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New York developer looks to build downtown skyscraper to rival Millennium Tower

No, don't worry, it's not Vornado. Banker & Tradesman reports (subscription required) that Midwood Investment and Development, which has been sitting on the Payless building at Bromfield and Washington since at least 2008, will file plans with the BRA for a tower kitty-corner from the Millennium project.

H/t Steve Adams.

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Oh- No, not another brute of a Tower in downtown crossing...please say it isn't so..

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Oh no! More housing?! It's not like Boston has a massive housing shortage!

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I can only assume your comment is satire. You really think any housing they put there will do anything for the "housing shortage" or be affordable to average working people? It's going to be luxury, just like the Millennium Tower across the street and 45 Province Street luxury tower around the corner.

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Developers do not add to the supply of luxury housing to induce demand. The demand exists, and developers respond to it.

There's clearly a demand for luxury housing in Boston. Let the rich have their towers. Every million dollar tower unit is one less rich person competing with the rest of us for older housing stock.

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Are we talking about rich local people who would be competing with the slightly less rich among us for Back Bay units, or with an entirely different breed of international investor who doesn't really care about Boston and has no plans of establishing residency here? If the latter (and I admit I was surprised to see just how many of the Millennium units were being bought by locals), isn't that sort of a non-factor in doing something about the housing shortage, except maybe to help further drive prices up?

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The hope is that the "filtering" Jason describes occurs. And as you say, that seems to have largely happened with the Millenium.

But even if units are taken by absentee non-local owners, that doesn't make the situation worse for the rest of us. There are still the same number of existing units to go around. And we get their property tax money without having to provide them any public services.

And don't forget things like the residential exemption. If it truly became a problem, we could strengthen that.

But if we don't build new towers like this, then those non-locals might start buying up existing stock, and that will not only drive prices higher, but cause displacement as well.

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So there must be a huge amount of resources expended on the highest end housing so that eventually there will be more affordable housing for middle class folks? And, if the BRA gets their urban renewal powers renewed we can expect that there will be some tax breaks coming to these types of projects.

The radical thought is that we don't have to wait for the market to get around to deciding that there's money to be made catering to school teachers, plumbers, and the like but just as a city decide that this is what we need, so we will make it happen for the good of the city for the good of our society and secondarily for the good of the market. Right now if it's not good for the market, it's not good period. Housing should not be so enslaved to speculative market forces. Of course around here I might as well say young children make great sex partners, as there is very little more taboo than telling a realtor or a developer "no."

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unlike the 3 or 4 who will vote this week?

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That foreign investors are buying these "luxury" units? I live in a "luxury" building and apparently we weren't exciting enough for these Saudi and Chinese billionaires, as all of our residents are from the States or Canada.

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I have no problem with people who pay taxes on million dollar condos and don't live here and need zero services back.

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New York developers are adding to Boston's Skyline at a rapid pace, no one knows which new developer will come forward with another proposal to the BRA for an additional luxury highrise in Downtown crossing, but it will be imminent, a ripple effect if you will. If we see a trend of more highrises targeted for the rich, There will be a decline of working class residents in the Boston neighborhoods. Already starting to see rents rising fast in Dorchester, South Boston, East Boston and as far as Roslindale, everyone wants to be and live very close to Boston proper, and they will pay a premium of $2000 or $3000 per month to be even 5 or10 minutes by train.

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This isn't the sort of housing for which there is a housing shortage in Boston.

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I just don't get the excitement from Boston residents, who gives a shit about a 60 story luxurious residential building being developed , it doesn't even benefit anybody but the wealthy that will be living there!

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We actually do have a big shortage of condos..

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I'm fine with another tower. Interesting it happens to be smack between two the other two downtown towers - spoiling those zillion dollar views....

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The unaffordable rents are the issue in my eyes. Hopefully this building will have lower end market rate units instead of high end market rate units.

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It's in the heart of a major city, what should the rent be?

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Next time you're walking around the heart of this major city, take a look at the goods and services being offered around you. Take a look at the people doing the work. Now ask yourself if you think they're paid enough to afford to live in one of these towers.

