington ave tower...etc further down across mass ave and along each street branching off west. They really could make a huge dent in housing needs over here.







Also then this gives more need to a green branch to dudley once this, ink block, and the other south end devs are in... flower exchange etc.. Its just weird seeing these huuge lots so close to mass ave and the south end.
 
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JumboBuc

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Whats up with this area? Between mass ave and melnea cass, west of BMC. Theres a ton of empty lots here. You could fit a SHIT TON of housing in here.

You could pack in like seventeen 10-15 story residential towers in here and a few thousand units. Id love to see them continue the likes of the northeastern dorms, tremont crossing, huntington ave tower...etc further down across mass ave and along each street branching off west. They really could make a huge dent in housing needs over here.







Also then this gives more need to a green branch to dudley once this, ink block, and the other south end devs are in... flower exchange etc.. Its just weird seeing these huuge lots so close to mass ave and the south end.
I've been saying for a while that the area bound by Mass Ave, Melnea Cass, and Washington St will be the "Ink Block-esque" growth-area of the next 20 years or so.

One major factor that's keeping anything from being built there is that most of those parking lots and the huge landscraper building are all owned by the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. City land isn't nearly as easy for a developer to buy up and re-purpose. The City was also burned here before on a development pretty recently, as the current "Crosstown Center" (at the corner of Mass Ave and Albany) was BRA land that was redeveloped around the beginning of this century, and that project was a mess for a long time and lost a lot of money (now BMC owns most of it).

Some of smaller "infill" lots in that area already have stuff UC. I'd think that the large private parcels (e.g., the big CVS block at the corner of Harrison and Northampton, the school bus building at Washington and Thorndike, the wedge-lot industrial at the corner of Albany and Hampden) will be the first to see major redevelopment. The City land will probably only become built up once everything around it is already built and it sticks out as a hole in the neighborhood.

Plus a lot of the subsidized housing bounded by Mass Ave, Washington, Melnea Cass, and Tremont could be considerably densified.

And you're totally right, this area is also SCREAMING out for transit improvements. Green Line to Dudley for sure, plus I've crazy-transit-pitched a Longwood-Ruggles-Melnea Cass-BMC connector. But that's a subject for another tread...
 

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