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Downtown Boston Project Would Be Bigger Than the Hancock

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The big news Tuesday was that the city and the state are vigorously behind plans to turn a 5.5-acre Massachusetts-owned site at 185 Kneeland Street between South Station and Chinatown into some sort of mega-development chock-a-block (it's assumed) with housing. The site is underutilized, according to Gov. Charlie Baker, with a MassDOT office the main occupant (along with the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy and the Veolia steam plant). Time to build it out and up.

Everything's rather fluid at the moment -- the state will host public-input sessions on any would-be development beginning in early March and a request for proposals would go out after such sessions wrap. But, already, officials are asking would-be builders to think big -- really big.

"We're anticipating great things occurring here," said Brian Golden, head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Gov. Baker talked up transit-oriented development at a formal announcement Tuesday of the state's intentions (the site is near South Station). Officials are bandying about the figure 2,000,000 square feet as the goal for any project, with a sizable chunk of that presumably going to housing.

To put that into perspective, such an amount of development would be 300,000 square feet bigger than the Hancock (a.k.a. 200 Clarendon), though no one's suggesting right now that all the project's square-footage would come bound in a single tower. Still, it's exactly the sort of amount in exactly the sort of underutilized space that Boston needs to see built to begin to address its absurd housing costs. Thoughts?
· Boston Steam Plant Site To Be Redeveloped [Globe]
· State Offering Large Downtown Parcel Near I-93 Up for Redevelopment [Biz Journal]
· Erasing Hancock: New England's Tallest Tower Renamed [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Rents Are Just Never Coming Down. Ever. [Curbed Boston]

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