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View Full Version : BOSTON | Mayor Urges Construction of City's Tallest | NEVER BUILT



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Lecom
Nov 14, 2006, 9:57 AM
So this would be just about the dimensions of the NYTT?

Funny how it dominates the skyline so much in Boston, yet in New York's Midtown it would be almost lost. (not trying to bash Boston/its skyline/start a Boston vs NYC flame war, just a detached observation)

BANKofMANHATTAN
Nov 14, 2006, 4:34 PM
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Graphic/2006/11/13/1163454847_4706.jpg


Definitely need some prominant infill for variation with that monster, (although nothing is concrete as of yet)

I would hope for something a little more attractive and iconic, not just a box w/ spire/antenna. I would like to see more views of the tower so i can get a better feel for it. I'm looking at it again and for some reason i actually like it better.

Some prominant infill may work well to even things out a bit (aside from the SSTower) perhaps 8-900' and something in the 700's

kznyc2k
Nov 14, 2006, 5:03 PM
Is the mayor set on allowing a 1000-footer for a specific site or a variety of sites? What they should do is just lift height restrictions on much of the city. Boston could use some residential highrises with its artificially high price of housing.

The only restrictions on height are found at the southern end of the financial district, and that's not because of any zoning laws. Rather, it's due to Logan airport being so close and the FAA capping heights in order to protect the buildings and the planes taking off.

The reason why most of downtown is flat is simply because that height (500-600ft) is what is economically viable. Just as in NYC a 700 foot, 50 story tower is the defacto development, here it's more like 40 stories and 550 feet. The Prudential and Hancock were born of corporate egos and one-upmanship, and they are the exceptions, not the other way around.

As for this project, well, Mayor "Mumbles" Menino wants a 1k footer, not a developer, and once again we have a new tallest being born from someone's ego instead of the market. Go figure.


EDIT: how could I forget about this height restriction... NIMBYS! Boston has more than our share, and anything that might cast a shadow on the Common gets a swift smackdown from them.

Dale
Nov 14, 2006, 5:59 PM
But just so I understand, this is just a massing study, and not the actual design ?

kznyc2k
Nov 14, 2006, 6:32 PM
Dale, unfortunately it is the actual design. In today's papers the renderings were credited to Renzo Piano's Building Workshop.

Jularc
Nov 14, 2006, 7:11 PM
I like it. Looks good on the skyline. I think there is some sort of crown (hopefully) and I am sure it will be light up at night.

Dale
Nov 14, 2006, 7:18 PM
Dale, unfortunately it is the actual design. In today's papers the renderings were credited to Renzo Piano's Building Workshop.

Okay, thanks.

kalmia
Nov 14, 2006, 8:37 PM
The only restrictions on height are found at the southern end of the financial district, and that's not because of any zoning laws. Rather, it's due to Logan airport being so close and the FAA capping heights in order to protect the buildings and the planes taking off.

The reason why most of downtown is flat is simply because that height (500-600ft) is what is economically viable. Just as in NYC a 700 foot, 50 story tower is the defacto development, here it's more like 40 stories and 550 feet. The Prudential and Hancock were born of corporate egos and one-upmanship, and they are the exceptions, not the other way around.

As for this project, well, Mayor "Mumbles" Menino wants a 1k footer, not a developer, and once again we have a new tallest being born from someone's ego instead of the market. Go figure.


EDIT: how could I forget about this height restriction... NIMBYS! Boston has more than our share, and anything that might cast a shadow on the Common gets a swift smackdown from them.


Ultimately a developer who wants to build this will be required, unless the mayor is wanting the city to build it.

kznyc2k
Nov 14, 2006, 8:58 PM
Ultimately yes. But as I said, this project was born by something other than a developer, or market conditions that are clearly in need of something like this. And the fact that only one developer - the person who already owned a valuable and necessary chunk of land - responded to the call is telling, not to mention that the guy probably wouldn't have dreamed of such a thing for years to come, if ever, were it not for the mayor's impetus.

But I'm not complaining about that.. if the mayor can get a new tallest tower built simply by stating he wants one and the gov't otherwise stays out of things, then heck bring it on!

Benhamin
Nov 14, 2006, 9:59 PM
I'd rather see nothing built then to see this be the final design, such a lack of vision by Renzo. Boston needs something like the Signature Tower in Nashville here, not this POS!

I am very disappointed :(

tmac14wr
Nov 14, 2006, 10:51 PM
So this would be just about the dimensions of the NYTT?

