NEW ROCHE BROS. STORE IN DOWNTOWN CROSSING SCHEDULED TO OPEN NEXT YEAR

For years, a supermarket has been on the Downtown Crossing wish list of many people. According to the latest construction updates a new store should be up and running by next year. When the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common opened on lower Washington Street almost a decade ago, it became apparent fast that all the new condo owners needed a place to shop for their groceries. More and more housing was added to the neighborhood the need only grew more.

Roche Bros. came in to rescue the neighborhood residents with a 25,000 square foot supermarket which will be located in the Burnham Building, the former Filene’s store that is in the second week of construction and redevelopment.

Renovation of the 102 year old property started over a year ago and is part of Millennium Partners’ $689 million redevelopment of the old Filene’s site. Next door, the Millennium Tower, a 625 foot building with 442 luxury residences on the upper floors and 95,000 square feet of retail space on its lower floors.

Roche Bros. has 18 stores in the Greater Boston area now, and the new supermarket will have 3,000 square feet of street level retail and 22,000 square feet in the Filene’s Basement. As of now, the supermarket is scheduled to open next year. The store will offer prepared foods also, and they will deliver too.

Boston median sales prices

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BOSTON SCIENTIFIC HEADQUARTERS

Boston Scientific’s Director of Global Facilities and Real Estate has unveiled the latest edition to it’s Marlborough campus. The $34 million, 110,000 square foot building is aimed at attracting and retaining more top talent. The new building contains all the latest in technology and conveniences. Included in the amenities are a gym, hair salon, dry cleaners, daycare center, several sports fields, and technology that allows employees to be able to purchase food using their thumbprints.

There are tunnels that run between all of the buildings on campus to tie it all together. According to CEO Michael Mahoney, “We’re a global company. Half of our sales are outside the U.S., so it was about technology tools and video conferencing that enable global collaboration. The workspace is more modern and open-more appealing to the younger employees.”

The new 120 acre Marlborough campus consists of three pre existing buildings and the new building. There is a total of 613,000 square feet of space. Boston Scientific has been at the Marlbourgh campus for a decade, housing over 1,000 employees. The three older buildings will be receiving new facades in the next two years.

The latest expansion has brought in almost 800 additional employees, and many corporate functions. An additional 500 employees are still located in Quincy, Lowell, Burlington and Cambridge.

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Where Will You Be Watching the Fireworks?

Boston has some of the best Fireworks in the nation. Boston Pops puts a spectacular show but the date has been moved from July 4 to the 3rd to avoid any impact from Tropical Storm Arthur. City officials will close roads around the Esplanade Thursday afternoon. MIT is said to be one of the better roof tops to see the display. However for smaller crowds the Cambridge side of the river could help the claustrophobic patriots. Or if you like the luxury of your home, you may watch it right here streaming live at 8 PM EST. http://bostonpopsjuly4th.org/

 

 

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NEW PROPOSAL TO REPLACE BOSTON HARBOR GARAGE

Sunset over the Longfellow Bridge

A little over 5 years since the original proposal to replace the Boston Harbor Garage was rejected, Donald Chiofaro has proposed a new and smaller plan for the property in hopes to win neighborhood and the city’s approval. The new proposal calls for the project to be cut in size by about 200,000 square feet from the original plan. The new plan calls for a 600 foot tower, with 120 condos and up to 300 hotel rooms plus a 500 foot office building with 700,000 square feet of space. The $1 billion proposal would also include more than 27,000 square feet of open space and a 70 foot space between the towers called the Harbor Square,”which would be a 4 season open space with a roof that could be closed seasonally. The developer envisions a skating rink in the winter and a farmers market in the summer. The new plan reflects a reduced density by 200,000 square feet and reduced height by nearly 200 feet. Mayor Walsh is in ongoing discussions with Chiofaro and predicts movement on the development this year.

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MAYOR INTERESTED IN NEW SOCCER STADIUM

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patr...

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a recent interview, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he is interested and would consider a new soccer stadium for the New England Revolution team.

“It’s about the growth of Boston. It is something I wouldn’t turn down. There will have to be a lot of discussions about the location. I don’t know where it would go. We will have to see.”

The president of the Kraft Group, the holding company of the Kraft family’s business interests, including the New England Patriots and the Revolution, spoke about the idea, saying that the team needs a soccer specific stadium. Presently the team plays at Gillete Stadium in Foxborough, but the owners have been searching for a much better setting with access to public transportation.

