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Boston Medical Center to Break Ground on $270 Million Redesign Project

10 Mar 2014, 3:58 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Boston Medical Center (BMC), the largest safety-net hospital in New England, is moving forward with a multi-million-dollar plan to consolidate and renovate its two hospitals in the South End campus over the next three years.

Boston Medical Center

The Boston Globe reports that the envisaged medical facilities—Boston City Hospital and University Hospital which merged 18 years ago to become Boston Medical Center—will be transformed into a “patient-centered clinical campus” that will yield an annual benefit of at least $25 million through energy savings and the elimination of redundant ambulance trips between the medical buildings.

Estimated for completion by the end of 2017, the $270 million campus redesign project will be financed through a combination of private donations, bond financing and proceeds from the sale of the two adjoining buildings that form the Newton Pavilion on the former University Hospital campus. BMC’s overall footprint will shrink by nearly 330,000 square feet under the renovation plan, reaching 2.1 million square feet in 2017, the Globe notes.

The plan, which was approved last year by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, also includes new construction and renovations at the Menino, Yawkey and Moakley pavilions, while the Dowling Amphitheater will be demolished. A new bridge, that will facilitate the patient’s transport from the helipad to the medical center, will replace the yellow utility tube crossing Albany Street.

Under BMC’s redesign plan, the Emergency Department will expand by 30 percent to include new Urgent Care units and a separate behavioral health area, while the Intensive Care Units will be consolidated to one location on campus. Since the cafeterias at Newton and Menino pavilions will be closed, a new one will be created on the mezzanine level of the Yawkey building.


Image of Boston Medical Center via Facebook

Construction Is Underway at Northeastern’s $225 Million Academic Complex

3 Mar 2014, 4:13 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor


Northeastern University – Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex

Nearly four months after receiving BRA’s unanimous approval for a $1.6 billion master plan for development, Northeastern University officially broke ground last week on its much-anticipated Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) at 795 Columbus Avenue in Roxbury.

This state-of-the-art structure is Northeastern’s first major academic development project in a decade. Designed by Boston-based architecture firm Payette Associates to achieve LEED Gold certification and developed by Suffolk Construction, the $225 million academic facility will replace a 3.5-acre surface parking lot near Melnea Cass Boulevard and the Ruggles MBTA subway station, the Boston Business Journal reports.

Northeastern University - Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex - interior

Northeastern University – Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex – interior

Northeastern’s new development project is expected to create more than 600 jobs during the construction phase and another 700 jobs after the complex opens in 2016, according to the university’s announcement.

The boomerang-shaped facility will provide nearly 220,000 square feet of research and educational space for four academic colleges: College of Science, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, College of Engineering, and College of Computer and Information Science. The new building will raise six stories above grade and it will also have a basement and a mechanical penthouse. The conceptual design also includes a suspended footbridge over the MBTA Orange Line, commuter rail and Amtrak tracks. The bridge, called “The Arc”, will serve as a link between two distinct sections of Northeastern’s campus and is expected to consolidate the university’s presence in Roxbury while providing further pedestrian access to Fenway.


Renderings courtesy of Northeastern University

Waypoint Companies Set to Build 80-Unit Multifamily Building in Allston

17 Feb 2014, 5:38 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor


61-83 Braintree Street

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) recently approved a new residential project that will transform a 30,550-square-foot industrial site along the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston’s Allston-Brighton neighborhood into a residential property with retail and office space for start ups.

According to the Project Notification Form (PNF) that was submitted for review in November 2013, developer The Waypoint Companies plans to demolish the two dilapidated warehouses at 61-83 Braintree Street that have been operated by plumbing supplier Thompson Durkee Co. for over 100 years and then proceed with an environmental clean up to clear the site for construction, which is set to begin in mid-2014 and be completed after one year.

Designed by Neshamkin French Architects of Charlestown, the 93,000-square-foot residential building will seek LEED Certification for incorporating environmentally sensitive and sustainable design elements. The $17 million building will feature 80 rentals (mostly studios targeting young professionals and couples), including 11 affordable units, and an underground garage with 67 parking spaces.

