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This could be a really big deal. The SST is moving along and will be ~700 ft if built. This area is nearby, so a new high rise area DT could come to pass with this ruling.

This might even be the site for a new tallest in boston. This area is already zoned for 400', and buildings near or above 700' has been discused. The FAA would probably allow 700', the question is will they allow 800, 900 or 1000 feet.

Big Dig gets OK to sell site for development

By Scott Van Voorhis

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

The Big Dig is poised to put up for sale a prime downtown development site near South Station after getting a green light for the sale from the federal government.

A sprawling site off Kneeland Street hosts the headquarters for the massive highway project, but that building is expected to be demolished to make way for a glittering high-rise project potentially twice the size of the Prudential Center, officials said. The site may hit the market this spring, according to Massachusetts Turnpike Chairman Matt Amorello, who oversees the Big Dig.

The site could fetch as much as $100 million, helping to offset the taxpayer tab for the $14 billion-plus central artery project, officials say.

Selling the site was made possible when the General Accounting Office, a congressional watchdog agency, in a ruling late last month, put to rest concerns that Big Dig officials would be barred from using profits from real estate sales to help pay off project debt. U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had pushed to block such sales, arguing the federal government had helped foot most of the bill to buy the Kneeland Street office building and the land it's on.

Until that long-standing issue was resolved, the Big Dig was blocked from selling the parcel, said Turnpike director Jordan Levy.

But with the favorable GAO recommendation, project officials will order up a new appraisal of the land and begin drawing up a request for bids from developers, Levy said. Estimates of the land's value have ranged from $90 million to more than $100 million.

``It made no sense to put it up for sale, prior to that, if the federal government was going to control all of the revenue,'' Levy said. ``Now it makes good sense.''

``We really had found ourselves in a quagmire with the previous rulings. We really were handcuffed,'' Levy said.

The move is expected to put several acres of prime downtown development land on the market. The parcel is partly crisscrossed by various ramps and roadways.

Big Dig officials plan to be out of the Kneeland Street building by the fall of next year, setting the stage for its demolition to make way for high-density commercial buildings. The parcel was slated for such high-value development through moves by Big Dig and City Hall officials.

By contrast, many other downtown sites created by theBig Dig are reserved either for parks or for low-rise retail and housing construction.

The Turnpike's real estate chief has estimated the Kneeland Street site could accommodate up to 2 million square feet of space- the size of two Prudential Centers.

``This site dwarfs every other development opportunity related to the project,'' said Larry Rosenblum, a neighboring Leather District business owner and member of a panel overseeing Big Dig land redevelopment.

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I think all of Boston's buildings should be exactly the same height. Simply because people seem to enjoy bashing the skyline so much, I say give 'em their fun.  :P

LOL. Boston would be like the US version of Sao Paulo. A bunch of buildings all the same exact height.

A new highrise district in Boston would be cool. Let's bring in the cranes & see some new towers rising!

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Something will get built in this area. Parts of it are far enough away from Chinatown that something tall might actully happen. It is only a short distance from south station and the site of the proposed SST.

It will probably be 2008 to 2010 before much is there, and that's a long time.

Boston's skyline has many different buidling heights, and a number of highries are going up now. Its real problem is that most of the highest buildings have flat tops which makes it look flat. There are 3 600+ foot buildings DT and a number near 590, so there is height there already. What is really needed are towers over 600 feet that do not have flat roof lines. Towers in the 600 foot range without flat roofs would also add a lot.

The same type of building would be a help in the back bay to balance the JHT and Pru. Some new height is proposed and will probably come around the JHT, but probably in the 450 foot range

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Site near Greenway up for development

By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff | June 3, 2004

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is putting 10 acres of land up for development at the southern foot of the Rose Kennedy Greenway that could redraw Boston

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Neighborhood rising

10-acre project would include housing, library annex, supermarket

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | December 11, 2004

A new neighborhood the size of the minicity envisioned for Fan Pier could materialize over the next decade or so in an area between South Station and Chinatown that is now mostly a maze of highway ramps.