Funny how it dominates the skyline so much in Boston, yet in New York's Midtown it would be almost lost. (not trying to bash Boston/its skyline/start a Boston vs NYC flame war, just a detached observation)

Actually this is probably considerably taller than NYTT. If this rendering is to scale in comparison to surrounding buildings it's roof is probably at about 1,000ft. In the rendering you see a brown building directly next to the proposed tower, that building is 691ft. I did some math for it last night (assuming that everything is to proportion) and found that the roof is about 1,000ft and the spire at around 1,175ft.

Anyways, I really like this tower. It's very similar to NYTT visiually but I think it may look better. Many critics of NYTT who don't like it have been mentioning that it's way too gray in color in comparison to the renderings. I think that this is greatly because of the horizontal glass cylinders on the building. It doesn't look like this building has those so I think that it will help the building glow a bit more. I guess we'll have to wait for more renderings in order to get a more accurate perception of this though.

Benhamin
Nov 14, 2006, 11:09 PM
Actually this is probably considerably taller than NYTT. If this rendering is to scale in comparison to surrounding buildings it's roof is probably at about 1,000ft. In the rendering you see a brown building directly next to the proposed tower, that building is 691ft. I did some math for it last night (assuming that everything is to proportion) and found that the roof is about 1,000ft and the spire at around 1,175ft.

Anyways, I really like this tower. It's very similar to NYTT visiually but I think it may look better. Many critics of NYTT who don't like it have been mentioning that it's way too gray in color in comparison to the renderings. I think that this is greatly because of the horizontal glass cylinders on the building. It doesn't look like this building has those so I think that it will help the building glow a bit more. I guess we'll have to wait for more renderings in order to get a more accurate perception of this though.

Actually, that brown building is 591 feet...

tmac14wr
Nov 14, 2006, 11:11 PM
Actually, that brown building is 591 feet...

Oh yea, that's what I meant. I still did all the calculations for 591 ft.

NYC2ATX
Nov 15, 2006, 1:10 AM
Definitely need some prominant infill for variation with that monster, (although nothing is concrete as of yet)

I would hope for something a little more attractive and iconic, not just a box w/ spire/antenna. it'd be nice to get something with a decorative crown...

8-900' and something in the 700's to balance things out perhaps.

about the 800-900-700 footers . . don't forget the south bay and south station towers. I don't think those have fallen through yet.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

tmac14wr
Nov 15, 2006, 3:29 AM
I guess SST is a go (with a new design)....South Bay Towers haven't been mentioned in a long while as far as I know. Maybe this tower will cause a chain reaction and some of the stagnant tower projects will start to get moving. Oh and there's also the possibility of another 1,000 footer in between the new Winthrop Sq. tower and SST, so a new breed of tall buildings could be in the works for Boston but we'll have to wait and see.

hi123
Nov 15, 2006, 3:47 AM
Really SST is a go? tell me more...what is the new design like? Has it strated constrcution?? : )

Mike/617
Nov 15, 2006, 4:02 AM
^ there is an SST thread here:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=99901


and here is the rendering:

http://home.comcast.net/~gtboston/sstowernew.jpg


No it's not under construction but it has been approved.

kazpmk
Nov 15, 2006, 5:49 AM
The design isn't that bad. We can't have every new tower built have a crown and spire.

urban_encounter
Nov 15, 2006, 5:57 AM
Looks good...........

I like the design...

Wheelingman04
Nov 15, 2006, 6:13 AM
It looks pretty good but not great.

Lecom
Nov 15, 2006, 7:36 AM
This thing better get u/c by the time my friends and I go road tripping to Boston some time around... uhh... when we start to organize things better...

Fabb
Nov 15, 2006, 10:27 AM
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Graphic/2006/11/13/1163454847_4706.jpg

Obviously, it's reminiscent of the NYTimes tower, but also of Rogers' design for the WTC.

BANKofMANHATTAN
Nov 15, 2006, 6:38 PM
http://home.comcast.net/~gtboston/sstowernew.jpg

I actually like that quite a bit, i'm usually for crowns and spires etc. but this is sleek and has a great look to it.

It sort of takes on a Museum Park (Chicago) and Pelli look.

Plus i think the og design (w/ the spire/crown) was kinda weak in my opinion.

kznyc2k
Nov 15, 2006, 8:57 PM
The SST looks like it's sportin' a mohawk for a hairdo.

liat91
Nov 16, 2006, 4:57 AM
What's the height for SST. I would like to see a skyline angle with both new towers together.:notacrook:

tiger47
Nov 16, 2006, 7:16 PM
I'd be sincerely disappointed if this is indeed the final design. For a city so rich in great, classic architecture- the state house, the christian science church, Trinity church, the Custom House, etc. the fact that all of its high rises are nothing but big ugly boxes is upsetting. For the first time in 3 decades Boston will have a new tallest building, and something of a substantial size, and it's just a big green box, while cities like Nashville are getting grander (and taller) towers. Nothing about it says "tallest building in New England". :(

Dale
Nov 16, 2006, 8:26 PM
And at the same time, a welcome diversion from its apparent inspiration - the exceedingly ugly Prudential Center.

