David Kubiak, a member of the North End Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA), shared an information packet with members detailing updates on the Government Center Garage Redevelopment that began construction earlier this year. In addition to a new garage, Bulfinch Crossing, named after the Bulfinch Triangle, will see new retail spaces, a hotel, residential towers, and an office tower.
The massive redevelopment spans two city blocks and 4.8 acres as the Government Center Garage is demolished in sections. Some of the center garage will remain as part of the development with 1,160 of the existing 2,300 parking spaces being retained. The project is set to cost $1.5 billion for construction. This project is currently underway, but some aspects of the construction timeline, such as the hotel and one residential tower, are yet to be announced.
In the first residential tower, the developer has changed the plan to include condominium units for sale, reducing the number of rental apartments. This tower will be 480 feet tall with 45 stories. There will be 423 residential units, 368 for rent and 55 condominiums for sale on the top 11 floors. The original plan had 486 rental apartments.
One change of concern to NEWRA was a new condominium lobby taking up 1,300 ground floor space that was intended to be retail. Through the efforts of NEWRA members, including Victor Brogna, David Roderick and David Kubiak, the developer committed that the square footage for the new lobby would be made up in retail elsewhere in the project so that the originally intended 1,300 square feet of first floor retail would be maintained. The tower will contain a golf simulator, pet spa, and many other luxury amenities. The changes to the original plan were approved by BRA on August 10, 2017.
A second residential tower, with a yet-to-be-determined construction start date, will be 300 feet tall with 28 stories. There will be 291 residential units and 8,400 square feet of retail space on the first floor.
The office tower, One Congress, that is projected to start construction by 2020 will be 528 feet high with 43 stories. It will contain 1 million square feet of office space and 10,800 square feet of retail.
In addition to retail, residential, and office space, the project will see a new hotel/condominium building with a construction date also yet-to-be-announced. The building will be 157 feet high with 14 stories. It will contain 200 hotel rooms and 57 condos for sale. Along with the hotel and condo space, there will be 17,400 square feet of retail in the building.
Some residents asked about the reduced parking space at the garage. One resident was worried that during a snow storm, the parking spaces that are being taken away from the garage in the redevelopment may not be helpful to residents trying to get their cars off the streets. See more on this at (14:00).
The area where the MBTA buses picks up bus riders will become smaller. Kubiak pointed out that there would be less space for bus riders to wait and that there would be less overhang from the building to allow people to hide from rain or snow. See more at (10:40).
Residents expressed an ongoing concern that the many ongoing projects will oversaturate the already busy area. Will the MBTA be able to handle all the new workers and residents trying to use the subway and busses? A comprehensive list of issues were detailed in a 2014 joint letter from Downtown Neighborhood Groups, found here.
This project will be constructed over at least 10 years. The office tower is set to begin construction by 2020, and many other aspects of the project do not have a construction start date. In the meantime, walk by the Government Center Garage to see some of the construction that has already begun!
Below are some images of the construction already taking place for the Bulfinch Crossing project.
For full coverage on the discussion at the Residents’ Association meeting, watch the video above. See more on the Government Center Garage Redevelopment here. The next North End Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) meeting will be on September 14th, 2017 at 7PM at the Nazzaro center. See more at NEWRA.org.