This week, construction crews began laying the groundwork for the construction of a massive tower above Boston's South Station.
The "South Station Air Rights" project is finally taking off following decades of planning and drawbacks.
Here's the latest update.
The South Station Air Rights project will be comprised of three phrases.
- Phase One will consist of a 51-story, 677-foot tall tower with residential and retail space. 175 residential condominiums will be located above 704,000 square-feet of office space and 7,000 square-feet of ground-floor retail.
- Phase Two will consist of a 17-story, 334-foot tall building that will include either a mix of hotel and residential space, 360 hotel rooms, 260 condominiums or 375 rental units.
- Phase Three will consist of a 9-story, 249-foot tall building with office space and 12,000 square-feet of ground-floor retail.
History of the Project
Boston's South Station is the largest railroad station in Greater Boston and New England's second-largest transportation center after Logan International Airport. The Station was opened in 1899 to replace the downtown terminals of several railroads.
South Station was sold to the MBTA in 1977, with officials retaining the air rights above for potential future development.
The Air Rights project has gone through several design iterations. In 2008, development giant Hines was selected to lead the construction of the tower, but was set back following the recession.
The project was back in full swing in 2016, with Hines financing the deal with Chinese developer Gemdale Properties.
Phase One (2024)
Phase One will consist of a 51-story, 677-foot tall tower with residential and retail use.
In addition to the tower, Hines will be expanding the South Station bus terminal by 50 percent in order to connect it with the facade and cover the outdoor concourse.
The size of the concourse will increase by 67 percent and incorporate new escalators, stairs and elevators. A bicycle storage room will be installed between the bus terminal entrance and South Station front facade.
The Phase One project is expected to have a construction timeline of approximately four-and-a-half years.
Will This Affect My Commute?
Yes. But not by much.
If you're a commuter along South Station's Red or Silver MBTA Lines, you likely won't be affected. However, MBTA officials have responded that commuter rail and Amtrak passengers should be prepared for 5 to 10 minute delays.
"We do have concerns," responded Mike Muller, MBTA's assistant manager. "It's a marquee station in Boston and we want to make sure this doesn't significantly, negatively impact our customers and our service. Even if everything moves smoothly, there's going to be an adjustment period where people are going to have to grow accustomed to a different configuration."
Any hinderances are expected to begin this July. The entrance from Summer Street will be closed and replaced by a ramp leading to the indoor concourse.
While trains may arrive and depart at different tracks, train schedules will not be changed.
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