The project’s commercial component consists of 562 square feet of ground floor retail space, three community rooms, a roof deck, two truck deck parking spaces and 1,715 square feet of commercial space that will be used as short term incubator space for start ups. As detailed in the PNF, the developer will invest $30,000 towards improvements to Penniman Park and another $10,000 to conduct a local bicycle route study.


Rendering courtesy of The Waypoint Companies via BRA



Vertex Pharmaceutical Opens New Headquarters at 11 Fan Pier Boulevard

7 Feb 2014, 3:34 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A ribbon-cutting ceremony recently marked the formal opening of Vertex Pharmaceutical’s global headquarters building in South Boston’s growing Innovation District. Located at 11 Fan Pier Boulevard in Fort Point, the $800 million complex that broke ground in June 2011 consists of two, 16-story interconnected buildings designed to stimulate collaboration and attract new talented scientists to the 25-year-old biotech company.

Vertex Pharmaceutical HQ

The LEED-certified towers encompass 1.1 million square feet of commercial and retail space and were built by the Fallon Company, the commercial real estate developer behind the 21-acre mixed-use Fan Pier office complex, with Turner Construction as the general contractor of the project. The first building—50 Northern Avenue or Vertex Building A—was designed by the architectural firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates of Cambridge, while design plans for Eleven Fan Pier Boulevard (Vertex Building B) were created by a team of architects from Elkus Manfredi. The two glass-faced towers which are connected by a walkway on the sixth floor include over 75 small informal collaboration spaces, a 500-seat cafeteria, 3,000 square feet of classroom and lab space for use by the Boston Public Schools (including Vertex’s partner schools Excel High School and Boston Green Academy), and ground floor retail space.

According to Boston.com, in May 2011 Vertex signed a lease agreement for the two buildings for a period of 15 years and will be paying the largest commercial rent in Boston (nearly $1.1 billion for the entire period or $72.5 million a year). Vertex hopes to bring all 1,300 of its Massachusetts employees together under the same roof by mid-2014.

“The opening of Vertex’s corporate headquarters in our Innovation District is an exciting day for Boston, for the Commonwealth, and for the millions of people around the world who stand to benefit from Vertex’s amazing work,” said Governor Patrick who attended the event along with Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Vertex has been one of the fastest growing companies focused on research and development of new medicines, creating more than 800 new jobs in Massachusetts alone over the past decade.

Rendering courtesy of Fan Pier Development

BRA Approves160-Unit Rental Building at 600 Harrison Avenue

24 Jan 2014, 7:01 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A development proposal to build an apartment building at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Malden Street in Boston’s South End District has been green lighted by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

600 Harrison Avenue, South End

Dubbed 600 Harrison Avenue, the 193,264-square foot project will be constructed by New Atlantic Development Corporation of Boston to address the city’s need for quality, rental housing. According to the Project Notification form that was submitted for review and approval in November 2013, the building will be located on a 25,496-square-foot parcel that is currently occupied by a surface parking lot owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

The $62 million residential building will contain 160 rental apartments ranging from 600 square feet for a studio to 1,600 square feet for a three-bedroom penthouse—with 21 units set aside for low-income families and individuals in compliance with the Mayor’s Inclusionary Development Policy—and around 3,600 square feet of ground floor retail space designed to activate the corner of Harrison Avenue. The six-story building also includes a three-level underground garage with 236 parking spots to be used by the building’s residents and the businesses in the area. The project will accommodate 32 covered bike rack spaces at several points around the building and a covered storage facility for 120 bicycles, all of these meant to encourage the use of bicycles as primary transportation.

Designed by a team of architects from Utile, Inc., 600 Harrison Avenue will feature a range of sustainable amenities that will make the completed project LEED Silver certifiable: proximity to public transit and bicycle storage, recycling collection spots placed in a central closet on each residential floor, high-performance insulation systems meant to control heating and cooling, energy recovery ventilation systems that will improve indoor air quality, low-emitting  paints and floors, as well as rooftop terraces with extensive planted areas.

According to the Project Notification Form, 600 Harrison Avenue is scheduled to start in August and reach completion by spring 2016.

