The city last night approved what should become Boston's tallest residential tower: a 47-story addition to Copley Place in Back Bay with 318 condos above a Neiman Marcus-dominated retail base that will be expanded by 115,000 square feet. After hearing testimony from 20 people on both sides of the project, the Boston Redevelopment Authority quickly green-lighted it, adding it to the roster of new apartment projects popping up about town.
That did not assuage opponents. No, sir. Per Jerry Kronenberg in The Herald:
Some two dozen people staged an “Occupy the Mayor’s Office” protest at Boston City Hall prior to the BRA’s meeting. After the vote, project foes shouted “Shame, shame.” The opponents' angst had that certain "Occupy [Something]" feel about it, with their main bone of contention seeming to be that the Copley Place shoot will be yet another boon to developers (in this case, Indianapolis-based mega-mall creator Simon Property) and to wealthy condo buyers, who want to live near Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen and have views of the Charles and the Bay (bastards). Etc.
Some did express concern about shadows cast by the tower and about increased traffic. But the BRA waved those away, and proponents of the tower cited its architectural potential and its potential to create jobs, jobs, jobs. (And, it should be noted, Simon plans to make 10 of the condos affordable housing.)
“The (proposed) tower will, I believe, become one of the icons of Boston’s skyline,” project architect Howard Elkus told the BRA board at a hearing prior to the vote. Supporters said the development will bring new retail and housing to the city while creating 1,700 construction jobs, some 270 permanent positions and $7.2 million of annual property-tax revenues.
· Copley Tower O.K.'d [Herald]
· 47-Story Copley Tower Gets Go-Head [Globe]
· Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen Downsizing in Back Bay [Curbed Boston]
· Rent Check! Boston Apartment Construction Booming [Curbed Boston]