Should it be built or not? Will it cast a deep shadow? Is too much being made of this issue or are not enough people rallying behind the drive to maintain a view of the sky?
From the New York Times:
Boston is riding the crest of what city officials say is the biggest building boom in its history, with cranes lifting glassy towers into place and raising the city’s unassuming profile. The surge of construction is also plunging some of its most cherished sites into deepening shadow, testing state laws that have long balanced economic development with protection of sunlight and open space.
The concern is not merely about preserving a glimpse of sky in the increasingly vertical downtown or about the risks of darkness to plants, historic buildings and even humans. It is also about whether the city is going down a road of no return by trading away, one piece at a time, its intangible assets, like sunlight on its signature parks and public access to its gleaming waterfront.
Will the Boston skyline elect to push heights in the upcoming years?
“Going higher is a fix to a lot of different things, from the housing shortage to taking the heavy load off the freeways into our city,” Perry Brokerage Director of Intelligence Brendan Carroll said.
Despite claims it has reached peak prices, Boston is still the third-most expensive city in the U.S. to rent. It has a cost of living nearly 40% higher than the national average, and low supply is keeping prices high. Cities around the world are in similar situations and have taken to building up as a way out of housing crunches.
Some tenants now use a model where they lease less space and rely instead on on-demand conference room and meeting space. This model changes the square foot requirements per office worker, and has become a great resource for small to mid-sized office tenants.
These shared office spaces provide “temporary meeting space, conference rooms and event space to companies that would traditionally have leased or rented that space through their landlord. The goal is to offer employers a temporary solution on a need-by-need basis, giving office occupiers more flexibility to pursue cost-saving initiatives such as shrinking their square footage.”
One of the reasons these third-party space providers are gaining popularity within the industry is because they offer more than mere space — they provide hospitality services and create an experience that users would not otherwise get.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is pushing for the Winthrop Square Tower and is offering tighter restrictions on future tower developments as a concession.
Mayor Marty Walsh’s proposal would bar future developments (except Millennium’s) from casting a shadow over the Common, Public Garden and Back Bay’s Copley Square. The plan would also call for new zoning in the Financial District and Downtown Crossing. The shadow change also needs state approval by Gov. Charlie Baker and the state legislature due to the changes it would bring to the Massachusetts’ 1990 shadow law.
Back Bay could be getting some more height at 1000 Boylston Street from Weiner Ventures.
The parcel is a block away from the 254-foot Hilton Back Bay and 360-foot Sheraton North Tower as well as the 756-foot Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences under construction. The 52-story Prudential Center tower is two blocks down Boylston. The complex would be on four different parcels, three of which are Mass Pike air rights plots.
If completed, 1000 Boylston will feature 182 apartments and 160 condominiums above a six-story podium composed of retail and parking. Its prominent location near the intersection of Boylston and Massachusetts Avenue is particularly complex due to the limited amount of ground the tower has for foundation.
Credit: Boston Globe
No change in height from the developer for Winthrop Square tower.
From Curbed, Boston:
The main bone of contention re: the development is its height, which will likely stretch to 775 feet. That has raised concerns about potential shadows that the tower might cast on the Common and the Public Garden.
Is Millennium considering cutting the height? No. We feel this project was holistically designed at its optimum size in response to achieving the goals that the city required for this public asset.
Credit: Boston Globe
Winthrop Square tower is being positioned as the last development to cast a shadow.
According to the Boston Globe, “the Walsh administration is willing to write tougher rules restricting the size of shadows that new buildings can cast on Boston Common, as long as there’s an exemption for Winthrop Square, said Brian Golden, director of the Boston Planning & Development Agency. That could effectively cap the height of future buildings in parts of Downtown Crossing.”
Additional details on the proposed skyscraper in Winthrop Square are available on the Boston Globe.
1 Federal Street in Boston’s Financial District
1 Federal Street is headed for the sales block by Eastdil Secured. The building is expected to trade in excess of $682 per square foot.
According to Realert, “the 38-story tower is 98% occupied, with a weighted average remaining lease term of almost seven years. The largest tenant, law firm Morgan Lewis, occupies 301,000 sf on a lease that runs until 2023. Records-management company Iron Mountain is leasing 133,000 sf until 2024. Others tenants include Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Oppenheimer & Co. and U.S. Bank.”
Additional information is available on realert.
Credit: The Real Reporter
Boston won’t be scaling up to the development heights of projects underway in NYC. Boston’s newest tower comes in at nearly half the height of New York’s Nordstrom Tower.
From The Real Reporter:
When comparing to New York’s major projects under development, Boston comes up very short with Millennium Tower as its tallest, versus Nordstrom Tower, by more than double its size. Nordstrom Tower (when complete) is set to be crowned the World’s tallest, towering in at 1,775 Feet, while Millennium will top off at 685 feet.
They all won’t happen in this cycle, but it will be interesting to watch the Boston skyline evolve as projects come out of the ground.
From Banker & Tradesman:
Three office towers totaling 113 stories and nearly 2.5 million square feet, already bearing the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s stamp of approval, are to be built near the MBTA’s Haymarket, North and South stations.
The transit tower trend ratchets up with Boston Properties’ latest vision of a 1.3-million-square-foot development at Back Bay station, including a 26-story office tower. And the BRA is getting into the high-rise act as it seeks an “iconic” redevelopment up to 700 feet for its defunct Financial District garage at 115 Federal St.