Critical Mass. is a weekly roundup of the area’s most notable development news. This rundown includes big changes to projects in Newton, Fort Point, the Financial District, and Mattapan. Go.
Let’s start with the change in the Financial District, where the developer behind the under-construction Winthrop Center—destined to be one of the tallest U.S. towers north of New York City—has cut the residential share and upped the office component. The 691-foot height remains the same though.
Now to Mattapan, where another developer has switched from 21 condos to 32 apartments at 1199-1203 Blue Hill Avenue. The building’s height—55 feet—remains the same, though a word about those apartments: They will be done under a Boston program that encourages “compact” units, which apparently help “create more affordable homes that are well-designed and well-located, so residents can live, work and play in their immediate neighborhoods.”
Meanwhile, in Fort Point, the development team building on the empty lot at 15 Necco Street, which was once supposed to host part of General Electric’s new headquarters—is doing away with the so-called solar veil in that company’s original design. The developers are instead replacing the veil with a photovoltaic arrangement as well as a roof terrace.
Finally, re: changes to big projects: The ongoing saga to plunk a multi-building, mixed-use project on a 935-spot parking lot next to the Green Line’s Riverside Station terminus in Newton has shrunk again in an apparent deal between the lead developer and opponents of earlier plans.
This bit has to do with change, too, although of the pending sort. The state has put up for sale the ground lease on its Hurley office building, the 327,000-square-foot brutalist hulk in Government Center that Paul Rudolph designed (it’s pictured at top). Massachusetts wants to work with a private developer in remaking the 3.25-acre site into something more modern.
Finally, here comes the municipal elections November 5. Housing construction has taken center stage in several towns and cities. What’s your position on the issue? Well?