Mike/617
Nov 16, 2006, 9:43 PM
What's the height for SST. I would like to see a skyline angle with both new towers together.:notacrook:


Around 675'.

Awkab
Nov 16, 2006, 9:58 PM
okay design...but please lord, no rods!

Shasta
Nov 17, 2006, 1:02 AM
I really like the look of the South Station Tower.

I don't mind Renzo's design either. I would prefer it without the garish light rod thingie but I kinda like the slender glass box look. While many of Boston's buildings are boxy in appearance, few are slender, all glass/steel, and rise to such a great height.

Daquan13
Nov 17, 2006, 2:18 AM
Well, I say that it's high time that Boston get an office tower that will be taller than the JHT!!!

Rocket1
Nov 19, 2006, 8:34 PM
The Associated Press has a nice story on the building, and what it would mean to Boston:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061119/ap_on_re_us/boston_skyline

Fabb
Nov 19, 2006, 8:44 PM
"I think the sight for this new building is so prime that it's the last of the great downtown building sites in Boston," said Nelson, of Cushman Wakefield.

How sad.

Finally, things are looking up — 1,000 feet and 75 stories up

I hope it's 75 true stories and not a sad trick to make believe.

NYguy
Nov 19, 2006, 8:54 PM
Officials in Boston and other U.S. cities typically seek to rein in developers' wishes to build high above neighboring office buildings, but the sky was the limit for Menino. He encouraged a bold architectural statement to surpass the John Hancock Tower, which for three decades has stood as New England's tallest building at 60 stories and 792 feet.

Belkin wants to call his skyscraper Trans National Place, after his company, Trans National Group.

There is no specific timeline for the project, and the city says it's review process could involve more than one stage before the final building design is approved. But real estate industry officials say they're optimistic the project will be built, given the recent rebound in the downtown office space market.

Always good news when cities decide to go for new tallest. We've been seeing a lot of that lately.

apetrella802
Nov 19, 2006, 10:45 PM
is the spire 1000 feet or the roof?

Rise To The Top
Nov 20, 2006, 1:18 AM
^^^
Roof 1000, spire 1150 or somthing

Fabb
Nov 20, 2006, 1:05 PM
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Graphic/2006/11/13/1163454847_4706.jpg



What does the other side look like ? I wonder if the spire is centered with respect to the other face.

tmac14wr
Nov 20, 2006, 9:09 PM
Renderings of other angles have not been released yet unfortunately...hopefully we'll see some other renderings released soon.

laro3
Nov 21, 2006, 10:29 PM
at least the glass breaks up all that brown..

kznyc2k
Nov 28, 2006, 1:38 AM
Here's some info I got from going to the Boston Redevelopment Authority's office, but pictures were prohibited

I now have a much more favorable opinion on this project than before. Although the boxiness still leaves plenty to be desired, the details more than make up for it. There's about an acre's worth of public space on the ground floor, and, like shiz already said, Devonshire Street is demapped in front of the building (it will now lead underground to the parking garage and loading docks), creating one big continuous open space with Winthrop Square. Given the security concerns, just how open the indoor space will be remains to be seen, but on paper it looks great. There will be some smaller retail areas off to the side of the open space, along with what looked to be one entire floor's worth in the level just below ground. Overall retail space is supposed to be around 40k square feet.

The tower's lobby is located in the northwestern portion of the site, filling in the space that 101 Federal wraps around. Escalators will bring you up approximately 50 feet from ground level to where the elevator banks begin, and the actual office floors start 20 feet above that. The exterior spire/shaft also holds four elevators which will make stops at the 31st/32nd and 47th/48th floors transfer/mechanical zones, along with all the way up to the restaurant level. The shaft will also hold what looked to be solar or reflective panels up near the top, getting thicker with them the higher you went (the diagonal lines seen in the restaurant section above). So although this shaft looks rather dinky in the first rendering, in reality it will be pretty substantial (4 elevator shafts plus lobby space).

Along with the environmental panels on the exterior elevator shaft, there will also be other reflective panels on the outside of the tower itself, placed about 650 ft up (the white things visible in the original rendering) that, combined with reflective panels mounted on top of surrounding buildings such as 101 Federal, will direct sunlight down to the vegetation at ground level. The glass will also be "low emission" and up to triple glazed, depending on which cardinal direction it will face. And although I didn't see it anywhere else, it looked like there was some kind of second skin on the northern facade, a la the ceramic rods used on Renzo's New York Times tower. That building was shown more than a few times throughout the book more or less as an example as to how to design in a green manner, and it's quite obvious that this tower is through and through a product of Renzo Piano.

