10 Boston Development Moves to Watch in 2018
After several years of what is possibly the biggest building boom in the city’s history, Boston remarkably seems poised to keep the momentum going with several significant projects ready to break ground. Here’s our list of 10 key projects for 2018:
1. 150 Seaport Blvd
After a long journey, the controversial 22-story condo tower in Boston’s Seaport District was recently approved by the Department of Environmental Protection. Despite receiving approval from the Boston Planning & Development Agency in December 2016, the tower faced a legal challenge by the Conservation Law Foundation earlier this year, which held up construction. Developer Jon Cronin agreed to pay the city of Boston $1.95 million for the 3,000 square feet of the city’s sidewalks outside Whiskey Priest and Atlantic Beer Garden in order to create enough space for the luxury condo tower. The project now faces another challenge from CLF, which has a pending lawsuit challenging a zoning plan for the site. However, the case is expected to be heard and resolved early in the year, and The Cronin Group should begin construction in October 2018.
2. The Huntington
Acquired by QMG Huntington LLC in May 2016, this 0.76-acre site in Fenway is currently occupied by three existing buildings at 252, 258 and 264 (the theater) Huntington Avenue. The proposal for the site includes demolishing the 252 and 258 Huntington Ave buildings and, in their places, building a 32-story, 405,500 square foot mixed-use tower with more than 400 apartment residences as well as 7,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space spanning the first and second floors. The new building will be connected to the existing theater on it first two floors, and will expand the theater by 14,000 square feet. In early December, the BPDA approved the plan for the 32-story building which puts it on track to begin construction in 2018.
3. Suffolk Downs
As the focus of Boston’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, Suffolk Downs’ future is one of 2018’s most intriguing possibilities. Earlier this year, the 161-acre site was sold to The HYM Investment group, which has big plans for the location – with or without Amazon. With the race track being eliminated in April 2018, HYM will begin to implement phase one of their plans for a mixed-use development, which will be transit-oriented and include 40 acres of open space, spanning more than one million square feet of the eight million square foot space.
4. Winthrop Square Garage
From navigating shadow laws to chopping its height as a condition to move forward, developer Millennium Partners has come a long way getting Winthrop Square Garage’s necessary approvals. And after a height of 725 feet was ultimately agreed upon, the tower was approved, but not without an add-on ban on any future developments from reaching heights that would cast shadows on Boston Common, the Boston Public Garden and Copley Square. Recently, Millennium Partners has started demolition on the vacant parking garage in the heart of the financial district to prepare the site for construction. If all goes as planned, the developer and the Boston Planning & Development Agency should break ground on the office and condominium tower in 2018.
5. Mass + Main
This project – named for the intersection in which it lays at Mass Ave and Main Street in Cambridge’s Central Square – has already begun construction, but most of the work will be done this year, as it targets 2019 for completion. The 308,000 square foot, mixed-use development includes three buildings: a 19-story high-rise tower, which will be the first phase of the project and will be among the tallest buildings in Cambridge when complete; a six-story innovation housing building; and a four-story family housing building. Together, they will contain more than 300 apartment residences and 17,000 square feet of retail, marking a new chapter in the neighborhood’s look and development.
6. Widett Circle
Put up for sale in early November 2017, the 20 acres at Widett Circle is a prime spot for development between the South End and South Boston. As a parcel of land previously overlooked, it finally surfaced as a sought-after development site for Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid. And after the bid fell through, the desire to develop the property has only grown since. Many developers are interested in the site, which has great access to transit and the expressway. The owner, The New Boston Food Market, hopes to have a buyer for the property by early 2018, which will spur major development moves at a site the mayor and others consider vital to expanding development south of downtown.
7. The Hub on Causeway
On the site of the old Boston Garden, this 1.87 million square foot, three-tower mixed-use development in Bulfinch Triangle will complete its first phase in late 2018. Phase one will include office, retail, restaurant and new parking space, as well as 64,000 square feet of TD Garden expansion space. Phase two of the massive development will entail a 38-story residential tower with approximately 440 units and a 10-story citizen hotel. And Phase three will be comprised of a 21-story office tower. Once complete, the steel and glass structures will connect directly to North Station, transforming Boston’s West End.
8. Echelon Seaport
One of the largest construction projects in Massachusetts, Echelon Seaport officially broke ground in June 2017 but, like others, will really begin significant building in 2018 and on into 2019. It will consist of three mixed-use towers containing 1.3 million square feet across 3.5 acres at B Street and Seaport Boulevard in the Seaport. Two of the towers will consist of more than 400 luxury condos, and the final tower will contain 285 luxury apartments. The development will include a 19,000 square foot plaza as well as 125,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Coming in at a whopping $900 million, Echelon will be the second largest housing development in the neighborhood and will open in 2020.
9. 399 Congress Street
After years of discussion over the Congress Street parcel, one of the last large sites in the Seaport, Miami-based developer Crescent Heights secured a construction permit with the city and began foundation work in July 2017. This mixed-use development will be 22-stories tall and contain more than 400 apartments, in addition to 12,000 square feet of retail, innovation and lobby space across the ground floor. Underneath the tower will be a three-level parking garage. And keeping on track with Mayor Walsh’s affordable housing goals, more than 60 units will be designated as affordable, including 13 of the innovation units. Once complete, the complex will offer its residents direct access to the Seaport’s Innovation District companies, many of which are housed in nearby buildings.
10. One Dalton & the Four Seasons
These two major projects have been topics of conversation for some time, but both will finally come to fruition in 2018. Set for completion by New Year’s Eve 2018, One Dalton, soon-to-be home of the city’s second Four Seasons, will contain residential, hotel and retail space, along with other amenities. Upon completion, the 61-story building will surpass Millennium Tower to become Boston’s tallest residential tower.