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Thread: Boston's Mayor Calls For New City's Tallest Skyscraper

  1. #31

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    Oh, and be glad we're not getting this:



    that's a rendering of the South Station Tower spliced in over to the left.

  2. #32
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post
    Im happy for Boston as they are penetrating out of that Midtown-esque plateau. Its about time. But as far as this tower goes I'll put it to you this way; Im really, really glad that we got the NYTimes Tower.

  3. #33

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    You know, its about time Boston stepped up to the plate and built something tall!

  4. #34

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    March 7, 2007
    Architecture
    Another Building by a Noted Modernist Comes Under Threat, This Time in Boston
    By DAVID HAY


    Paul Rudolph’s 1960 Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building in Boston could be demolished to make way for an 80-story tower designed by Renzo Piano.

    BOSTON, March 1 — A plan to demolish a 1960 office tower by the influential architect Paul Rudolph threatens to pit a prominent developer backed by Mayor Thomas M. Menino against preservationists who see the building as a seminal example of midcentury Modernism.

    If the developer, Steve Belkin, prevails, Mr. Rudolph’s 13-story structure will be supplanted by an 80-story skyscraper designed by one of today’s biggest names, the Italian architect Renzo Piano.

    On March 13 the Boston Landmarks Commission plans to consider Mr. Belkin’s application for a demolition permit for the Rudolph building, at 133 Federal Street, in the city’s financial district. The commission, whose jurisdiction covers all buildings in downtown Boston and in other neighborhoods more than 50 years old, can order a 90-day delay during which it can ask the applicant to consider alternatives to demolition.

    Several groups, including Docomomo, an international organization devoted to preserving Modernist buildings, plan to submit statements at the hearing urging the commission to recommend that the city delay issuing the permit by 90 days.

    “We are not opposed to the new development, but we would like to think there is a solution that could accommodate the preservation of Mr. Rudolph’s building,” David Fixler, president of Docomomo’s New England branch, said. “It is a very significant piece of Boston’s architectural heritage and deserves a complete hearing.”

    Similar battles to prevent demolition of Rudolph residences have been unsuccessfully waged in Sarasota, Fla., and Westport, Conn., in recent years; preservationists are now fighting to save his Riverview High School in Sarasota.

    The squat tower in Boston, originally called the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building, was the first Modernist office building to rise in this city’s downtown, according to Docomomo. Its ornately intricate concrete exterior was viewed as a controversial rejoinder to the prevailing International Style of the 1950s, in which high-rises were typically wrapped in glass.

    Currently owned by Mr. Belkin’s company, Trans National Properties, it is part of the Winthrop Square redevelopment, whose biggest portion is occupied by a city-owned parking garage. At the urging of Mayor Menino, Mr. Belkin submitted the sole proposal in November to build the 80-story tower on the site. Preliminary drawings for the Piano tower call for it to be topped by a “lookout garden” and to strive for certification as an environmentally sensitive green building. Also planned are an adjoining covered plaza and an indoor public garden. The board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which must approve projects larger than 20,000 square feet, endorsed the proposal in late January with Mr. Piano in attendance. The developer has until April 25 to submit a financing plan to the authority.

    James W. Hunt, chief of environmental and energy services for the city, said that Mayor Menino was committed to the Piano tower. “It furthers his vision of Boston becoming a contemporary architecture hub,” he said.

    But preservationists argue that the Rudolph building need not be sacrificed to make way for the Piano tower. Ideally, they say, the 1960 structure might even enter into a visual dialogue with a bold new tower.

    In this month’s issue of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Timothy M. Rohan, an assistant professor of art history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, says the building received a mixed reception upon its completion. It drew praise from the architect Philip Johnson and later from the architectural historian Vincent J. Scully Jr., who applauded its “excellent relationship to the pre-existing street” and said it prefigured the progressive urbanist schemes of Alison and Peter Smithson in London.

    But Architectural Forum called the building “one of the most controversial structures put up in the U.S. in some time.”

    Unlike many of his Modernist peers, Mr. Rohan said in an interview, Mr. Rudolph “felt the need to respond to the mainly 19th-century historic styles then surrounding the site.”

    “He thus decided against a glass-paneled facade, opting for this richly detailed but still Modern shell,” he said. “In this appreciation of urban context, he was far ahead of his time.”

    Some architecture enthusiasts detect a paradox. For them, Mr. Rudolph’s architectural experiment offers parallels to some of Mr. Piano’s early triumphs, like the 1977 Pompidou Center in Paris (designed with Richard Rogers), with its exposed mechanical systems.

