City Buildings and Spaces to See Changes in Upcoming Months

Ed Greable Blogger February 19, 2018

A number of changes will be taking place with some of Boston’s buildings in the upcoming months. Here is a look at a few of the changes you may soon see taking place throughout the city.

One Post Office Square to Undergo Changes

One Post Office Square in Boston’s Financial District may soon get a new look. In fact, the building’s owners recently filed plans with the city to essentially sheath the entire 41-story office building in glass. The three-story glass pavilion installed at the tower’s base would include nearly 8,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space along with a public passageway connecting the building to the adjacent Langham Hotel. The building’s owners hope these changes will help to make the building “a beacon for downtown Boston” that is welcoming to passersby as well as to those who are utilizing the Norman B. Leventhal Park across the street. The glass will also provide more natural light and heating to the workers inside the tower. This massive overhaul is expected to begin sometime during the third quarter this year.

Winthrop Tower Plans Receive Another Height Reduction

Plans to transform Winthrop Square Garage in downtown Boston into a mixed-use tower have hit another snag as developers Millennium Partners strive to appease critics and federal regulators. Originally proposed to top out at 775 feet, which would have made the building the tallest primarily-residential building in New England, the building later dropped down to 702 feet amidst concerns expressed by the Federal Aviation Administration. More recently, the plans have dropped to 691 feet following a major environmental-impact review conducted as critics expressed concerns about shadows being cast by the building over Boston landmarks.

Despite the reduction in height, the tower will still be massive as it offers 1.6 million square feet of space, part of which includes an additional 115,000 square feet of office space that was not included in earlier proposals. The building will also include 640,000 more square feet of condos, which could result in a $64 million payoff for the city under the terms of the agreement the developers struck with the city when purchasing the city-owned garage. Under the current plan, the building would reach 52 floors and would be the fourth-tallest building in Boston.

Old Dry Dock May Become a Floating Hotel

Boston is expected to soon start soliciting ideas for remaking Dry Dock #4 behind the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. So far, two entities have already submitted ideas for the space, with one calling for converting the space into parkland and the other calling for creating parkland as well as a floating hotel with 300 to 500 rooms. Proposals such as these could be possible now that the Boston Planning & Development Agency is considering relaxing restrictions that limit the use of the dock to commercial marine and port activities.

Faneuil Hall Closes for Renovations

At 275-years-old, Faneuil Hall was recently closed for renovations. Planned renovations include improving the building’s elevators as well as the cooling and heating systems. During the renovations, which are expected to be complete by spring, the National Park Service ranger station has been relocated to State Street. While the closure will not impact Quincy Market or the North and South markets, it has resulted in the closing of the building’s meeting space and the retail space on the lower floor.

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