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Developer proposes $1-billion R&D complex and new park at old Flower Exchange site

Exchange South End rendering

Architect's rendering.

The Abbey Group this week filed details plans for a 5.6-acre development that would combine lab and office space aimed at life-sciences and technology companies on the current site of the Boston Flower Exchange on Albany Street next to I-93.

In a filing with the BPDA, the developer estimates the new Exchange South End complex could mean between 4,000 and 7,000 new jobs and proposes setting aside an acre of the site for a park. Proposed are four buildings, between 6 and 20 stories.

The Project, as currently conceived, will include the construction of four buildings with approximately 1,481,350 square feet of mixed-use commercial and life science research space, 42,500 square feet of ground floor retail space, and 30,000 square feet of civic space situated around a new central public park. Below-grade parking garages under each building will provide approximately 1,145 parking spaces, with parking with access provided via driveways off Albany Street and BioSquare Drive. ...

The Project will leverage its proximity to Boston Medical Center, Boston University Medical School, the burgeoning tech start-up ecosystem in the Harrison/Albany Corridor, and direct connections to nearby public transportation options through the development of a life science and technology office campus.

In addition to creating a new park, Abbey is proposing to put some money into extension of the South Bay Harbor Trail. It also proposes working with the city and state to adjust traffic signals in nearby streets and upgrade connections to the adjacent I-93.

Exchange South End rendering
Exchange South End rendering
Exchange South End rendering: map

Exchange South End project notification form (35M PDF).

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Comments

Sounds like the South End is getting a new supermarket.

This project is great. Next to the highway, underground parking, complimenting the area's already established life science uses, on or near a few bus lines, a park where there was just asphalt and a dated warehouse built on a filled canal, and an extension to a pathway that brings the Talibicyclists one step closer to having a dedicated bike way from Forest Hills to the Seaport.

For all of you lamenting the lack of housing with the project, just remember, this is right next to the Tito Jackson Ebola Storage Facility and 650 apartments are going in between Harrison Ave, East Newton, East Canton, and Albany (i.e. - Right across the street from here).

It might be time for our friends at the MBTA to start thinking about light rail between Dudley and the Seaport via Albany, West Fourth, and A Streets.

Development is going to keep marching down Albany Street and Dorchester Avenue. Might be time to start catching up with transportation needs.

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For all of you lamenting the lack of housing with the project ...

Have I missed the protests?

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If past is prologue on development related threads on UHub, the horrors of the local housing market would come into play at some point.

Perhaps this; "for those of you who might lament the lack of housing"

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People can't just keep saying add housing then add transit, because there's hardly been any improvement in transit, and there won't be easily. There's worsening congestion in in all directions. There just needs to be less development in these places sometimes.

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The 42,500 SF retail is total over the entire development. I'm sure leasing is in the beginning stages, but the demising walls shown in the ground floor plan show much smaller spaces than would be required for a supermarket.

I have to question the entire retail/cultural ground floor scheme as utilizing a flexible arts space as the anchor in the retail development is a terrible idea, especially because you have to cross the East/West connector from the plaza to even get there. The arts/community tenant that goes in there is dead on arrival.

If anything, you would want to locate a large retail anchor in that 30k SF arts space (there is your supermarket), and then distribute the arts into smaller spaces intermixed with smaller retail. As we have seen in other recent developments there are only so many institutions that can afford to lease and program 30k SF of arts/community space.

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I should say Trader Joe's or the new Roche Bros concept getting tried out in Waltham. That type of store, not a regular Market Basket Chelsea type supermarket.

Stop and Shop has been trying out an under 35,000 SF supermarket in Pembroke that seems to have everything you need. I'm sure some SF could be squeezed out to make it work in an urban environment.

Also, I tend to agree with the arts anchor as a possible non-starter. 30,000 SF is two suburban Walgreens. That's a lot of space for drum circling.

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It sells the Stop & Shop store brands and has the same parent company. We have one in Davis Square that is quite popular, and others are in Allston and Brighton.

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A) Brothers Marketplace has been around for 2-3 years or so, so not exactly new. B) It also stocks mostly artisanal and fancy food, so that's a lot of $8 kombuchas and $15 truffle cheeses.

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Yes, transportation, please!!! something better than buses, better than light rail - underground with plenty of service.

here's the thing, we seem to be building these mini-Tampas. Shiny buildings in the Seaport, Western Ave, Kendall and here this new one. A reminder that it could be empty through part of the 24 hour day and the wrong scale if not carefully done. So far, they've blown it on the urban scale.

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Sounds good but this way just doesn't really raise enough funding, so don't allow as much development, or fund it another way.

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I think it's great, too. Right now it's an eyesore. I think the last time I had to go down there from Forest Hills, I got off at Mass. Ave., waited with a large group of people for # 1 bus, took it as far as it would go to Melnea Cass Blvd., then I walked the rest of the way. Of course, if this will be a place where its financially comfortable and ivy league educated employees live at Ink Block, it may not be so bad.

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Ah, the Abbey Group. My old landlord from my days on Saint Germain in the Back Bay. Gotta say, they do come up with some great projects. Would love to see this one come to fruition.

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They owned my apartment AND the building I worked in.

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It's like they're trying to mess with people who have vision impairments. I was trying to figure out from the drawing why there were so many cars on the plaza area...

And with the recent problem of cars in City Hall plaza, I think that we should give drivers all the visual clues they can get about where it is appropriate to be putting their vehicles.

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People with vision impairments should not be driving. And that so called park won't get much use if there are cars whizzing by 10 feet away. There should be no cars in that area.

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Right across the street from one of the largest users of radioactivity in the country.

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Medical diagnostic radiation, right?

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We can't. It'll never work. Children will die and pets will be abandoned..or pets will die and children will be abandoned, schools will close and widows forced to live in cardboard boxes to make room for THEM.

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