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Parking-Less 'Pencil Tower' Would Replace Old Felt Nightclub in Downtown Crossing

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More than 300-foot spire to have 94 apartments, two floors of startup space

Fewer areas of Greater Boston are changing more rapidly and forevermore-er than Downtown Crossing. Additions such as Millennium Tower and the Godfrey Hotel are helping to (perhaps) change the Boston neighborhood into a 24-7 enclave.

Little surprise, then, that a new plan to plunk a 302-foot apartment tower on the site of the old Felt nightclub at 533 Washington Street leans on that storyline. "The project will add to the significant ongoing transformation of Downtown Crossing from a predominantly commercial district to a mixed-use district with a growing resident population," reads the Rafi Properties filing with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The 30-story building would have 94 apartments on top of a two-story restaurant and two floors of office space targeted toward start-ups. Given the relatively tiny footprint for such a tall spire (3,648 square feet), it is being dubbed a "pencil tower" not unlike those sprouting throughout Manhattan right now.

Radically enough, Rafi Properties did not include parking in its recently filed plans. Oh dear. The firm, which hopes to preserve the Felt's facade as part of the tower, wants to start construction in mid-2017, with a completion date 14 months later.