A diagram I did based on the images:

http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/8717/115w1cq6.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Other stats:

Height: 1,087 ft to the floor of the roof garden (glass extends up another 20-25 ft), 1,270 ft to the top of spire

Width/Length: 140 x 140 ft (not including exterior shaft), 32 x 32 ft structural bays

1.336m sf office space, 40k sf retail, 54k sf indoor public area (not including roof zen garden),1200 parking spaces, and 40.3k mechanical space
Total = 1.470 million square feet[/quote]


So there it is... taller than the Empire State Building!

oreoman85
Nov 28, 2006, 2:04 AM
So there it is... taller than the Empire State Building!

on paper.

if they were physically next to eachother the ESB would clearly be taller at 1,470ft.

toddguy
Nov 28, 2006, 2:32 AM
Here's some info I got from going to the Boston Redevelopment Authority's office, but pictures were prohibited

I now have a much more favorable opinion on this project than before. Although the boxiness still leaves plenty to be desired, the details more than make up for it. There's about an acre's worth of public space on the ground floor, and, like shiz already said, Devonshire Street is demapped in front of the building (it will now lead underground to the parking garage and loading docks), creating one big continuous open space with Winthrop Square. Given the security concerns, just how open the indoor space will be remains to be seen, but on paper it looks great. There will be some smaller retail areas off to the side of the open space, along with what looked to be one entire floor's worth in the level just below ground. Overall retail space is supposed to be around 40k square feet.

The tower's lobby is located in the northwestern portion of the site, filling in the space that 101 Federal wraps around. Escalators will bring you up approximately 50 feet from ground level to where the elevator banks begin, and the actual office floors start 20 feet above that. The exterior spire/shaft also holds four elevators which will make stops at the 31st/32nd and 47th/48th floors transfer/mechanical zones, along with all the way up to the restaurant level. The shaft will also hold what looked to be solar or reflective panels up near the top, getting thicker with them the higher you went (the diagonal lines seen in the restaurant section above). So although this shaft looks rather dinky in the first rendering, in reality it will be pretty substantial (4 elevator shafts plus lobby space).

Along with the environmental panels on the exterior elevator shaft, there will also be other reflective panels on the outside of the tower itself, placed about 650 ft up (the white things visible in the original rendering) that, combined with reflective panels mounted on top of surrounding buildings such as 101 Federal, will direct sunlight down to the vegetation at ground level. The glass will also be "low emission" and up to triple glazed, depending on which cardinal direction it will face. And although I didn't see it anywhere else, it looked like there was some kind of second skin on the northern facade, a la the ceramic rods used on Renzo's New York Times tower. That building was shown more than a few times throughout the book more or less as an example as to how to design in a green manner, and it's quite obvious that this tower is through and through a product of Renzo Piano.

A diagram I did based on the images:

http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/8717/115w1cq6.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Other stats:

Height: 1,087 ft to the floor of the roof garden (glass extends up another 20-25 ft), 1,270 ft to the top of spire

Width/Length: 140 x 140 ft (not including exterior shaft), 32 x 32 ft structural bays

1.336m sf office space, 40k sf retail, 54k sf indoor public area (not including roof zen garden),1200 parking spaces, and 40.3k mechanical space
Total = 1.470 million square feet


Sounds great! The spire seems like it will be much more substantial than the rendering made it look. Great info for Boston. this will put this tower taller than just about anything outside of NY/Ch. (including Signature Tower in Nashville -just with the roof height alone excluding spire.):banana: for Boston A great city! :)

liat91
Nov 28, 2006, 10:20 AM
O.K. so there is one bidder. Whats next, how long do we have to wait until final design/approval/and finally construction?:slob:

kznyc2k
Nov 28, 2006, 2:54 PM
This is from shiz02130 over at ArchBoston.com:

"There's a construction time-line that shows the actual vertical construction as starting in early 2009 and finishing in September of 2011. But they allotted a bunch of time for the 'selection process,' so maybe it could start sooner, since there is no competition."

kznyc2k
Nov 28, 2006, 7:31 PM
A new rendering has been released!!!

http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/6473/bra9ws6.jpg

;)

Biff
Nov 28, 2006, 8:27 PM
It's a square box???

Cutting edge!

WonderlandPark
Nov 28, 2006, 8:51 PM
ewwww. its a big Multifoods tower.:yuck:

Dale
Nov 28, 2006, 9:09 PM
That's a dirty trick.

toddguy
Nov 28, 2006, 11:43 PM
Ok..kznyc2k..was your info part of the joke as well?..lol..God that pic really does show how uninspired a 'regular' old box would look..anyway that is still even better than what Paris is getting:

TOUR-SIGNAL!!!!

