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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mayor Announces New Boston Skyscraper Plan

Proposed Boston skyscraper planned for Winthrop SquareI read on the Boston Real Estate Blog that Mayor Menino announced what could be the biggest Boston area architecture news in years: a proposal for an enormous skyscraper in Winthrop Square. Trans National Properties' Chairman and CEO Steve Belkin proposed a tower with retail, restaurant, and commercial capabilities - mixed use seems to be the norm in most of Boston's new developments.

The numbers are astounding: Over 1,000 feet tall; 1.3 million square feet of commercial office space; 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; and "55,000 square feet of public space, including a one acre 'Town Green' on the ground floor, complete with public art installations and integrated with retail uses, as well as a distinctive 'Lookout Garden' on the top of the building, providing visitors with a richly landscaped, publicly accessible observatory that is protected from the wind." (Source: City of Boston)

Belkin was the only bidder for the project. As was reported in the Boston Globe, Belkin "
was considered by many to be the one to beat because he owns a key adjacent property, 133 Federal St." If he gets the OK to go ahead, he would incorporate the space his current property occupies into the new building. Tricky guy.

The picture that I got from the city's website is a bit small, but from what I can tell, other than the spectacular height (which could exceed the John Hancock tower), the building isn't that exciting to look at. I would hope that a building "saying that people are bullish on Boston and what this city can accomplish going forward" would be a bit more daring. Maybe I'll be surprised when more renderings are released.

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