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Blog :: 01-2015

Government Center Garage Redevelopment

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After years of planning and months of debate, the Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved the redevelopment of the Government Center Parking Garage.

Built during the 1960s as part of the original Government Center Redevelopment project, the garage was designed in the brutalist architecture style matching the City Hall as well as several other prominent buildings around Boston at the time. The garage has been criticized by many as a giant eyesore and has been dubbed by many locals as the Berlin Wall of the West End. Due to its central location and massive size, the current garage straddles Congress Street, creating a dimly lit underpass connecting the popular Faneuil Hall area with the West End neighborhood.

Now a developer has stepped forward with a massive plan to tear down the existing garage and replace it with a sweeping new development. The project will replace the garage with six new buildings including two high-rises. The centerpiece of the development will be a 528-foot office tower along with a 480-foot residence tower that will transform the skyline of central Boston. According to the Boston Globe, the development will create 812 new residences, 1.1 million square foot of office space, 196 hotel rooms, and several new stores and restaurants.

Most importantly, part of Congress Street currently passing under the garage will be liberated once the garaged has been torn down. Many residents and business owners feel that this will breath new life into the West End and re-connect the TD Garden sports bar district with the rest of the Faneuil Hall area. Currently, the garage completely blocks any view of the TD Garden from pedestrians in Faneuil Hall or Government Center. Opening the area above Congress Street will allow the lights of Bostons major sports arena to be seen by people in both of Bostons two most popular locations in central Boston.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/11/15/bra-approves-master-plan-for-government-center-garage-redevelopment/YnTyWVF7jjzJHBOtSTSQSJ/story.html

http://www.governmentcentergarageredevelopment.com

Nick Lattarulo for Bostonia Properties

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Faneuil Hall Marketplace Redevelopment

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Residing in the very heart of Boston, Faneuil Hall Marketplace has served as the central tourist destination of the city since its first major renovation in the 1970s. With an estimated 20 million visitors a year, it is one of the most visited sites in the United States. Many Bostonians view Faneuil Hall Marketplace in the way that New Yorkers view Times Square. Now a proposal has been made to renovate Faneuil Hall and bring it into more modern times.

Not much has changed in the Faneuil Hall area since the 1970s. From its iconic bubble lights to the cobblestone walkways, many people have been waiting for Faneuil Hall to catch up with the rest of the city that has grown around it. The goal of the redevelopment is to make the marketplace appeal more to locals and not just tourists. Many Bostonians have learned to avoid Faneuil Hall, especially on the weekends. The hope is that the new developments will draw back in many of the locals and make the area feel less like a tourist destination

Proposed renovations would include replacing the crumbling cobblestone and brick walkways with a new flat stone walkway and replacing all of the dark windows in the buildings with modern clear glass that would help conserve energy. The major renovation would be on the central food court located in the central Quincy Market building. It is currently home to around 70 very crowded small vendors adorning a narrow path. The new renovation would upgrade the food court with larger sit-down restaurants and bars. Other renovations would include building a 180 room hotel in the South Market building, replanting new trees and replacing the outdated glass building with a new modern class structure more capable of sustaining diverse businesses.

Because the Faneuil Hall Marketplace is designated as a Historic site, approval for the project will have to go through both the BRA and the citys Landmarks Commission.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/realestate/restoration-in-store-for-bostons-faneuil-hall-marketplace-.html?_r=2

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/09/09/overhaul-planned-for-faneuil-hall-marketplace/KH5QlqWjpdISz3MYuqINwI/story.html

Nick Lattarulo for Bostonia Properties

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