Real Estate Transportation

Developer Thomas O’Brien Presents Government Center Garage Mega-Project to North End Residents [Video]

HYM Investment Group LLC President, Thomas O’Brien, presented to the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association, plans for redevelopment of the Government Center Garage site. The meeting took place on Thursday, July 11, 2013 at the Nazzaro Community Center in Boston’s North End. Watch the video shown above to view the full presentation and discussion period.

The presentation was part of the proponent’s community outreach to surrounding neighborhoods following its filing of a Project Notification Form (PNF) with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. NEWRA recently issued a 7-page comment letter detailing opportunities and concerns with the complex project. View the NEWRA comment letter.

The proposal, currently under review by the Boston Redevelopment Authority and other agencies, would replace much of the existing 11-story garage between New Sudbury and New Chardon streets with 771 apartments and condominiums, a 204-bed hotel and 1.3 million square feet of office space. The project includes a 48-story office tower, 45-story and 24-story apartment buildings, a 23-story hotel and condominium building, a 9-story office building and a 4-story retail complex. Of the total 2.4 million square feet of new floor space, 85,000 square feet would be for retail and restaurant use. The plans also call for reconfiguring the Haymarket MBTA bus terminal. The highest towers would be closest to Government Center, stepping down in height to 125 feet along the North End Greenway parks. The design by CBT Architects features the removal of the tunnel overhang over Congress Street and has an estimated phased project timeframe of approximately 10 years.

There was an active question and answer period at the meeting, with residents commenting about various aspects of the project. The majority of the discussion focused on the removal of parking. About 1,100 of the existing garage spaces would remain versus the 2,300 that currently exist. O’Brien said that the garage is never fully occupied, and peaks out at 1,300 filled spaces when TD Garden games overlap with the end of the workday. He also said that much of the garage’s current business is from government and contracted (MGH) institutions that will move to nearby underutilized garages. Other questions included various impacts the dense development and infrastructure stress the project may cause on the neighborhood. The developer presented shadow and traffic studies as part of the PNF. View the video above for the discussion of these issues.

The comment period on filed PNF ends on Friday, July 12, 2013. In addition to NEWRA’s comment letter, we have previously posted a letter by Rep. Aaron Michlewitz calling for university housing as part of the project.

7 Replies to “Developer Thomas O’Brien Presents Government Center Garage Mega-Project to North End Residents [Video]

  1. Obviously whatever parking gurus say has never worked. Parking everywhere in the city just gets worse and worse despite what the city engineers and parking studies say. Traffic and lack of parking shows that the studies are a joke. So we can listen to whatever quoted numbers you want but when has traffic and parking ever IMPROVED?

    1. People aren’t buying and using cars like they used to – specifically young people. There is a TON of research on this.

      A lot of the people that will live here won’t have cars. They’ll use public transit and zip car when they need to get out of the city.

      1. That may be true for city dwellers but I see 3 cars in all of the driveways I pass by in the ‘burbs…so unless you can guarantee me that 80%-90% of the people working in these buildings will be coming from the city and are people who don’t own cars, that thought process is flawed. Americans love their cars….and that’s not changing anytime soon. Only us city dwellers think differently. Speak to your friends who live in the suburbs…they probably have one car for every licensed driver under their roof.

  2. Would you buy a used car with rust barely disguised by a cheap paint job? I thought of that when watching the developer’s slides of views of the glass monstrosities. You could only see a bit of the tops of the buildings since they were blocked by very leafy trees in the foreground. Or the photo from Hanover St. showing the Health Center completely blocking any view of the buildings. Naturally, there were no slides of what you’d see from Hanover and Cross streets. Most architects would be proud to have their creations seen.

  3. Stating that the current garage peaks at 1,300 spots is simply not true. I park there every evening, and on nights with Garden events I often end up on the 6th or 7th level (the garage has eight parking levels). So there’s no way there are 1,000 open spots out of 2,300 during those events. It’s not like there’s a parking surplus today, and this project will add hundreds if not thousands of new parkers between the apartments/condos, offices and retail. The goal should be adding parking, not taking it away.

    1. Why do you want to add more parking to an area that sits on top of two transit lines, is a block from a third, is serviced by several bus lines, and is a few blocks from 5 lines of commuter rail service?

      We need to wean this area off the automobile and make more space for residences, offices, retail, and parks.

      Increased public parking should never be the goal of a major project located in an area with such great access to public transit.

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