The Chiofaro Co. today filed formal plans with the BPDA for its proposed Pinnacle at Central Wharf, a 42-story, 600-foot-high office and residential tower that would replace the Aquarium garage - 12 years after it bought the garage and after years of an infamous feud between Don Chiofaro and then Mayor Tom Menino.
The design, by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates of New York, calls for 2 floors of retail space topped by 22 floors of office space, with 18 floors of with roughly 200 rental apartments above that. The 865,000-square-foot building in turn would sit atop an 1,100-space underground garage.
The proposal also calls for more than a half acre of new public space along the water - which will double as a sort of sponge to help absorb flood waters during storms in an era of rising sea levels.
The Project's open space will be designed and programmed to function as a destination in its own right, but its ultimate integration into enhanced adjacent open spaces, including the Greenway and the New England Aquarium's proposed Blueway, unlocks the potential for a singularly remarkable whole that is far more than the sum of its parts. Part of this enhanced open space network will be an elevated Harborwalk, which will serve as a Porch for the city and the region, along the pedestrianized portion of East India Row, and is just one of the climate resiliency measures contemplated as part of the Project. In executing this public infrastructure improvement, the Project will serve as a catalyst for similar improvements toward the comprehensive district-wide approach to sea level rise contemplated as part of the Climate Ready Boston initiative. Sustainability and resiliency measures incorporated into the building itself will also serve as a model for future waterfront development.
The filing continues:
The distinctive tower element will instantly become a Boston landmark, serving a wayfinding function that will signal, even at a distance, the location of a revitalized Central Wharf. The new public plaza, widening as it approaches the water and wraps to the east, will form a seamless connection with the Harborwalk and will function in complimentary fashion to the proposed future Blueway, thereby enhancing the public realm for the entire Downtown Waterfront District.
Also, Chiofaro can see a future in which parts of the garage are turned over to non-car uses:
Recognizing that, for the foreseeable future, substantial parking demand will exist among Project tenants, residents and visitors, as well as from Aquarium visitors, Harbor Towers residents and the general public, a new garage will be rebuilt below grade and will be sized to accommodate these users with an eye toward future conversion to alternative uses as and when appropriate.
The filing takes makes only the politest, most oblique reference to the Chiofaro/Menino feud, during which Chiofaro proposed a seemingly endless variety of buildings, sometimes just one building, sometimes, two, all met with a stern "no" from the fifth floor of City Hall:
The [planning] process was particularly comprehensive, encompassing over five years of analysis and discussion, an extensive consultation period, and more than 40 public meetings. As a result, the proposed Project benefits from a level of public participation from a range of stakeholders that greatly exceeds what is typically associated with a development project at the commencement of [BPDA} review.
Pinnacle at Central Wharf project-notification form (20M PDF).