They're not? Yeah, that would be my guess too. So what is the purpose of the towers? What's that you say? Housing for the upper crust? The thing is, there doesn't seem to be a real crying need for that in Boston. You need housing for everyone else. So where is that? And if the answer is "40 miles away", tell me why someone would commute 40 miles to sweep floors amidst the luxury towers at the heart of this major city?

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How much housing has been in that area in the last 30-40 years? The answer is almost zero, yet there hasn't been a shortage of people willing to commute to this area (in the center of 3 major train lines) to "sweep floors".

Where are the floor sweepers coming from now? They aren't talking about knocking down cheaper apartments to build luxury units. There are zero units there now, and they want to build some.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets to live right next to the area they work. There are people who work downtown who would LOVE to live there, but guess what, it's expensive, as any desirable area is.

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This would have little to no effect on the rest of the Boston rental market.

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!!!!!

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200 years ago that was a nice neighborhood with 2 story homes where families lived. Now its totally changed, tall buildings and you cant even park your carriage out front of your home. I don't even recognize it looking at period paintings of the area.

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Then those hipsters moved in with their new-fangled buggies and indoor plumbing and it all went to hell...

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Glad to hear that this will move forward after being stalled for half a decade, plus. Back when it was going to be apartments and was called One Bromfield, the design was ... less than desirable. It wasn't good news when it was canceled because it delayed the rebirth of DTX (until MP came along).

There are seven shoe / sneaker stores on that block. No love lost on my part.And there are plenty of low-rise, historic buildings remaining, so the streetscape shouldn't be harmed.

Of course, the benefit of not having to go "first" in the area, with Millennium basically taking on all the risk (and reward) by building now, is that the Bromfield developers will be able to command higher prices.

I've been told that as many as half of the buyers at Millennium Tower were owners at the Ritz Carlton, Millennium Place, and One Charles (also Millennium Partners projects), so trading up, selling their current homes.

There are enough interested, wealthy buyers to fill these new "luxury" developments - they're coming from Boston and New England and other parts of the US, and some foreign investors, but less than you imagine.

There is a lot of this type of luxury housing coming on the market during the next four years. more than 1,400 condo units, maybe? (442 MT, 120 Four Seasons, 110 20 Libery, 110 50 Liberty, couple hundred at Copley, then a couple hundred at Bromfield.)

That will take some time to absorb but the market can certainly take it. The sellers move up to the new construction will sell their properties to buyers wanting to move up and into the Ritz and the other "older" luxury buildings .. etc., etc., etc.

What happens in the luxury world doesn't affect you and me except it brings in a lot of property tax revenue so that we don't all get killed in our sleep because there aren't enough police on the streets.

If you want lower-priced housing, either move to neighborhoods or towns and cities outside of downtown Boston or get involved in your neighborhood associations and force them to accept higher-density housing throughout the entire city. We're not talking 442 units, but 40, 50, or een a 100. There is plenty of land in Boston on which to build.

Oh, and the city doesn't have to promise developers tax breaks and other sweeteners in order to build outside downtown - their incentive is earning a profit. Once they can't make 15-20% returns on properties in downtown, they'll be looking for opportunities in other neighborhoods, where they can make 10% returns. They'll do it with or without the city.

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This project, like all housing projects, nibbles away at those high prices. In this case, it nibbles away at both rental and ownership markets. Quoting the article linked in the write-up,

There is one major difference: the Midwood tower would contain a mix of apartments on the lower levels and condos on the upper floors, along with retail space.

More housing downtown also nibbles away at the congestion on the MBTA and the roads -- more folks living within walking distance to work. Even luxury condo owners work, and when walking is faster and easier than driving, luxurious types will walk too -- instead of driving in from Wellesley or taking the D Line in from Brookline, for example.

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Why include links to the report when the vast majority of people who read Universal Hub cannot read it because they don't have a subscription to the Banker & Tradesman site you are linking to?

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Adam, do you have another source for this story which doesn't require paying to read it?

Thanks.

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The link was open when I looked at it over the weekend, but, yes, now it looks like a subscription is required. Unfortunately, they're the only ones reporting on it so far, and the company hasn't actually filed anything with the BRA (well, or that the BRA has posted to its Web site). When they do file, I'll post.

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