Theatres, Company Headquarters, Hotels and More

Several buildings throughout the city are either getting new life or are well on their way to development. Here are just a few of the changes you will soon see.

Emerson College to Begin Operation of the Colonial Theatre

In a deal worked out with the Ambassador Theatre Group of London, Emerson College will soon be operating the Colonial Theatre in Boston’s Theater District. As part of this deal, the 116-year-old landmark is expected to be reopened in January 2018 after being closed for more than a year. The college had once been considering turning the building into a student activity center complete with a massive dining hall, but an outcry from students, alumni and others caused the school to change its plans. Instead, the school chose to redevelop a different property to an activity center while moving forward with continuing to use the theater fro its original purpose.

Work on General Electric Headquarters Underway

Work is expected to begin soon on General Electric’s new 2.48-acre headquarters in Fort Point. Consisting of three buildings that are expected to open in 2018, the project will cost an estimated $200,000,000 to complete and will include the company’s “maker space” for employees as well as tech startups, students and locals. Some of the building’s features are to include a space for conclaves and presentations, a community work lounge, an employee cafeteria and spacious labs. Gensler is designing the headquarters, which is also going to include a solar “veil.”

Marine Wharf Hotel

Following the city’s approval of the 15-story Marine Wharf Hotel, more details about the project are becoming available. According to reports, the hotel will actually be two inns in one, with plans calling for a 245-room Hampton Inn and a 166-room Homewood Suites offering a total of 411 keys. Altogether, the complex will feature 19,300 square feet of amenities, including an indoor pool, a fitness center, a 500-seat restaurant and 3,500 square feet of ground floor retail space. Perkins + Will is the architect for the project, which is expected to get underway in the middle of next year and take two years to complete.

Winthrop Square Tower

Destined to be the tallest primarily residential building in Boston, the Winthrop Square tower is still struggling to become a reality. The project, which involves redeveloping the city-owned Winthrop Square Garage, has caused issues due to its proposed 775 foot height that many are concerned will cast shadows on the Common and the Public Garden.

According to developer Millennium Partners, the company is not likely to reduce the height of the project. Rather, it will be moving forward in efforts to obtain an exemption to the shadow laws. This exemption would be based on the Article 80 process, which includes reviewing the impact a project will have on the public realm, transportation, historic resources and the environment. The company further states that their study concluded that the average shadow duration throughout the year will be 36 minutes on Boston Common and five minutes on the Public Garden. In the case of the Boston Common, the shadows will always occur before 9:25. For the Public Garden, it will always occur before 8:00 am.

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