Tremont St Building to Remain Same Height

By Beth Treffeisen

After plans to convert the five-story building at 171 Tremont St. to a 13-story residential luxury condominium tower failed to come to fruition, the developers, Panoramic Properties, decided to sell the project site to Emerson College on Nov. 6 for $24 million.

Over the next nine to 12 months, Emerson College plans to do an interior renovation to the building that has not been occupied over the past several years to be used as office space. Renovations are expected to be done by Fall 2018.

The building’s location sits snugly between Emerson College’s campus that has buildings located on Boylston Street and on Washington Street.

“It’s a natural fit,” said Margaret Ings, the vice president for government and community relations at Emerson College. “It would almost be why wouldn’t you do it if given the opportunity?”

Located at the corner of Tremont Street and Avery Street, the planned luxury condominium building dubbed the “skinny tower” was going to feature 12 units, each occupying an entire floor. The Boston Planning and Development Agency approved the project with the height of 175 feet in Oct. 2016.

But, the final height came after a series of setbacks. In 2015 the original proposal was set to be a tall ‘glassy pencil’ tower as high as 355 feet tall and just 50 feet wide.

From the start, the Friends of the Public Garden had concerns over the long shadows it would cast across Tremont Street and onto the Boston Common and neighbors had concerns over additional traffic around the tiny lot.

After pairing down the size repeatedly to gain City approval, the developers landed on a 155-foot building, with 12 condos and no parking.

According to the Boston Globe,

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