Rendering courtesy of Utile, Inc. Architecture + Planning

WeWork Joins Boston Startup Madness with Two Shared Offices

24 Jan 2014, 5:50 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Judging by the number of large companies that recently moved into Boston’s buzzing Financial District or are building their own high-profile business centers in the fast-growing Seaport District, the Hub is one of the cities that almost fully recovered from the economic downturn. While this translates into big cash revenue for the city, low vacancy rates and soaring rents have forced small-sized businesses to reconsider their options for office spaces.

WeWork – shared office space for startups

Just like in Detroit, where business incubator TechTown recently opened a shared work space, the startup scene in Boston is thriving and helping local entrepreneurs develop their businesses at a faster pace and lower costs. WeWork, a New York-based “boutique office space” firm that empowers entrepreneurs and startups by providing a collaborative community and services, will open two shared work spaces in Boston in February. According to the Boston Business Journal, the Hub will be the seventh city where the company provides startup-focused office spaces; the other WeWork locations are operating in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

By expanding its presence in Boston, WeWork hopes to reflect the growing entrepreneurial energy of the city. The two shared offices will target freelancers and emerging businesses and will be located at 754 Atlantic Avenue near the South Station and at 51 Melcher Street in the Seaport District.

WeWork locations across the U.S.

For $45 to $400 per month for a private desk or $550 to $3,000 for private offices at the WeWork location in Boston, entrepreneurs will have access to amenities such as high-speed internet and Wi-Fi, private phone booths, conference rooms, lounges and indoor bike storage.

Other companies that offer shared office spaces for startups in Boston include Workbar (which is seen as WeWork’s direct competitor because it is located across from South Station), the Cambridge Innovation Center, Bolt in Downtown Crossing or Start Tank, a business incubator backed by PayPal.

Images via WeWork

Apartments and Retail to Replace Vacant Bowling Alley in Dorchester

10 Jan 2014, 5:36 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Lucy Strike Residence Project in Fields Corner, Dorchester

Phoenix-based Lucky Strike Development is planning to enliven the former Fields Corner bowling alley in South Dorchester which was closed in 2007 after serving the neighborhood for five decades.

Located at 281-289 Adams Street at the corner lot of Park, Adams, and Lincoln streets and within walking distance from the newly renovated MBTA Red Line Fields Corner T-Station, the blighted facility would be completely razed to make room for a mixed-use building and an adjacent parking lot with 14 spaces.

According to the Project Notification Form (PNF) that was recently filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the $6.33 million Lucky Strike Residency Project will encompass 31,410 square feet, of which 7,900 will serve as ground floor retail space.

“The exterior of the new structure will be a combination of brick, large glass windows and clapboard; a decorative design will reveal elements at the top of the structure. The first floor front and both sides of the building façade will be brick with large glass windows to provide the front with a main street feeling,” the developer revealed in the proposal,

Lucy Strike Residence site plan in Fields Corner, Dorchester

adding that the project will provide more family-friendly shopping experiences to neighborhood residents and increase the quality of life within the community.

Designed by Davis Square Architects of Somerville, the three-story building will have 22 rental apartments—19 market rate and three affordable units—above four commercial spaces which could be sold to prospective business owners. The project design also calls for improved lighting to better serve the community, as well as a 1,200-square-foot open garden space at the corner of Adams and Lincoln streets.

A community meeting was scheduled by the Boston Redevelopment Authority for January 15 at the Kit Clark Senior Services at 1500 Dorchester Ave.

Renderings courtesy of Lucky Strike Development, LLC via BRA

BRA Approves $63 Million Dorm for Emerson College

30 Dec 2013, 8:59 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

As the Menino administration is coming to an end, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has been busy unloading a number of development projects from its plate before Mayor-elect Marty Walsh and his staff step in on January 2.

Emerson College Dorm – 1 – 3 Boylston Place – Boston

One of the projects that were unanimously approved by the BRA during the December 19 meeting is a new residence hall that was proposed by Emerson College back in June. According to the revised Project Notification Form (PNF)—a scaled down version of the original plans submitted last summer, which called for a 260,000-square-foot building with 750 beds and retail space—the student housing project will replace a 24,631-square-foot parcel located at 1 – 3 Boylston Place off Boylston Street in Downtown Boston. The property was purchased by Emerson College in March 2010 for $3.85, according to data from PropertyShark.com. The site contains two red brick buildings slated for demolition or reconfiguration, as required by the design plans. As previously reported by the Boston Business Journal, the development site is located in a popular nightspot in the Cultural District and is currently occupied by a nightclub and two taverns until March 2015.