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k40/toddguy/paristour-signal.gif

:yuck:

How would this look in a rendering hovering over Boston like a monster? LOL!

Maybe if Boston does not like it's tower Paris would be willing to trade buildings???:D

kznyc2k
Nov 29, 2006, 6:23 AM
How would this look in a rendering hovering over Boston like a monster?

I'll tackle that question tomorrow.

Nowhereman1280
Nov 29, 2006, 6:40 AM
Pretty decent design, really tall, good for Boston! Its about time some other American cities start getting the Supertalls going. There aren't many outside of NY and Chicago.

There seem to be an awful lot of supertalls proposed, rumored, or under construction in the United States right now, and to think that just 7 or 8 years ago everyone was preaching about how we will probably see practically no buildings over 50 or 60 stories built anymore in the US because 50 or 60 story buildings are the most efficiant height to build a building or some other crap like that. Hurray for the nay-sayers being wrong yet again.

TREPYE
Nov 30, 2006, 12:37 AM
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Graphic/2006/11/13/1163454847_4706.jpg



Its nice to see Boston get a supertall greater than a 1000 feet. As far as the buildings design, frankly, I am really happy we ended up with the NYTimes Tower and not this. A bit bland for my taste.

kznyc2k
Nov 30, 2006, 5:58 AM
Some food for thought:

http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/286/winthropsquarekl8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/9361/winthropsquarebrownka3.png (http://imageshack.us)

Trump Tower Chicago

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/8420/winthropsquarechicagocd5.png (http://imageshack.us)

art deco throwback: Nashville's Signature Tower

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/5375/winthropsquarenashvillekn1.png (http://imageshack.us)

cutting edge "organic:" Paris' proposed new tallest, by Thom Mayne of Morphosis

http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/8283/winthropsquareparisud0.png (http://imageshack.us)

Daquan13
Nov 30, 2006, 7:05 AM
Try putting the Freedom Tower there and see how it would look in Boston. Haha!!

toddguy
Nov 30, 2006, 7:57 AM
Well that Signature Tower-type design would really look good there..with the tapering helping it fit in better.

And that one with the horrible box would be funny..except some cities have as their tallest building things that look just like it..mine included.:(


The Rhodes State Office Tower..629 feet.
http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k40/toddguy/colsmallRhodes.jpg

kznyc2k
Nov 30, 2006, 3:59 PM
Try putting the Freedom Tower there and see how it would look in Boston. Haha!!

Will do. I'll also be doing Renzo's New York Times and London Bridge towers to see how it stacks up against Boston's proposal, plus Chicago Spire, Bank of China and Burj Dubai. Whoopee!

Daquan13
Nov 30, 2006, 4:03 PM
Might as well add the former Twins also. Haha!!

kznyc2k
Dec 1, 2006, 3:56 PM
A few..

London Bridge Tower:

http://img459.imageshack.us/img459/8906/winthropsquarelondonpr8.png (http://imageshack.us)

Bank of China:

http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/1407/winthropsquarechinauw7.png (http://imageshack.us)

and the FT:

http://img459.imageshack.us/img459/616/winthropsquareftgw8.png (http://imageshack.us)[/quote]

kznyc2k
Dec 1, 2006, 5:03 PM
And Roger's 3 WTC

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/434/winthropsquarewtc3mq7.png (http://imageshack.us)

RandySavage
Dec 1, 2006, 5:14 PM
^ Thanks for your work.

From that perspective I'd take London Shard hands down... she would would compliment any city's skyline.

tiger47
Dec 1, 2006, 5:57 PM
any news on more renderings of the actual structure? I'd like to see a side view, especially since the spire doesn't sound like what it looks in this angle

CoolCzech
Dec 1, 2006, 6:15 PM
Who precisely would develop, own, and use this tower, anyway? It seems Boston has put the horse WAY before the cart...

CoolCzech
Dec 1, 2006, 6:17 PM
Maybe they shoul make it 1,770 feet tall and call it the Massacre Tower...

tiger47
Dec 4, 2006, 7:29 AM
Who precisely would develop, own, and use this tower, anyway? It seems Boston has put the horse WAY before the cart...

Considering how expensive any real estate in Boston is, it's hard to imagine more space going to waste. Even if there are no anchoring tenants, this building will definitely fill up.

James Bond Agent 007
Dec 4, 2006, 7:39 AM
It doesn't look that bad. Could be worse.

http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Graphic/2006/11/13/1163454847_4706.jpg

liat91
Dec 4, 2006, 11:44 AM
This thing is actually more exciting to me than the Chicago Spire. More impact I guess. Noticeable skyline enhancement is a big thing for me. I will be moving back east soon anyway so I have three of these to look forward to. The Freedom tower, Boston tower, and Comcast in Philli. :banana:

Mike/617
Dec 19, 2006, 5:24 AM
Belkin’s dream towers
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter
Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Hub business magnate Steven Belkin estimates the cost of building Boston’s tallest skyscraper could hit $1.2 billion, making his “iconic” tower proposal the most expensive in city history.

