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The Seven Boston Developments Everyone Should Be Watching

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Including Dot Block, the Viola and One Dalton

'Tis no secret that Boston is in the mist of an historic building boom (dorms, hotels, apartments, oh my!). Some projects planned or under way are particularly portentous because of their sheer size, the prices-slash-rents they're bringing, or the specifics of either their locations or what they are to contain. Here are seven such projects, ones anybody interested in Boston circa 2016 should be keeping close tabs on.

Millennium Tower

No rundown of defining developments in Boston nowadays could omit Millennium Tower. The 690-foot (give or take) spire will be chock-a-block full of 422 luxury condos. For a time after it opens later this year, Millennium will be the tallest residential tower in Boston (learn about its eventual usurper below). It will also undoubtedly spawn the priciest home deals in the city's history and likely help transform its home neighborhood of Downtown Crossing. Handel Architects is behind the design.

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Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences One Dalton Street

The 61-story, 699-foot tower has been under construction in western Back Bay for about 12 months and will shoot past Millennium Tower sometime by the end of 2017 to take the tallest-residential-tower crown. In fact, the Pei Cobb Freed-designed One Dalton will become the tallest tower constructed in Boston in nearly 40 years. It is due to include 180 luxury condos, plus a Four Seasons hotel (that will also service the condos). Like with Millennium, things will be on the pricey side.

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Washington Village

The planned project known as Washington Village in Southie's Andrew Square area would stretch to a collective 894,600 square feet; and would include 656 residential units aimed at the non-luxury buyer and tenant. It's due also to include 98,600 square feet of retail, including a grocery store; 440 below-ground garage parking spaces and 120 surface parking spots; and 42,500 square feet of open space as well as new streets, walkways, and plazas.

Developers first broached plans for the village in the spring of 2015, and filed more formal plans with the city in October. Approval could come this year, though the nearly five-acre project would likely not be fully finished until 2021.

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The Viola

Plans call for an 11-story, S-shaped building at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street in western Back Bay. MassDOT, the site's owner, signed off last fall on the proposal from a Florida-based developer, which hopes to start construction in 2019. The so-called Viola will encompass the Hynes Convention Center Green Line stop, with rent from the developer going toward improvements for the station.

The Viola, a nod to the nearby Berklee College of Music, is due to include 173 apartments and condos (roughly half and half); a four-star, 156-room hotel; retail space; and two public plazas.

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Dot Block

A final city O.K. could come this spring for the multi-building development at the convergence of Meeting House Hill, Jones Hill, and Savin Hill in Dorchester (the Boston Civic Design Commission unanimously signed off on RODE Architects' plans earlier this month). Dot Block as it now stands would include eight four-story residential buildings with eight units apiece; a five-story, 50-unit residential building; and several more five- to six-story buildings with residences and retail.

There would also be an additional parking garage of some 450 spaces, with 22 more spots on a covered lot nearby. All totaled, we're talking around 450 apartments (and presumably condos) as well as 72,000 square feet of retail.

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The Hub at Causeway

The humongous project slated for the old Boston Garden site along Causeway Street in the West End/North End borderlands officially broke ground in late January. Ultimately, the development will mean more than 1.5 million square feet of shops, restaurants, offices, hotel rooms, and residences, as well as an expansion of nearby TD Garden and transit improvements to North Station.

For now, Phase I is under way and should wrap in 2018. It is due to include flourishes such as the city's largest supermarket; a 15-screen movie theater; 10,000 square feet of outdoor space for a new entrance to TD Garden and North Station; and 175,000 square feet of what the developers are calling "creative office space."

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Parcel 1B

One would hope that this Bulfinch Triangle development near TD Garden would prove the most portentous development of all. The apartment portion of the Parcel 1B project is due to include 239 units aimed at those not in the market for a $3,000 studio. Indeed, developer Related Beal calls its effort "the largest new construction of affordable and workforce housing in downtown Boston in more than a quarter-century."

What's that mean? It means that the units will be reserved for tenants making from 30 percent to 165 percent of the area's median income. That, and 10 percent of the units are due to be 3-BRs targeted presumably to families and other larger households. Construction started late last year on the project once known as the Merano. Related Beal expects to wrap things in 2018.

Millennium Tower

1 Franklin Street, , MA 02110 Visit Website