Estimated to cost $63 million, the LEED Gold Emerson College Boylston Place designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects will provide housing for approximately 407 students in single and double occupancy rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The 18-story building will also include resident assistant rooms and a resident director’s apartment, as well as an entrance lobby, laundry facilities, mail room and other support spaces.

Founded in 1880 as a “school of oratory” by Charles Wesley Emerson, Emerson College is a private university exclusively dedicated to communication and liberal arts. With around 3,500 enrolled students and only four on-campus dormitories—the Piano Row, Little Building and Colonial Building located on Boylston Street and the Paramount Center located at 555 Washington Street— Emerson College has seen a 10 percent increase in applications from 2013 to 2013. The new Emerson College Boylston Place residential hall is expected to address the need of housing space for the university’s growing number of students.

Rendering via the Boston Redevelopment Authority

Two Mid-Priced Hotels to Add 510 New Rooms Near the Convention Center

20 Dec 2013, 7:55 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Hub is set to become a top convention destination as two hotel projects broke ground last week on D Street in the South Boston Waterfront, directly across from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Aloft Hotel and Element Hotel – South Boston Waterfront

Mayor Thomas Menino, Mayor-elect Marty Walsh and representatives of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), CV Properties and Starwood Hotels & Resorts attended a joint groundbreaking ceremony for the new mid-priced hotels that will add 510 rooms not only to the area near the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center but to the city as a whole.

“This is the first of several groundbreakings we hope take place as we push Boston and Massachusetts towards being among the top meeting and convention destinations in the world”, said MCCA Executive Director James Rooney in a press statement.

The two privately owned and constructed hotels—an Aloft Hotel with 330 guest rooms and an 180-room extended stay Element Hotel—will be built on land acquired by the MCCA and commercial real estate development and investment company CV Properties of Boston along with Starwood Hotels and Ares Management as major equity partner.

According to Boston.com, the $140 million projects located at 371-401 D Street were approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in May this year as the first phase of the $2 billion expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Both hotels are expected to open in 2015.

The Aloft-branded hotel will be a modern style building with fewer amenities specifically designed for short stays and targeting the younger generation of travelers. The hotel building will also include a business center, meeting rooms and retail space on the ground floor.

The Element Hotel will operate as a duplex-like, extended stay hotel providing a larger pool of amenities such as kitchen space, fitness center, bike-share and recreation spaces.

The MCCA estimates that the two hotels will generate more than $5 million in annual taxes after opening, as well as 370 construction jobs and 175 permanent jobs.

Rendering via the Boston Redevelopment Authority

$45 M Expansion Project to Add 94 Rooms to Hotel Commonwealth

13 Dec 2013, 5:20 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor


The owners of the Hotel Commonwealth located in Boston’s historic Kenmore Square at 500 Commonwealth Avenue received the green light for a $45 million expansion project that will increase the building’s existing capacity of 149 guest rooms by 60 percent. 

As previously reported by the Boston Business Journal, the developer behind the project is Kenmore Hotel, LLC—an affiliate of hotel management, investment and development company Sage Hospitality of Colorado—which purchased the luxury boutique hotel in 2012 for $76.5 million from Boston University. The development team also includes Columbia Construction and Mortenson Development.

The seven-story, LEED certifiable addition designed by Group One Partners will replace a 23,000-square-foot open air parking site at the rear of the hotel which faces the Massachusetts Turnpike and Fenway Park. In addition to the 94 hotel rooms, the expansion project also includes three floors of private valet parking for 216 vehicles, a large ballroom, an outdoor terrace facing Fenway Park, five meeting rooms, and private event space.

Expected to open in mid-2015 after roughly 13 months of construction, the 133,400-square-foot structure is anticipated to generate nearly 100 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs to support the operations of the new hotel facility, and approximately $1.03 million in annual property taxes for the City of Boston.


Rendering via Boston Redevelopment Authority

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