0 Boston Real Estate Continues to Battle Height Restrictions

Tallest office buildings in Boston

Credit: Boston Globe

The city of Boston will no doubt entertain towers that exceed the 790-feet of 200 Clarendon Street, formerly known as the John Hancock Tower.

The location of Boston’s next tallest tower will most likely fall in the Back Bay neighborhood. This is due to the restriction imposed by the FAA from the Seaport and Financial District, as well as the shadow effect on Boston Common in the Mid-Town area.

According to the Boston Globe, “many Bostonians have come to love the relatively modest scale of the city’s neighborhoods. That affection surfaces every time someone proposes a building of substantial height. Invariably, issues like shadows and wind are raised.

‘Our neighborhoods, from the North End to the Back Bay to the South End, are full of people who love living in what appears to be a 19th-century community,” said Robert Brown, managing director at architecture firm Perkins+Will. “To them, tall buildings mean more density, more parking, more shadow.’”

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0 John Hancock to Return to Back Bay

Hancock tower boston

Credit: Bisnow

Back Bay becomes home to John Hancock – 2.0.

From Bisnow:

The insurance company is returning its headquarters to Back Bay, where it already has a 1.2M SF campus and employs over 2,000. Its 465K SF Seaport headquarters at 601 Congress St. employs 1,100 people, all of whom will be transferred by the end of 2018 to two Back Bay buildings at 200 Berkeley St. and 197 Clarendon St., the Boston Business Journal reports.

[John Hancock CEO Marianne] Harrison sent a memo to Hancock employees Tuesday, saying the company had enough space in Back Bay, given the number of local employees and how many work remotely. Along with the weather beacon-capped 200 Berkeley and 197 Clarendon, Hancock has approval to build a third office tower in Back Bay. The 26-story, 388-foot tower at 380 Stuart St. could be developed for Hancock or another tenant.

0 Back Bay Office Tower Approved

Back bay office tower graphic

Credit: The Boston Globe

Our city continues to grow up. Literally. The newest building approved in Boston is 691 feet. The tallest current building in the city is the John Hancock, at 790 feet, built in 1976. Coming in second is the Prudential Tower at 750 feet, built in 1964. The only building to make the list and built in the 80’s, was One International Place at 600 feet built in 1987.

From 1987 to present we have not seen any new construction over 600 feet. Currently there are three projects that are all 600 feet plus.

The Boston Globe reported on the announcement:

“The 58-story building, at the corner of Belvidere and Dalton streets, will add another major peak on the high spine of the Back Bay and bring thousands of new residents and visitors to one of the city’s most celebrated landmarks…The 950,000-square-foot development also includes a 25-story tower with 255 apartments; both buildings will have retail and restaurant spaces. Construction is scheduled to start early next year.”

Jump over to the Boston Globe’s website to read the full editorial.

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0 New Tower Considered in Back Bay

Back bay tower site

Photo Credit: Boston Business Journal

Will Back Bay be home to another Boston Properties skyscraper?  The location would be atop the John Hancock garage at Back Bay Station.

A report in the Boston Business Journal describes the proposal, “Boston Properties, owner of the John Hancock and Prudential towers, is floating a proposal for a skyscraper to be built on air rights atop its garage near Back Bay Station…a conceptual idea for a building could include office space and other mixed-uses above the parking garage at the corner of Stuart and Dartmouth streets.”

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