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1000 Boylston Development Potentially Underway Soon

Posted By: Boston City Properties

A proposed mixed-use tower that will rise over the Massachusetts Turnpike recently passed another hurdle on its way to full-fledged approval. Now that the Boston Planning and Development Agency has signed off on plans for 1000 Boylston Street, which is the working name for the project, developers hope to begin construction by the fall of 2018. When all is said and done, the new development is slated to open its doors in mid-to-late 2022. As it rises, the tower will transform the shape of Back Bay's famous High Spine, so its overall impact on the city will be considerable. As always, Boston City Properties is keeping track of this project and will share updates as they become available.

In a city where new luxury condo towers seem to sprout up almost constantly, it isn't easy for one of them to stand out from the crowd. Since its inception, however, the project along the Mass Pike has generated a lot of buzz--and not all of it has been positive. As is the case with any construction project involving soaring buildings, this one has touched a few nerves due to the shadows that it may potentially cast among other things. Read on to learn more about the project and to find out why it has been somewhat controversial.

The Basics

The proposal that went before the BPDA was not the first one that was developed concerning this project. An older plan for two residential buildings over the Pike was scrapped after numerous community meetings over a period of several years. The proposal that was approved by BPDA calls for a single tower that will stand 484 feet tall with 27 stories. The first two floors of the mixed-use development will be reserved for retail and restaurant space, and there will also be a two-story above-grade parking garage. The development will straddle the Mass Pike at Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Streets, which is right by the Hynes Convention Center.

The site in question has long been an eyesore for the Back Bay. The area was once a cohesive part of the city, but construction of the Mass Pike during the 1960s changed all of that. While the turnpike was desperately needed, its construction also broke apart the continuity of the area. At the same time, Back Bay's High Spine continued to grow, and concerns over shadows cast by soaring towers increased. No one seemed to be able to agree about how to deal with the space in question, so it sat unimproved for many years.

About the Proposed Development

Back Bay is already home to dozens of luxury residential developments and mixed-use buildings. What makes this particular project so noteworthy? Its impact on the skyline of Back Bay plays a huge role, but there's more to it than that. Developers envision a completed building that pulls together disparate parts of this stretch of Back Bay. It is hoped that upon completion, the development will improve the overall walkability of the area as well as its appearance.

The development will boast a new, 23,000-square-foot deck that will extend over the turnpike. Also called a podium, this section will serve as the foundation of the mixed-use building, but it will be used for more than just practical purposes. The plans that were placed before the BPDA also call for an outdoor amenity area on the roof of the podium. Presumably, this will be something like a rooftop terrace or some sort of clubhouse for residents of the building. In the same area, plans also call for green space that will break up the modern, sleek style of the development while bringing a little bit of nature to this corner of Back Bay.

All told, the new development will encompass more than 439,500 square feet of space. Approximately 394,000 square feet of this space will be reserved for condos. In total, there are expected to be 108 luxury condo units in the building. Each and every one will have a unique design and layout; this is largely due to the unique design of the building, which has been revealed in architectural plans. It is also a savvy thing to do from a marketing perspective because very few luxury residential towers offer truly customized and unique floor plans.

Since this project is still somewhat in its infancy--it still needs to be approved by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation--in-depth information regarding the types of amenities that will be offered at the development has not been made available. We already know, however, that the premises will include some sort of outdoor amenity area and plenty of green space. We can make educated guesses about the types of services and amenities that will be included based on what is standard in luxury condo towers in this part of the city. Some of these likely amenities include:

To ensure that this development melds in naturally with the surrounding area, it will include a few floors of restaurant and retail space. This space totals around 45,500 square feet, and its frontage will run along Dalton, Boylston and St. Cecilia Streets. Thus far, of course, none of this space has been filled. Based on what we've seen in other mixed-use developments downtown, however, we can safely assume that it will feature a mix of small shops, cafes and trendy restaurants.

On the more practical side, 1000 Boylston Street is also slated to include a two-story parking garage. Unlike many garages that are attached to buildings like these, this one will be above grade. So far, no word has been issued about whether condos in this building will come with parking spaces or if residents will have the option of leasing deeded parking spaces within the garage. Based on what we have seen in similar developments in the area, we expect that the garage will include some electric car charging stations and perhaps even Zipcar service.

Brief History

For many residents of Back Bay, the construction of this development has been a very long time coming. The primary issue that has prevented any construction to occur on the site involves air rights, which are notoriously difficult to obtain in the city of Boston. The original proposal called for two buildings located at Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The first would stand 566 feet tall and encompass 39 stories while the second would stand 283 feet tall and encompass 24 stories. Results from several shadow studies and other research demonstrated that the first tower would be far too tall, so the proposal fizzled out.

Now that the project has won approval from BPDA, it holds the distinction of being the first project in many decades to be granted air rights to build over the Mass Pike. The new building will change the appearance of the High Spine along its western edge, where it will join the Prudential Center and One Dalton Tower, which is currently under construction. Although plans were revised after shadow studies revealed that the first proposed tower would cause too many problems, some are still concerned about the shadows that will be cast by the new development. They are expected to affect the Esplanade, the Fenway Victory Gardens and even Boston Common and Boston Public Garden.

New Luxury Condos in Back Bay

Given that the development itself was only recently given the green light by BPDA and still awaits approval from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, specific information about the luxury units that it will house has not been released yet. The only thing that we know for sure is that each and every unit in the tower will boast a distinct and unique layout and design. There's little doubt that these units will feature floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of what are sure to be amazing views of the surrounding area.

Condos at 1000 Boylston Street will most likely feature the latest and best high-end fits and finishes. You can expect to find gourmet kitchens loaded with top-of-the-line appliances, granite counters and other elegant touches. These units are certain to include their own full-size washers and dryers, and we wouldn't be surprised if many of these units include extras like terraces and fireplaces.

Stay Informed with Boston City Properties

If everything goes according to plan, groundbreaking on this new Back Bay development will begin in the fall of this year. Developers estimate that it will take about one year to complete the deck over the turnpike and another two years to complete the building itself, so 1000 Boylston Street is tentatively expected to be ready by mid-to-late 2022. If you are interested in eventually owning a luxury condo in what is sure to be one of the most exciting new luxury towers in Back Bay, Boston City Properties is here to help. Check back for updates concerning this project.

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