The Boston Planning & Development Agency board gave its unanimous approval on Thursday, Jan. 13, to a revised plan for the Government Center Garage redevelopment project to build a 12-story life science building, instead of the previously proposed three buildings, on the site’s east parcel.
HYM Investment Group, the lead developer on the Bulfinch Crossing project, abandoned its plans to build three buildings containing hotel, office and retail uses, which were previously approved by the BPDA, said O’Brien, opting instead for a life-sciences building.
Thomas O’Brien, managing director of HYM Investment Group, said during a virtual meeting sponsored by the BPDA on Sept. 23 of last year, the change came in response to the MBTA’s stipulation that nothing be built over the tunnel, which serves the Orange and Green lines and runs directly beneath the site.
The new building would be pulled back to the western portion of the project site, said O’Brien, to create a spacious public plaza linking to the abutting the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, as well as to provide new connections to North Station and Congress Street. Besides the new public plaza, the site would also be home to a new MBTA bus station, which would serve the 111 bus route – the T’s most heavily traveled bus route and one that connects Revere, Everett, Chelsea, and Charlestown to Haymarket.
“There’s a lot going on in this parcel,” O’Brien said last September in describing a place where he envisions people rushing to get buses and trains, residents making their way home to the West End and the North End, and shoppers attracted to the area by new retail. “We want the parcel to be an important meeting place for people,” he added.
In response to the BPDA’s approval of the developer’s latest plan, Rob Whitney, chair of the Beacon Hill Civic Association board, wrote, “The Beacon Hill Civic Association previously provided substantive comments on the proposed design of the new building at the East Parcel Bulfinch Crossing of the Government Center site, and we were pleased to see that some of our suggested changes were incorporated into the final design of the building that was recently approved by the BPDA Board. We look forward to continuing to work with the building’s developers, as well as with other interested neighborhood groups, including the West End Civic Association, as construction of the new building moves forward to ensure that any ongoing concerns of the neighborhoods are addressed.”
Besides the proposed life science building, the Bulfinch Crossing project also comprises two already completed buildings – One Congress, a 43-story office tower; and The Sudbury, a 45-story residential tower.