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What never went up still comes down: Developer tries yet again to build a tower on Bromfield Street, but shorter this time

A New York developer that once proposed a 59-story residential building at the corner of Bromfield and Washington streets downtown is now telling the BPDA it will soon file plans for a less lofty 21-story office building with some retail at the lower elevations.

In a letter of intent submitted this week, Midwood Investment and Development said its latest proposal calls for three levels of retail - the first and second floors and the basement - on a street that has been slowly turning into a commercial desert as old tenants move out and are not replaced.

The developer is proposing no parking spaces for the building, given its location near so many subway stops.

Midwood says its latest proposal - it filed its first plans back in 2008, just as the economy went into a tailspin - would represent "an exciting addition to the ever evolving Downtown Crossing area."

When Midwood filed its second set of plans, in 2016, downtown was seeing a burst of residential development and conversions - see Millennium Place. Since then, the area has seen a boom in commercial leases, by small and start-up companies that can no longer afford the Seaport.

Midwood letter of intent (883k PDF).

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Comments

When projects like this rely on the T (and propose no parking) what should be expect FROM them? Should developers be required to fund specific transit improvements, or can the money just go into some general transit fund? Also, what is WELL-ready?

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Voting closed 17

A developer proposes pretty much the most environmentally friendly project possible -- no parking spaces, transit as the preferred mode of access due to location, LEED certification, and zero GHG emissions -- and your response is that they need to pay up because they're not providing parking. I mean seriously, WTF?

We should encourage developers to build projects which incentivize tenants/visitors/customers to use transit. Otherwise we get monstrosities like the previous One Bromfield proposal which was going to have several hundred parking spaces, adding even more congestion to the area.

The T can't even effectively manage the improvements in the pipeline. How long is it taking to phase in the new Orange and Red Line cars? The new fare system keeps getting pushed back. They close down several stations for multiple weekends to put up a fresh coat of paint that will look grimy and start to peel in three months.

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Voting closed 44

I think OP was suggesting that large developments with no parking, while also being exactly what we need more of in this city, do place additional pressure on a transit system that's already struggling. It would be reasonable to see if they'd be willing to help out with that, though obviously without asking for so much that they just put in parking instead.

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Voting closed 19

Not being snarky - MBTA is a huge system and there's no particular reason someone living downtown should pay more towards it than someone living in Brookline Village, etc...

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Voting closed 22

No one is talking about residents paying more for the MBTA. Just that a developer who is going to tax the system a little further make a contribution to the state to mitigate said effect

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Voting closed 14

I think this would be more like value capture. Being near transit makes properties more valuable, and it's reasonable for the MBTA itself to benefit some from that to fund further improvements. This region could do better on this front than it does now, with almost all of the value AFAIK going to the host communities and property owners. There's room to negotiate.

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Voting closed 10

WELL is a rating system similar to LEED, but instead of being about creating sustainable buildings, it is about creating healthy interior spaces for people to live and work in.

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Voting closed 20

What about the Bromfield Pen Shop on the Bromfield Street side and the Kung Fu Video and DVD smoke shop on the second floor on the Washington Street side? What happens to these Boston institutions. Do we really need more luxury apartments in Downtown Boston?

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Voting closed 14

It won't be luxury apartments. Midwood is proposing office and retail, which is part of why they're not proposing any parking. The high end of the market which was targeted by the previous 60-story proposal would have had a bunch of parking. People with $10 million plus to plunk down on a downtown condo are gonna expect a parking space or two.

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Voting closed 13