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority yesterday received a single proposal, from Boston Residential Group LLC, for a 3.1 million-square-foot project to transform about 10 acres known as the South Bay, an area south of Kneeland Street and the Leather District.

The proposal includes mostly housing, with the tallest structure a 67-floor, 800-foot-tall tower on the southeast corner of the site.

The bid envisions about 1,700 condominium and rental residences, plus almost 600,000 square feet of office and commercial space. It would include about 2,000 parking spaces and would include a public library annex, a recreational facility, a supermarket specializing in Asian foods, and a park on Kneeland Street, a portion of a total of more than 200,000 square feet of open space and public amenities.

The park is billed as the southern end of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the 30 acres of open and public space that are replacing the old elevated Central Artery.

The proposal, for a new neighborhood called Gateway Center, addresses the ''critical need for housing and the needs of the Chinatown and Leather District communities," the developer, Curtis R. Kemeny, the chief executive and president of Boston Residential, said in a press release. The housing is planned in three residential towers and two midrise residential blocks.

The single bid is the end of a long-anticipated process in which the Turnpike, as steward of the Big Dig, is redeveloping former construction sites, restoring some of the urban framework missing since the elevated highway was built in the 1950s, and generating revenues from leases or sales of land to help pay some of its $2 billion share of the highway project.

Stephen J. Hines, the chief development officer of the Turnpike Authority, said the proposal is for a long-term lease of the land.

He said the authority would be evaluating the proposal and getting community reaction in January, with a decision of whether to accept the proposal probably coming in February. Hines declined to discuss the financial details of the proposal, which are likely to be complicated and tied to the future success of the development. Developers were offered the option of purchasing the land or leasing it. Boston Residential chose the lease option.

Although the authority always likes to have competing bids for land or air rights it puts up for development, Hines said, ''We're pleased that we received a proposal."

Boston Residential is a privately held development and management company that owns and manages about 1,200 luxury apartments, primarily in Boston and the western suburbs.

The company was founded only this year, but the families of the two principals have been in the real estate business for years.

The development of the land, controlled by the Turnpike Authority, will follow guidelines and a new set of zoning rules set out by the City of Boston, following more than a year of meetings where neighbors from the surrounding community told officials what they want.

''The way we're envisioning it is it becoming an extension of the surrounding community, Chinatown and the Leather District communities, down into that zone," said Marc Margulies, chairman of the 17-member South Bay Task Force Planning Committee, which was appointed by the city.

Lawrence Rosenbloom, a Leather District resident and member of the task force, said he was pleased that someone had responded to the challenge.

For a developer, Rosenbloom said, ''It's very ambitious, in ways that are similar to the South Boston Waterfront," though he added that it is in some ways a superior location because it is adjacent to South Station.

The planning study accommodated the desire by Chinatown residents for affordable housing ''at all income levels and different-sized units," Margulies said. Employment and employment training are supposed to be part of the package promised by developers, ''items for the economic benefit of the adjacent neighborhood."

The proposal from Boston Residential is primarily for existing land, not for air rights over the ramps that proliferate on the southern end of the South Bay site. But the master plan includes a vision of what could be built in later phases.

The southern end of the new neighborhood is envisioned as a gateway from the south as the Leonard P. Zakim-Bunker Hill Bridge is a door to Boston from the north.

But, under the first half of a master plan overseen by consultants Goody Clancy and hammered out over the last year, buildings would rapidly decline in height on blocks closer to Kneeland Street -- where the maximum height would be about 110 feet.

The need for vehicular traffic in South Bay is expected to be minimal, because it is so centrally located for public transportation. -- next to the South Station Transportation Center.

''We're using the proximity of this site to South Station and the nexus of all these roads to benefit development," said Margulies. ''That's what transportation-oriented development is all about."

From The Boston Globe

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i dont believe that this sill happen at all. i put up a thread on scp and everyone told me they couldnt build it because it is right in the way where the planes land or take off i cant remember which

Developers know their business better than any armchair enthusiasts on 'ss' sites. They wouldn't be proposing buildings they couldn't build. They may have a fight with the FAA over it, but it's buildable.

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