    Many of the precast concrete piers that line the exterior of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building, for example, are hollow to accommodate the building’s engineering systems, including its heating and cooling. “By moving the structural systems to the exterior, he added to the spaciousness and flexibility of the interior,” Mr. Rohan said.

    Mr. Fixler of Docomomo said: “There is a spirit of structural and system experimentation associated with the Rudolph building that is very close to Renzo Piano’s. If it could be saved, it would make a good neighbor to his tower.”

    In an interview, Mr. Piano said he wanted his tower to have a “light presence,” hovering above the proposed 70-foot-high public plaza. Without the vast open space, he said, his tower will seem too aggressive, and only demolition of the Rudolph building will make that wide plaza possible.

    “I am a great admirer of Rudolph’s and I always ask myself, ‘Can we try to keep a building as a piece of architectural memory?’ ” he said. “But if it is not demolished, we lose the opportunity to create a city square.”

    Yet Mr. Piano added that he was under pressure from Mr. Belkin to increase the tower’s width, something he said he could not agree to do. That conflict leaves the project’s outcome even more unclear.

    Mr. Piano also designed the new headquarters of The New York Times Company, which is scheduled to open this spring.

    In a letter he plans to submit to the Landmarks Commission, Mr. Rohan points out that in 1986 Mr. Rudolph was hired by a former owner of 133 Federal Street to produce a plan for developing that site. Mr. Rudolph, who died in 1997, proposed doubling the building’s size, an idea never realized.

    One solution, Mr. Rohan suggested, “might be to use Rudolph’s schemes as the inspiration for the expansion rather than demolition of the structure.”

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris View Post
    March 7, 2007
    Architecture
    Another Building by a Noted Modernist Comes Under Threat, This Time in Boston
    By DAVID HAY

    The commission, whose jurisdiction covers all buildings in downtown Boston and in other neighborhoods more than 50 years old, can order a 90-day delay during which it can ask the applicant to consider alternatives to demolition.
    I am impressed by that sentence - it almost sounds like Boston has mechanisms in place to landmark all buildings 50 years old and older (unless of course this commission has no bite).
    Still - What a fantastic idea. New York could learn from this

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by kz1000ps View Post
    For those who haven't yet heard....


    Menino calls for new downtown skyscraper to eclipse Hancock building

    Boston Globe
    February 17, 2006


    Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino today called for construction of the city's tallest building ever -- a 70- or 80- story tower on the site of the existing Winthrop Square parking garage in the downtown Financial District -- to trumpet the city's future.

    "Here, we'll be looking for proposals that symbolize the full scope of this city's greatness," Menino told the city's business community today, in a speech to the 74th annual meeting of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, delivered at the Seaport Hotel on the South Boston Waterfront.

    "We will insist on bold vision and world-class architecture," Menino said of the tower envisioned by City Hall planners. In a rendering of the city's skyline, the tower extended with two spires high above the city's other tallest structures downtown, the 46-story One International Place building and One Financial Center.

    With the office market rebounding after several years of weakness, suddenly there is talk in the Boston real estate community of new towers, including buildings in planning at Russia Wharf and on Fan Pier. But today's proposal -- at 10 or almost 20 floors higher than the city's tallest building, the 62-story John Hancock Tower in the Back Bay -- would remake the city's skyline more dramatically than perhaps any past addition.

    A number of developers, including International Place co-owner Donald J. Chiofaro, are interested in bidding on the Winthrop Square site.

    The last office towers opening in the city -- at One Lincoln Street and 33 Arch Street -- are between 30 and 40 floors, and most of the higher buildings expected to be built on the South Boston Waterfront are likely to be lower because they are closer to Logan International Airport.

    Menino said construction of a tower above all other Boston towers would constitute "a stunning statement of our belief in Boston's bright future."

    (By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff)
    Boston has been losing firms left and right, who may I ask will be moving into this tower???

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5 View Post
    If only he was just as emphatic about reducing crime and reversing the city's population decline...
    Great point, Boston is a city on decline, in 10 years it will be like Detroit. If not for those few great schools and the injection of some young talent from them, this place would already be gone

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kliq6 View Post
    Great point, Boston is a city on decline, in 10 years it will be like Detroit. If not for those few great schools and the injection of some young talent from them, this place would already be gone
    Detroit? Really? Yea we're not exactly in an economic expansion at the moment, but I think that it's pretty outrageous to say we're going to be Detroit in 10 years. New office space is being bought up and the office market is expected to continue to increase (I don't know where these firms are coming from). We've got one of the largest High-Tech sectors and one of the largest Bio-Tech sectors in the country. Along with that we have some of the best medical centers in the world...and as you said, the fact that we have the best colleges in the world definitely helps us out.

