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Preconstruction activity at Columbus Center is happening. It looks like this project is being raised from the dead and into reality. This is project is actually being built atop interstate 90 and will restitched neighborhoods that have been torn apart by the highway. That's why it is estimate to cost $800 million.
Don't get your hopes up...this baby is being stopped right now. Apparently one of the investors backed out, now Winn doesn't have sufficient funds for this projects...things are not looking good for Columbus Center.
Boston, the Athens Of America, home of the Red Sox
Future home of Trans National Place, South Station Tower, and More!
The hole in the middle of rebirth
Neighbors still hope for tower
Construction at the former Filene's site in Downtown Crossing, shown here in August, came to a halt about a month ago. Construction at the former Filene's site in Downtown Crossing, shown here in August, came to a halt about a month ago. (Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff/FILE)
By Robert Preer
Globe Correspondent / December 7, 2008
Oversized holiday stars loom above the streets of Downtown Crossing. Shoppers are starting to crowd sidewalks, and the area's trendy new restaurants and bars are busy.
But in the heart of Boston's central business district and emerging residential neighborhood there's an oversized hole as well - the former Filene's property, where work on a $700 million condo-hotel-office-retail project began earlier this year, then stopped abruptly about a month ago.
"It's very sad news," said Deanna Palmin, a real estate broker who lives with her husband at Tremont on the Common. "The whole neighborhood was going to change because of this project. This high-profile development was going to show we are a residential neighborhood."
In early November, developers John B. Hynes III and Vornado Realty Trust called a halt to the project, which was to include both a new 38-story tower and restoration of the Filene's department store building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original plans called for 250 hotel rooms, 166 condominiums, 475,000 square feet of office space, and four floors of retail, including the return of the much lamented Filene's Basement, a subterranean Boston landmark that closed in September 2007.
In announcing the shutdown, the developers said they would resume construction in 90 days after redesigning the project in hopes of making it more attractive to potential lenders. In the meantime, the unfinished project leaves a deep scar in the city. The hole in the ground takes up almost an entire city block on Washington and Franklin streets. Some of the walls on the parts of the Filene's building that are to be preserved were removed before the work stopped, leaving the interiors exposed and giving the project the look of a war zone.
Community and business leaders stress, however, that other, smaller development projects are going forward in Downtown Crossing, and leaders are confident that the Filene's project will resume early next year. "We feel this is temporary," said Rosemarie Sansone, president of the Downtown Crossing Association. "We know that at some point it will be restarted and completed. We all know what's happening in the world and in the economy now."
Peggy Carr, who lives in the Devonshire building and is active in the association, said, "With what's going on in the credit markets and the world in general, I can't be angry that the project is stopped. They are trying to make it nice as best they can."
While those with a stake in Downtown Crossing await the resumption of the Filene's project, they also are trying to make the most of the holiday season, which draws thousands of visitors to the area each year. The Downtown Crossing Association, which represents businesses and residents, is sponsoring a holiday house tour to create awareness of Downtown Crossing as a residential neighborhood.
On Dec. 13, about a dozen homeowners will open their holiday-decorated condominiums, lofts, and model units to visitors. In addition, restaurants throughout Downtown Crossing will offer special Holiday Home Tour specials and nearby parking garages will offer discounts. On that day, there also will be entertainment provided by artists, carolers, and other musicians at the intersection of Washington and Summer streets. The association sponsored a similar house tour in the spring.
Local businessman and resident William Ashmore is optimistic about the prospects for Downtown Crossing. The owner of Ivy Restaurant on Temple Place, Ashmore is planning to open a second restaurant, Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale, across the street early next year.
Ashmore noted that there are new developments underway or completed on West, Province and Bromfield streets, and on Hayward Place. The problems with the Filene's site will not derail Downtown Crossing's progress, he said. "I get the question a lot, and I really don't think it will," he said. "It's unfortunate timing, but I really feel it's only one piece of the puzzle. I wouldn't say it's a small piece, but there are others."
StuVi 3 ‘years away’
Plans suffer with building freeze
Published: Friday, December 5, 2008
Updated: Friday, December 5, 2008
While construction is set to finish in June 2009 on Student Village Phase II, the construction freeze has postponed plans for Phase III indeterminably, Boston University officials said.
StuVi2 is currently in the latest phase of a long-term plan going back to the mid-1980s, but officials have not conceived any preliminary plans for StuVi3, and do not intend to in the near future, Auxiliary Services Vice President Peter Cusato.
“New construction projects will be reprioritized and weighed against other needs all based on what economic indicia suggest,” he said.
In the best-case scenario, construction on StuVi3 is “years off,” though it cannot be determined at the moment, Cusato said.
“But I didn’t think I’d be here to see StuVi2. I could be wrong again,” he said. “We’ll have a better sense of what the next academic year will look like as spring draws nearer. Priorities will no doubt be refined at that time.”
However, Cusato said he is certain no plans or architectural designs have been made, and would take at least a year or two to develop.
BU would be more likely to prioritize renovating other student residences given the current economic climate before starting on StuVi3, BU spokesman Colin Riley said. Depending on how successful StuVi2 is, StuVi3 may get pushed along, however.
“It would be a follow-up on demand,” Riley said.
About 75 percent of the undergraduate population lives now in BU housing, but that could change with the new building.
“We could realistically make it go up to mid-’80s,” Cusato said. “We want to house as many people as would like to live here.”
The freeze does not affect any projects that were already under construction, but it does halt future projects, Riley said.
“Nothing has been delayed, because [we were] not planning on starting anything in the fall,” he said. “No contracts have been cut out.”
Cusato said he thinks the public is overreacting to the freeze.
“A couple months ago when BU announced the freeze, it made the front page of The Boston Globe,” he said. “Since then, virtually every institution has done the same thing. “People are panicking needlessly over the freeze, [and] paranoia sets in,” he said. “Send everyone home, fire all staff, jump in the river.”
StuVi2 is currently set to accommodate 960 students, according to the BU website.
“Our goal is to have it open for students next academic year,” Campus Planning and Construction Assistant Vice President Michael Hathaway said. “We have 158 people on the project, and it is the best-run job. It is on budget and on schedule.”
Though the second phase the Student Village remains fully funded and is set to open on schedule next fall, plans for Student Village III could be delayed with the new construction freeze.
All of the biggest projects are either on hold or still in the planning stages. The promise of a boom has been tempered by the economy, but I'd say at least a couple skyline transforming towers (600-700 footers) should get out of the ground within the next 5 years.
I was in Boston back in June and there is an old warehouse/brick looking tower right on the river front as you cross into Charlestown. It looks like it is in really bad disrepair.. but the location seems nice and the building looks like it would be really nice if fixed up.
Province St. blows. How in the world did the developers/architects think it would be a good idea to place a blank concrete-like curtain wall facing the Boston Common?
The west wall contains a shear wall that makes the concrete structural frame rigid. It also houses the stairwell and elevator core just on the other side. Half or more of the wall is blocked by the building next to it, and if that building is renovated or replaced it could obscure the whole wall. They spent more money on the facades that face streets. Its likely there was also some "value engineering" that resulted in the final design.