The development team of Samuels & Associates and Weiner Ventures won the rights from the state to build a $360 million residential and retail complex –complete with a high-rise hotel – over the Mass Pike near the intersection of Mass Ave and Boylston Streets in Boston’s Back Bay. The project will greatly enhance this part of the Back Bay, considered one of the City’s premier neighborhoods, which has long been a sound property market.
Most of the project would be built around the turnpike, not directly over it, making it less expensive and less complicated to build than other air rights projects. The buildings will occupy two air rights parcels along Boylston near the border of Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods.
On the property next to the Hynes Center, the development duo will build a 32-story hotel and residential tower across Parcel 15 and St. Cecilia Street. The high-rise portion of the building would be set back from Boylston, with retail stores closer to the edge of the street.
On the other parcel, an L-shaped building will include a 100-plus unit, mid-rise residential building along Boylston Street (on the other side of Mass Ave.), and a two-story retail section over the Mass Pike along Mass Ave. The location capitalizes on the vitality of neighboring Newbury Street and will expand the allure of this district. The two sites combined will include 230 residential units, a 270-room hotel and 50,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants.
The firms still have a way to go with the design and permitting process before construction can begin so no timetable has been referenced. Nevertheless, there seems to be enthusiastic support for the project.
This project will fill an empty space in this portion of the Back Bay neighborhood and add vibrancy to the area, bringing new residences, restaurants and shopping. As Adam Weiner, a partner with Weiner Ventures stated in the Boston Globe article, 32-Story Back Bay Complex Planned, “It will reenergize the whole neighborhood,” which in my view is good for everyone… residents, businesses and the city overall.