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GATE OF HEAVEN SCHOOL FATE, ON HOLD FOR NOW

The coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Boston

The coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Boston (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fate of the closed Gate of Heaven School in South Boston remains in a battle as to whether there is too much housing in the neighborhood. After signing an agreement with the Archdiocese of Boston to purchase and develop the property at 609 East Fourth Street, Oranmore Enterprises in Boston has put the project to build 31 units in the 4 story building, including 40 parking places.

There has been ongoing opposition to the project from the neighborhood residents since the project was announced. The residents want the site to remain some sort of school, maybe a charter school instead of more housing units. The mayor has been asked to intervene and help kill the plan. The city recently conducted a door to door survey of the residents and 63 of the 74 surveyed were opposed to the property being used for more housing.

The Archdiocese has said it is committed to selling the property and is confident thatplan would move forward as originally planned. It pointed out that they have spent more than $100,000 per year since the school closed on insurance and security and maintenance. The Archdiocese stated that they hope to move forward with the project as the parish cannot afford the costs anymore.

The proposed project was pulled from the Boston Redevelopment Authority board agenda last month until some sort of future plan is agreed upon.

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PLANS FOR A 33 UNIT CONDO COMPLEX FILED

Boston

Boston (Photo credit: Bahman Farzad)

Plans for a 33 unit condo complex at 488 Dorchester Avenue, have been filed by a Milton based developer.

An almost 50,000 square foot, four story building would be built containing 2,091 square feet of ground floor retail and a garage for 33 car is included in the plans. Formerly located on the property was a signle story warehouse containing the offices of Deco Systems, a trucking company.

There is an additional four other residential projects in the South Boston neighborhood currently under consideration by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

[Rendering of 1 Ink, 2 Ink, and 3 Ink, as seen from the corner of Harrison Avenue and Herald Street. Rendering by Elkus Manfredi Architects.] At a meeting in early 2007 in the Fort Point, Boston, headquarters of the architecture firm Elkus Manfredi Architects, cofounder and principal Howard Elkus welcomed developer Ori Ron. 

 

 

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SETBACK FOR PROPOSED 54 SEAT RESTAURANT

Cuban Restaurant

Cuban Restaurant (Photo credit: howardignatius)

Plans for a new restaurant to replace the former Segway site in Boston’s North End suffered a setback this week as members of a neighborhood group voted to oppose a zoning variance request. The 5-4 vote by the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council on Monday night is a setback for Damien DiPaola , operator of Carmelina’s on Hanover Street.

The proposed 54 seat restaurant proposed for the former Segway site at 420 Commercial Street, has suffered a setback with some neighbors expressing their concerns over late night noise, traffic, garbage pickups, rodent infestation and other safety issues. Some have expressed the idea of even having more small retail outlets than more restaurants.

Proponents say that a restaurant with outdoor seating would enliven and brighten was is now a dark corner of the North End. Boston Zoning Board approval is required to change the occupancy in the 2766 square foot property from multifamily to restaurant and offices, including seasonal outdoor seating and take out usage. The site was formerly a Mobil Gas Station and in 2011, it became a Segway office. Segway is currently located on Canal Street.

Neighborhood approval is not required, but the ZBA always considers neighborhood opinions when deliberating a property zoning or usage change.

Notes:  and…

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DEVELOPERS URGE UNDER USED PARCELS TO SPUR DEVELOPMENT

In a recent meeting with three prominent developers regarding the building of middle income housing in Boston’s downtown neighborhoods, the builders told the audience that Mayor Walsh’s vision to increase production of middle income housing is essentially a non starter unless the construction of these units can be done on the city’s outskirts due to costs.

Mayor Walsh has been saying that Boston’s economic growth and future is at stake and that Boston will lose workers, tax revenue and industries if it doesn’t create more affordable homes to rent and to buy. During a recent panel discussion, three developers all agreed that it is nearly impossible to build affordable high rise condos or apartments in the downtown area.

They blame high land parcel costs and high labor costs for the situation. A recommendation by the developers is to use vacant, city owned parcels for construction of multifamily homes that could be built at a 50% discount from current rates. These savings can be passed on to the purchasers and tenants. Another suggestion is to work with the unions to get lower labor costs

for the building of the affordable units. All agreed that to achieve Mayor Walsh’s goals, all must work together to solve the problem.

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Arlington Is Now Leasing

 

Macallen Facade

Macallen Facade (Photo credit: graysky.)

 

 

The 128 unit, The Arlington is now leasing units. The building is at the site of the old charter-school building at 100 Arlington Street in Bay Village. It was converted by Clarendon and One Back Bay developer Related Companies as well as the Congress Group.

 

One-bedrooms at The Arlington start at $3,200 a month and 2-BRs at $6,200

 

 

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