Real estate firm Carpenter and Company announced the approval of its proposed hotel and residential project on Thursday, and now has official approval to go forward in adding another landmark to the spine of the skyline.
George Thrush, co-chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Impact Advisory Groups — two separate groups that reviewed the project — said Carpenter and Company has built several other major hotel and residences in the Boston area and is well suited to undertake the job.
“The developers are very high quality and the architects are the highest quality, which is not always true,” he said. “This is a good plan and the designers and developers are very high quality … that gives me great confidence that we’re going to see a good project.”
The project will be in Back Bay at the intersection of Dalton Street and Belvidere Street and will consist of a 58-story building split between condominiums, a five star hotel and a 25-story residential section with retail space on its ground floor.
Thrush said this project would also focus on turning part of Back Bay into a more touristic area.
“One of the things that the committees really stressed and that the developers are really working to execute is the turning of Belvidere and Dalton into more of a front … [currently] it’s kind of the backside of a bunch of things,” he said. “With this development, it is our hope to provide some real prominent investments to [the area].”
Ingrid Peschke, media representative for the Christian Science Church Plaza, said the plaza will benefit from this new addition to Back Bay.
“The Belvidere-Dalton development, which includes two buildings and a 4,300 [square foot] park will not only improve the quality of the public experience in the immediate area, but will also definitely provide opportunities for a new and larger population to experience our beautiful plaza open space,” she said.
The new buildings will offer more housing options in Back Bay, create 250 to 300 permanent jobs, more than 1,000 construction jobs and generate approximately $18 million in taxes annually for Boston and Massachusetts.
With the approval of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Thrush said the project is expected to start sometime next year and take approximately three years to complete.
“It’s reasonable to think they will be in the ground at some point in 2014,” he said. “This isn’t going to wait forever.”
Thrush said one of the largest benefactors of this new building complex will be the Christian Science Church, which owns the plot of land that the project will be built on.
“[This project] provides the Christian Science Church with a revenue stream that will help them continue to maintain the incredibly public space that is the Christian Science Center Plaza,” he said. “The revenue generated from this real estate project will help continue the support for the public good that is the plaza.”
Some residents said the tower would just create more traffic in the city.
“I think [the area] would be different, but Boston is always growing and changing,” said Makenna RiceKerr, 21, a Northeastern University student and resident of Fenway. “It would be new, but I’d be fine with that. I like how Back Bay is a little bit quieter … so I’d be a little disappointed if it got a lot busier.”
Other people said the addition of the Back Bay Tower would be good for city.
“For me, it might increase traffic or cause more commotion down here while it’s being developed, but if the building itself is nice and if it brings more people to Boston or brings in more revenue, then it would be a good thing for the city,” said Amanda Vargus, 29, resident of South Boston.
Fox Sutherland, 26, resident of Boston and entrepreneur, said he supports the new building, but is concerned about the economic consequences.
“I don’t mind [the development] — it is a city, and this is a central part of the city,” he said. “One thing to think about is if this is going to start impacting housing costs around the area, and if that’s going to drive up the price of rent for other people around here.”
Courtesy of Bram Peterson at the Daily Free Press