The head of Trans National’s affinity credit card and travel empire offered a candid assessment of the challenges - led by sky-high construction costs - facing his quest to build a 1,000-foot tower in Boston’s Financial District.

But Belkin, 59, also predicts the eye-catching, roughly 75-story tower will overcome such obstacles and remake the city’s skyline.

The building’s dazzling design - which will include a park on its roof - will be a big draw for the city’s top companies to rent space in, he contends.

Belkin is looking to win City Hall approval to build his tower on a city-owned garage near Winthrop Square. In February, Mayor Thomas M. Menino called upon developers to submit proposals for a new, city-centerpiece tower.

Belkin, who owns a mid-rise next door to the city garage and has spent years drawing up tower plans, was the only respondent.

“I don’t think it will be more than $1.2 billion,” Belkin said. “It is an exciting project, but it is a challenging project.”

The tower proposal is just the latest in a long and colorful career that has seen Belkin reap a fortune and build more than 25 different companies.

Belkin, who also owns a stake in two Atlanta pro sports teams, said, in an interview at his firm’s headquarters near Fenway Park [map], that he is entering a new stage in his career.

“I still love the challenge of business, but I want to do it in a way that gives back to the community,” Belkin said.

The tower will be lifted up 75 feet above the ground on columns, creating a large park and civic space below. It will be an expansive, three-acre spread that includes restaurants and cafes and a glass-enclosed all-weather section.
The tower’s top will feature a park named after Natick’s historic, 17th-century Lookout Farm, which Belkin owns.

“You will be up in the clouds - really it should be just a very magical moment,” Belkin said. “We are going to change the way people see tall buildings.”

All that public space, which sacrifices four to five floors of potential rent-paying tenants, could amount to 15 percent of the project’s cost, potentially more than $150 million.

Average rents in the tower, if it opens as proposed in 2011, will be in the $70- to $75-a-square-foot range - well above the $50 to $60 a square foot charged now at the city’s top towers.

“There will be demand from tenants to be in an iconic building,” Belkin said.

David Begelfer, head of the local chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, says Belkin has a solid chance of seeing his tower become a reality.

“He is going to be in the market during this period of tightening occupancy and rising rents,” Begelfer said.



Link (http://business.bostonherald.com/realestateNews/view.bg?articleid=172762)

kznyc2k
Dec 19, 2006, 6:54 AM
In continuation of my past work, here's the ESB in Boston:

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/4267/winthropsquareesbme9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

NYguy
Dec 19, 2006, 10:54 AM
The tower will be lifted up 75 feet above the ground on columns, creating a large park and civic space below. It will be an expansive, three-acre spread that includes restaurants and cafes and a glass-enclosed all-weather section.

The tower’s top will feature a park named after Natick’s historic, 17th-century Lookout Farm, which Belkin owns.

“You will be up in the clouds - really it should be just a very magical moment,” Belkin said. “We are going to change the way people see tall buildings.”

At least the top will be open to the public.

aeathin2
Dec 21, 2006, 8:07 PM
I would really like to see this thing built. I think the design causes it to fit in well with the rest of the buildings in the financial district.

Scruffy
Dec 22, 2006, 4:42 AM
so how high exactly is the roof? is the roof 1000 feet or the spire/ antenna

Mike/617
Dec 22, 2006, 11:27 AM
so how high exactly is the roof? is the roof 1000 feet or the spire/ antenna


It's 1,087' to the roof and 1,270' to the top of the spire. The glass around the roof garden extends up another 25'.

See kznyc2k's post one page back for more building specifics.

Scruffy
Jan 2, 2007, 12:31 AM
oooooh, those are some good heights

drew11
Jan 2, 2007, 9:43 PM
http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Graphic/2006/11/13/1163454847_4706.jpg

nice tower i may be moving to boston. in may i saw this on emporis at 70 floors. it would be realy neat, does it have an observation deck. :tup:

tiger47
Jan 2, 2007, 11:22 PM
any news on full renderings?

boston 44
Jan 9, 2007, 1:05 AM
Someone needs to show a rendering of this building with the whole boston skyline(back bay included),even the BRA's wood modle of Boston only has the tower downtown and dos'ent include the Back Bay skyline makeing the tower look way out of place and a toltal box!I like the Trump Tower rendering the best,with the stepbacks and spire

CoolCzech
Jan 9, 2007, 1:41 AM
http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/8283/winthropsquareparisud0.png (http://imageshack.us)


Oh Dear God, someone make him stop!