    Someone asked who was going to fill this tower, I think I remember when Belkin proposed the tower he mentioned that he wanted to put his own company, TransNational, in a part of the tower...how much of the tower he wants to take up and who else will fill this tower is beyond me.

    Here's a question for all you NYers who are against building the Renzo Piano tower....if you were going to get a tower that was going to reach 1,100 ft. in the middle of midtown, would you really be defending a 13-story modern midrise? The design of the midrise is pretty nice but something tells me you guys wouldn't be shedding any tears if this was going to be built in midtown (Foster's new building destroying the YMCA isn't getting too much grief on this board). I think the Piano's design is really nice, but it's definitely something that grows on you. When I first saw it, I thought it was pretty boring, but the more I looked at it the more I liked its simplicity...it's simple but very sleek. However, I might be thinking differently of the design than most of you because I went to City Hall back in Boston and got to see more pictures including a 3D model showing the entire city and also a 3D model of the building alone.
    Last edited by tmac9wr; March 7th, 2007 at 05:57 PM.

  9. #39
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    I have been to Boston great city but that freggin city hall creeps the hell out of me. I can't stand that thing.

  10. #40

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    cool, cant wait to see the building when its completed!.
    ~Alex~

  11. #41

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    Boston's tallest skyscraper sells in bargain basement

    Tue Mar 31, 3:18 pm ET
    BOSTON – Two companies have landed a real estate bargain: Boston's tallest skyscraper.
    The John Hancock Tower was bought Tuesday for about $660 million at a foreclosure auction in New York City.
    That's about half of what it cost a little more than two years ago.
    The 60-story building was acquired by a partnership between Normandy Real Estate Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners.
    Henry Cobb, a partner of world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, designed the building. It was completed in 1976.
    It was sold after Broadway Partners defaulted on loans used to buy it in late 2006.
    (This version CORRECTS the story to say Henry Cobb designed the building, not I.M. Pei.)


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/skyscraper_auction/print

  12. #42

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    Not exactly related to the topic at hand, as that ^ article concerns Boston's current tallest.

    And this project as we know it is dead.

  13. #43

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    its related to Boston..one thread about Boston is enough,...

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1289...morgan-stanley

    What Hancock Tower Sale Means for Commercial Real Estate - Morgan Stanley



    Zero Hedge's feelings about commercial real estate are no secret. Yesterday's sale of the John Hancock Tower to Normandy was an interesting market test, with media reports claiming it implied either nothing much or only good things about CRE and CMBS recoveries. A contrarian (and realistic) analysis on the transaction out of Morgan Stanley implies that based on this deal, not all is good in CRE land. (hat tip to reader David).
    In a foreclosure auction today, the John Hancock Tower - a marquee building in Boston - traded at $660MM to Normandy Real Estate Partners. That same property was appraised for $1.3BN in 2006 and traded for $935MM in 2003. This is VERY negative for commercial real estate. At face, it looks like even top quality assets are down 50% from their peak, but that forgets the value of the financing that Normandy now gets to assume. There will still be a $640.5MM mortgage on the property at a rate of 5.6%.

    What is the value of being able to get a 97% LTV loan at 5.6% these days? Let's say you can get a 60% LTV mortgage ($400MM) at 8%, and the other $240MM in mezz financing (which has no chance of getting done in this market) could hypothetically get done at 15%. That combination produces a weighted average financing cost of almost 11%. A 5.6% mortgage at 11% yield is about a 70 $px, which means the value of assuming the existing financing on the Hancock Tower is close to $190MM. The real clearing level for the top commercial property in Boston was only $470MM - down 65% from 2006 levels and down 50% from 2003 levels. If we assume 2008 NOI numbers are still accurate, this would be a 9.5% cap rate adjusted for the financing. Without adjusting for the value of financing, the purchase price of $660MM looks like a 6.7% cap rate and $383/sqft - rich, relative to 1540 Broadway (NY office vs Boston office) recently clearing at ~$400/sqft.

    **The main takeaway: property values are down A LOT more than people think, especially when considering the implied value of financing. Caveat Emptor.**

    On the brightside for holders of GG9, the #1 loan now has a better sponsor with a lighter debt load. Unfortunately, not every CMBS loan had a 50% LTV to 2006/2007 levels like John Hancock Tower...Severities will be much higher for the majority of 75+% LTV CMBS loans.

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenious View Post
    its related to Boston..one thread about Boston is enough...
    Right, just wanted to make the distinction so as not to confuse anyone.

  15. #45

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    I'm not sure if this is old or not, but passed by these renderings of a tower that seems to be at the site.




    DOEGOE


    DOEGOE


    DOEGOE


    DOEGOE

    More at the website.
    DOEGOE
    http://www.doegoe.com/#/corporate/

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