Once upon a time, the city-owned garage in Winthrop Square in Boston's Financial District was supposed to host part of what would be a 1,000-foot skyscraper containing as much as 1.7 million square feet—easily the tallest building in town and one of the biggest, too. The Great Recession and the FAA intervened (too costly to build and lease up, too tall for planes in and out of Logan). Now, nearly a decade later, there are fresh plans for the site. Eight development teams submitted schemes to the city on Tuesday; you will surely recognize some of the names.
Here are their proposals in no particular order:
· Millennium Partners, they of the game-change-y Millennium Place and Millennium Tower (Millennium!), pitched a 750-foot spire with 360 residential units and 14 floors of office space as well as 41,000 square feet of retail, including a market arcade.
· Thomas O'Brien, a former director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, would turn the garage site into a public plaza and then build a 780-foot tower with 700 apartments and condos across the street in a deal with the Franciscan friars who run St. Anthony Shrine Church. O'Brien would also build a public school. (For comparison's sake, know that the Hancock is 790 feet high.)
· Accordia Partners would build a 750-foot building with 140 condos, a public gallery, retail and a 275-room Le Meridien hotel (it would join the one near M.I.T. in Cambridge).
· A team that includes Hudson Group North America, developer of recent downtown Boston rental Radian, proposed another 750-foot tower, with 156 condos, 288 apartments, a 300-room hotel, public space and retail.
· Trinity Acquisitions would build a 51-story building with 276 hotel rooms, 328 apartments and 261 condos.
· The Fallon Co., which is behind so much of the recent construction in the Seaport District, pitched two buildings connected by a podium. One would be 75 feet and contain apartments; the other would soar to 700 feet, with 32 floors of apartments and 18 of condos. There would also be an open retail concourse.
· Steven Belkin of Trans National Properties, who proposed the original 1,000-foot tower, is back with a 740-foot pitch now. It would include apartments as well as 100 condos (built by McMansion kingpins the Toll Brothers). There would also be a retail galleria; an "Innovation Sculpture Park"; and an "Innovators Walk of Fame." Belkin would also build on an adjoining site he owns at 133 Federal Street.
· Finally, Lincoln Property Co. would build a 47-story tower with 29 floors of offices, a hotel with at least 250 rooms, six floors of condos and retail.
We would point out two big things about all eight of these proposals. One, they're each dimensionally huge by Boston standards, particularly the ones calling for more than 700 feet. Second, while Belkin's original plans (and a second go of it a few years ago) called for commercial space alone, these puppies all incorporate a huge residential component; folks want to live in the city.
· Winthrop Square Proposals Aim High [Herald]
· Eight Developers Vying to Build Tower Downtown [Globe]
· The 1,000-Foot FiDi Skyscraper Designed by Renzo Piano [Curbed Boston]
· The Tower That Hopes to Remake Downtown Crossing [Curbed Boston]
· Millennium Place: Boston's Best-Selling Luxury Condo in 2014 [Curbed Boston]
· Newish Radian Jumps on Boston's Free-Rent Bandwagon [Curbed Boston]
· Here Comes Twenty Two Liberty at Seaport's Fan Pier [Curbed Boston]