That is the most hideous image of Boston I can conceive of.:yuck:

Mike/617
Jan 26, 2007, 10:28 AM
City's tallest tower clears first hurdle


Businessman Steve Belkin was designated by the Boston Redevelopment Authority today to build the city's tallest building.

The tower would be on the site of a parking garage in the Financial District.

Belkin has proposed an unusual 1,000-foot tower, perched on columns three stories above Federal Street, with a public park underneath, restaurants, and a gathering area called a town green.

Elevators on the outside of the glass building would whisk tenants and visitors skyward; atop the 80 stories would be a half-acre "look-out park."

"Boston's known for its revolution," Belkin told the BRA board. The building, he said, "will revolutionize skyscrapers. We’re actually creating green space ... We’re giving land back to the community."

Belkin made millions from a network of companies in the travel, financial, and communications businesses, and began plotting to build a tower more than a decade ago when he bought a commercial building adjacent to the city parking lot.

He has hired noted architect Renzo Piano, who spoke of the proposed building's "slender, slim" profile.

The BRA designation is the first hurdle. Belkin has pledged to begin construction in 2008 and finish by 2011.

His initial plans were enthusiastically endorsed by BRA board members. "It's very exciting for the city," said Consuelo Gonzales-Thornell.

Chairman Clarence "Jeep" Jones quipped, “It seems so attractive what are you going to do when everybody in the city wants to be there at the same time?" (By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe staff)


http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/0125_building_005.jpg
Italian architect Renzo Piano (left) and Steve Belkin. (Globe photo)


Link (http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/2007/01/citys_tallest_t.html)

Fabb
Jan 26, 2007, 11:11 AM
atop the 80 stories would be a half-acre "look-out park."


80 stories ?
I guess it's rounded up. That would be great though.

tiger47
Jan 26, 2007, 3:03 PM
I guess it's good to hear the BRA is so enthusiastic. Is it just the model in the picture, or does the box-like exterior seem to be hollow with a slender tower enclosed within?

NYC2ATX
Jan 26, 2007, 3:36 PM
Keep it going! i cant wait for them to start building this, I'm already planning to ride up that elevator as soon as it opens.

NYguy
Jan 30, 2007, 8:28 PM
Boston Business Journal

Gale, Vornado close on purchase of Filene's site


Gale International and Vornado Realty Trust closed on the $100 million acquisition of the historic Filene's property from Federated Department Stores Inc.

The sale of the building, located in Boston's Downtown Crossing retail district, closed on Jan. 26. Mack-Cali Realty Corp. (NYSE: CLI) and institutional investors, advised by JPMorgan Asset Management Real Estate, are co-investors.

The joint venture of Gale International and Vornado (NYSE: VNO), both based in New York, plan to redevelop the site into 1.2 million square feet of mixed-use space. The developers are planning a 38-story tower at the four-building site, which would include retail, luxury condos, a 250-room hotel and 600,000 square feet of office space.

The $600 million project will be part of a large historic renovation of the site, which currently house Filene's Basement Inc. Pending government approvals, construction is expected to begin in June. During construction, Filene's Basement will temporarily close its flagship store at 426 Washington St.

In addition to partnering on the redevelopment of the Filene's site in downtown Boston, Gale and Morgan Stanley Real Estate acquired 23 acres of land in South Boston from News Corp. for nearly $204 million last September. In 2005 Gale sold the One Lincoln St. office tower for $705 million.

tiger47
Jan 30, 2007, 9:06 PM
Boston Business Journal

Gale, Vornado close on purchase of Filene's site


Gale International and Vornado Realty Trust closed on the $100 million acquisition of the historic Filene's property from Federated Department Stores Inc.

The sale of the building, located in Boston's Downtown Crossing retail district, closed on Jan. 26. Mack-Cali Realty Corp. (NYSE: CLI) and institutional investors, advised by JPMorgan Asset Management Real Estate, are co-investors.

The joint venture of Gale International and Vornado (NYSE: VNO), both based in New York, plan to redevelop the site into 1.2 million square feet of mixed-use space. The developers are planning a 38-story tower at the four-building site, which would include retail, luxury condos, a 250-room hotel and 600,000 square feet of office space.

The $600 million project will be part of a large historic renovation of the site, which currently house Filene's Basement Inc. Pending government approvals, construction is expected to begin in June. During construction, Filene's Basement will temporarily close its flagship store at 426 Washington St.

In addition to partnering on the redevelopment of the Filene's site in downtown Boston, Gale and Morgan Stanley Real Estate acquired 23 acres of land in South Boston from News Corp. for nearly $204 million last September. In 2005 Gale sold the One Lincoln St. office tower for $705 million.

