Rising Higher: 6 Boston Building Developments You Should Keep Your Eye On in 2016
Whether you’re stepping out of the office to get a quick lunch in the Financial District, spending a Saturday strolling through the South End or hitting up the bars in Fenway on a Friday night, you’re sure to notice a new building going up that wasn’t there before.
Boston is in the midst of a colossal development boom, with no neighborhood going untouched. And things won’t be slowing down as the calendar turns to 2016, either, because theBoston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approved a total of over $2.5B worth of projects under construction in 2016 and beyond.
Two-and-a-half billion dollars is a big investment, so in sticking with the theme of going big, what follows is a rundown of the most noteworthy development storylines to pay attention to in 2016.
Government Center Station
Spring of 2016 will bring the much-anticipated reopening of Government Center Station.
The project, which will have taken just about three years to complete when all is said and done, was a necessary one, and as a result the station will be fully accessible, safer, more modern and more comfortable.
In addition to becoming compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) Agreement, station improvements include:
Raised code-compliant platforms to provide accessible boarding to Green Line trains
New elevators to provide access from the street level to the Green Line platform and from the Green Line platform to the Blue Line platform
Additional vendor retail space on both the Green Line and Blue Line platforms
New expanded fare-collection area
As a centralized MBTA station located in the heart of downtown Boston, the timing of Government Center’s reopening could not be better, because East Boston is developing into the next residential destination for many professionals who will appreciate more convenient access to the Blue Line.
In late October, the BRA approved the $25M renovation of Government Center Station’s neighbor,Center Plaza.
Shorenstein Properties acquired the space in January 2014, and their plans to renovate the space include a rebranding for the complex, enhancements to street-level lobbies, and the addition of a 21,000-square-foot penthouse for added office space and rooftop garden.
On the ground floor will be a 9,400-square-foot addition in order to provide more retail and restaurant space.
Construction began at the end of 2015, and Shorenstein Properties hopes to attract businesses in tech and innovation to the renovated office complex.
The development is part of a revitalization to this portion of downtown, as there are also plans in the works for Congress Square and Faneuil Hall.
One Seaport Square
While the largest mixed-use development won’t be fully complete until 2017, the magnitude of this transformation is worth witnessing in 2016.
The 1.1 million square feet of space will house two towers that will be 22 and 20 stories respectively above three stories of retail space and three levels of underground parking. The high-rise addition to the Seaport will boast 832 residential units, 250,000 square feet of retail space and 775 parking spaces.
As One Seaport Square will sit firmly in Boston’s Innovation District, the space will accommodate the city’s entrepreneurs with 100 innovation units, or micro-apartments.
What was once the historic Filene’s Department Store is now the massive 60-story Millennium Tower.
When the $630M project is finished in Q3 of 2016, it will stand 685 feet above ground and include 100,000 square feet of retail space, 185,000 square feet of office space and 600 residential units.
The main draw of the Millennium Tower is the residential offerings. Its 13,000-square-foot Grand Penthouse sits atop the high-rise, giving the lucky tenant panoramic views of the Boston Common, Public Garden and Charles River. Those living below the Grand Penthouse will also have arguably the most enviable living destination in the city, as the building’s top five floors are at the highest residential points in the Boston skyline.
One Dalton Street
Now that you’re all excited about the unrealistic possibility of sleeping in the highest bedroom in the city, you should know that once the Four Seasons Hotel & Four Seasons Private Residences at One Dalton Street — located in the Christian Science Plaza — is completed in 2017, it will supplant Millennium Tower as the tallest residential tower.
Overlooking the city from 61 stories and 699 feet above ground, the property at One Dalton will be the tallest constructed in New England since the 1970s. The first 23 stories will hold a Four Seasons Hotel with 211 luxury rooms, two restaurants, two lounges, and a health club and spa. Above that, there will be 44 stories equipped with 180 private residences.
One project that may not come to fruition any time soon but is worth keeping tabs on in the news in 2016 is the developing storyline around what’s to come for the Harbor Garage next to the New England Aquarium.
Developer Don Chiofaro purchased the garage in 2007, but has yet to get a project proposal approved by the BRA. His idea to bring a 1.3 million-square-foot development to the harbor with one 600-foot tower and one 500-foot tower has gone through multiple iterations and garnered vocal opposition from New England Aquarium officials, who argue they would lose $5M to $10M annually due to the loss of parking space.
The BRA supports replacing the garage with a signature development, but has taken a hard stance on not going too big.