Residents Get a Sneak Preview of New Project

July 2, 2013
By
An artist’s rendering of the redeveloped site of the Government Center Garage as seen from the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

An artist’s rendering of the redeveloped site of the Government Center Garage as seen from the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

The neighborhood got an exclusive look at the proposed redevelopment plan for the Government Center Garage at a June 24 meeting sponsored by the Beacon Hill Civic Association.

Boston-based developer HYM Investment Group LLC intends to raze major portions of the existing 11-story garage to clear the way for six new buildings, including a 600-foot office tower and two residential high-rises, standing 470 and 275 feet tall, on the western side of Congress Street near Government Center. The plan also proposes a 275-foot hotel and condominium building and additional retail and office space on the eastern side of Congress Street that would form a new public plaza and pedestrian promenade along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

The fully developed complex will consist of 771 residential units, 204 hotel rooms, 1.3 million gross square-feet of office space and 82,500 gross square-feet of retail space, according to the developer.

If the necessary permits for the multi-phased project are secured, HYM Managing Director Thomas O’Brien said he hopes to break ground on the 470-foot building in late 2014 or early 2015, and the entire process is expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete.

The garage’s parking capacity would be reduced from 2,300 to 1,100 spaces, but O’Brien said the facility, which will remain open during construction, was currently never full and averages about 1,100 users each day.

O’Brien said the proposal also includes on-site storage for 850 bicycles and a Hubway station.

New construction would completely obscure remaining portions of the existing garage from view and allow sunshine to reach Congress Street for the first time since 1968, O’Brien said.

Regarding the expected visual impact of the project on Hill residents, O’Brien said, “The views from Beacon Hill, certainly at the pedestrian level, are not terribly affected by these buildings.”

O’Brien said studies had also shown that the project wouldn’t cast any new shadows on Beacon Hill or Cambridge Street at 9 a.m. on either March 21 or June 21.

Doug Manz, director of development for HYM, told the Times that the project’s traffic impact on Beacon Hill is expected to be negligible.

“The site is very uniquely situated, since it sits adjacent to the Interstate 93 ramps, and we expect most of our vehicular traffic will go back to those ramps,” Manz said. “Additional traffic on Cambridge Street will be minimal, consisting primarily of local traffic and people heading to Cambridge across the Longfellow Bridge.”

Visit www.governmentcentergarageredevelopment.com for more information.

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