$2B Bulfinch Crossing Takes Shape in Mass.

A unique mixed-use development project known as Bulfinch Crossing is beginning to take shape in Boston.

📅   Wed April 19, 2017 - Northeast Edition #8
Brenda Ruggiero


Mike Casey photo
Mayor Martin J. Walsh breaks ground for Bulfinch Crossing on Jan. 24, 2017, at an event that included Boston city officials and members from National Real Estate Advisors and the HYM Investment Group.
Mike Casey photo Mayor Martin J. Walsh breaks ground for Bulfinch Crossing on Jan. 24, 2017, at an event that included Boston city officials and members from National Real Estate Advisors and the HYM Investment Group.

A unique mixed-use development project known as Bulfinch Crossing is beginning to take shape in Boston. It involves strategically transforming the site of an underutilized above-grade parking garage into a 2.9 -million sq. -ft. (269,419 sq m) development. The outdated Government Center Garage was built in the 1960s, and is located around a neighborhood known as Bulfinch Triangle.

Demolition for the footprint of the residential tower kicked off in December 2016, and vertical construction will begin in late spring. The first units will reportedly be delivered in the spring of 2020.

The residential tower is the first of six buildings that will make up Bulfinch Crossing. Subsequent phases will include One Congress (office tower), another residential tower, a hotel/condo building, a boutique office building and an iconic retail building.

The project cost for Bulfinch Crossing is estimated at $2 billion. Tishman Construction serves as the prime contractor.

Ground was broken for the project on Jan. 24, 2017, at an event that included Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, city officials and members from National Real Estate Advisors and the HYM Investment Group.

Bulfinch Crossing is reportedly one of the largest mixed-use development projects ever permitted in Boston.

“Located at the nexus of some of Boston's most iconic neighborhoods, the project includes six new buildings — three towers surrounding a one-acre green rooftop terrace and three mid-rise buildings encompassing a new net-zero public plaza,” a project press release noted. “A large portion of the existing garage will remain but will be wrapped by the new buildings. Bulfinch Crossing will redefine this area and create a new sense of place through thoughtful planning that focuses on adaptive reuse, sustainability and creating a modern and vibrant 'live, work, play' experience.”

The release stated that the Government Center Garage at Bulfinch Crossing is one of the most visible remaining vestiges of Boston's historic urban renewal, and the massive above-grade concrete parking garage creates a physical barrier that divides some of the city's most recognizable neighborhoods.

The new Bulfinch Crossing development is specifically designed to reconnect the West End, Bulfinch Triangle, and North End by tearing down part of the garage and re-activating the site.

The project has commitments to a net zero urban public plaza and one LEED Platinum, four LEED Gold and one LEED Silver buildings. Features include shared parking models, electric vehicle charging stations, an 850-space shared bicycle parking facility and direct access to multiple modes of public transportation.

A portion of the garage will be demolished using strategic engineering and construction techniques that will allow for a section of the garage to be removed while maintaining parking operations.

“Throughout construction, the parking garage will remain open 24/7 to the public,” said Thomas N. O'Brien, founding partner and managing director of The HYM Investment Group. “This complex project requires careful logistical planning to maintain operations.”

This deconstruction work paves the way for the first phase of new development — construction of Boston's tallest apartment tower.

Designed by CBT Architects, the 480-ft. (146 m) tall, 45-story apartment tower will consist of 486 residential units with sweeping cityscape views. Unique luxury amenities will include a state of the art fitness facility, a golf simulator, a chef's kitchen with private dining, a yoga studio, a children's playroom, a dog spa, an outdoor pool overlooking Boston Harbor, and two club rooms with roofdeck access.

“The singular goal is to make a great place,” said O'Brien. “Bulfinch Crossing is part of a new era in urban development, one that emphasizes a highly connected and thoughtfully designed mixed-use experience. It promises to be a game-changing and awe-inspiring development, epitomizing the best in amenities and access.”

Bulfinch Crossing also includes the construction of a 1 million sq. -ft. (92,903 sq m) office tower — One Congress. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, it will rise more than 500 ft. (152.4 m), giving tenants uninterrupted views across Boston Harbor, down the Charles River, and as far north as the mountains of New Hampshire. Transwestern, the exclusive leasing agent, has actively begun pre-leasing efforts for One Congress.

“The transformation of Government Center Garage to Bulfinch Crossing is a giant step forward in making this site better reflect the city of Boston while also meeting the needs of the community,” said Walsh. “This will be an exciting destination for residents, workers and visitors alike.”

Subcontractors for the project include JDC Demolition; Component Assembly Systems; Daniel Marr & Sons; J. Derenzo; N.B. Kenney Company Inc.; Carlysle Engineering Inc.; J&M Brown Company Inc. (electrical and fire alarm); Limbach Company LLC — New England; Greenwood Industries; Marr Scaffolding; Moretrench; G&C Concrete; Manafort Bros.; and TG Gallagher (plumbing and sprinkler protection).

Major equipment used on the job includes a Sunbelt G5-18A Lull; an ECR305 CL Volvo excavator; two 226 B3 Bobcats; a Sky Power JLG 1350 SJP aerial lift; a SJ6826 rough terrain 4x4 lift; interior scissor lifts; a 1044C-54 series II aerial lift; a Snorkel TB80 aerial lift; a 400S aerial lift; a Komatsu WA200 loader; a Cat 308 excavator; and a Cat CS-423E roller.

Bulfinch Crossing will cover 4.8 acres/two city blocks, with 2.9 million sq. ft. of mixed-use development; 1.15 million gross sq. ft. of office space; 82,500 gross sq. ft. of retail space; more than 800 residential units; 200 hotel rooms; 1,160 parking spaces; a one-acre “rooftop amenity” on the West Parcel; and a more than one acre urban public plaza on the East Parcel.—CEG