Considering Menino and the BRA's newfound appreciation for height and the city's growing demand for space, it's disappointing to hear of another 30-40 story box flattening out the financial district :(

NYguy
Jan 30, 2007, 11:45 PM
Considering Menino and the BRA's newfound appreciation for height and the city's growing demand for space, it's disappointing to hear of another 30-40 story box flattening out the financial district :(

Hadn't seen the design, didn't know what it was. But its better than nothing.

NYguy
Mar 7, 2007, 1:10 PM
NY Times

Another Building by a Noted Modernist Comes Under Threat, This Time in Boston

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/03/07/arts/07rudo_CA0.650.jpg

A rendering of Renzo Piano's design for Trans National Place.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/03/07/arts/07rudo_CA1.450.jpg

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.

By DAVID HAY
March 7, 2007

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.”

CoolCzech
Mar 7, 2007, 2:21 PM
Too bad they can't pull down Boston's City Hall, instead...

NYC2ATX
Mar 7, 2007, 7:34 PM
As much as I love this proposal, I rele like Paul Rudolph's building. It's a sticky situation...
It bothers me that it doesn't seem like the developer is willing to compromise, while the preservationists are. an odd twist in the story.

tiger47
Mar 7, 2007, 9:26 PM
NY Times

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.”

Because a 26 story brutalist concrete cube would really be much better than a new architectural landmark for the city. :rolleyes:

liat91
Mar 8, 2007, 7:59 AM
Anybody know about the reality of this thing getting built? Sounds like a stonewall cliche' that we all know to well to happen when large scale projects are attempted

Daquan13
Mar 8, 2007, 9:44 AM
http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/8283/winthropsquareparisud0.png (http://imageshack.us)


Oh Dear God, someone make him stop!

That is the most hideous image of Boston I can conceive of.:yuck:



Yikes!!!

Looks like a disgusting pile of junk, Donald Trump!!:yuck:

BANKofMANHATTAN
Mar 8, 2007, 3:29 PM
I'd really like to see another view of this tower so i can get a good idea of what it looks like at different angles.

kznyc2k
Mar 12, 2007, 1:05 AM
I'd really like to see another view of this tower so i can get a good idea of what it looks like at different angles.

http://img423.imageshack.us/img423/5614/bra3ch4.jpg

http://img104.imageshack.us/img104/9071/bra1sd0.jpg

tiger47
Mar 12, 2007, 5:46 AM
http://img423.imageshack.us/img423/5614/bra3ch4.jpg

http://img104.imageshack.us/img104/9071/bra1sd0.jpg

kind of disappointing...i thought maybe with the corner spire there might be some interesting stuff with the facade on the sides we weren't seeing... but i guess not.

I was downtown today, and passed by the garage and Rudolph building where they want to build this. It's such an odd footprint, i don't know how they're going to build a perfectly square tower.

JBinCalgary
Mar 12, 2007, 5:49 AM
would look good in the skyline

Pandemonious
Mar 12, 2007, 5:52 AM
^I agree, and I actually like the existing building. It is has something unique about it. I think more unique than Piano's design... I would hardly call it an "architectural landmark".. at least from what has been shown to us.

kznyc2k
Mar 12, 2007, 7:08 AM
It's such an odd footprint, i don't know how they're going to build a perfectly square tower.

http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/8717/115w1cq6.jpg

Lecom
Mar 12, 2007, 7:44 AM
I just hope the building's rooftop garden won't go the way of that of NYTT.

kznyc2k
Mar 12, 2007, 3:50 PM
But the rooftop garden IS happening with the NYT. I just corrected Stern on that (in the proper thread) last week, too.

BANKofMANHATTAN
Mar 12, 2007, 5:59 PM
http://img423.imageshack.us/img423/5614/bra3ch4.jpg

http://img104.imageshack.us/img104/9071/bra1sd0.jpg

Thanks kznyc2k!

Well.......it's a......rectangle.

It's not ugly, but it's not amazing - how's about some decorative crowns or sleek tapering...or something? This might as well be going up in Miami, with their whole "Forest of Boxes" as I'm calling it. (minus The Capitol & The Met3, those projects are pretty nice)

I'm happy for Boston regardless, along with the Southstation tower (which looks a lot nicer imo) & other projects going up - the skyline will definitely be changing! Hopefully Boston will get a couple more taller dynamic/iconic towers (in the 600' - 900' range) to fill in the height gaps.

observer
Mar 12, 2007, 6:25 PM
This tower is abosultely wonderful....SIMPLE IS GOOD!!!....and extremely hard to do WELL. If built...this tower has the potential of looking as good 50 years from now as on opening day. Time is very seldom kind to architecture where the buildings functional needs are 'shoe-horned' into some arbitrary building envelope.