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Fan Pier Boston

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This development has all its permits for almost 3 million sqft, a huge selling point in boston. Right across Ft Pt. Channel from DT and near the new convention center.

Fan Pier land to go on sale in March

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff, 2/12/2004

The owners of the long-undeveloped Fan Pier land on the South Boston Waterfront said yesterday it will be put on the market in March and will be sold by the end of summer.

The price of the 21 acres, owned by the Pritzker family of Chicago and fully permitted for almost 3 million square feet of development, will be high enough that new owner-investors will want to begin building almost immediately, associates of the owners predicted.

"You could be in construction in nine to 12 months," said Joseph W. Morningstar, senior managing director of the New York office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, the real estate investment banking firm hired yesterday by Hyatt Development Corp. to sell the land.

Hyatt Development is one of the companies controlled by the Pritzker family, which first invested in the Fan Pier land more than 20 years ago.

"Someone who buys this and pays cash is someone who is going to develop it quickly," said Dan O'Connell, a principal at Spaulding & Slye Colliers, the Pritzker family's longtime development consultant in Boston.

Morningstar, O'Connell, and Richard L. Schulze, the vice chairman of Hyatt Development, said yesterday the Massachusetts Port Authority's designation of a developer this week for a nearby parcel of land for retail use will increase the value of Fan Pier.

"We think the price just went up," Morningstar said. "There's really no site comparable to this one. This is really the best in the country."

Morningstar said Frank H. McCourt Jr.'s current offer to sell his 24 acres of land, just inland from Fan Pier, would have no effect on the marketing of Fan Pier. McCourt is concentrating on his new ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team and has stated he is not obligated to sell the land to own the team.

"This is a serious organization," Morningstar said of Hyatt. "We don't waste people's time -- which some people may do" as a way of determining how much the land is worth.

Fan Pier is approved by state and city agencies for residential, office, hotel, and civic and cultural uses, including 2,300 parking spaces. The commitments by the current owners to build parks, public spaces, a harborwalk, and a marina and to provide land for the Institute of Contemporary Art have struck some in the industry as excessively expensive.

But O'Connell said those amenities only increase the value of the property. "The permits are where the value is created," he said. "For every block there is a principal use and a secondary use, to respond to market conditions."

For example, among the nine separate parcels that make up Fan Pier, any one of six could have a hotel on it. Residential development is permitted on all but one of the nine blocks.

Morningstar compared Fan Pier to a location like Rockefeller Center, whose value has been increased by its planned layout and public space. He said he expected interest in Fan Pier from developers and investors around the world, and more than a dozen firm offers, which would come down to "a modified auction process" in the end. "The price it's demanding in the marketplace -- it will see top-quality architecture," added O'Connell. "I don't think you'll see another pallet of red bricks over there."

Asked about the $200 million possible price that some people not involved in the project have tossed around, John P. Fowler, executive managing director of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler in Boston, laughed. "That's a good start," he said.

Thomas C. Palmer Jr. can be reached at [email protected]

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The core block is right across form the new convention center and just down the street from fan pier.

Drew plan chosen for S. Boston's 'Core Block'

Bill Archambeault

Boston Business Journal

In a decision that will help shape Boston's waterfront, the Massachusetts Port Authority has selected the Drew Co. and Urban Retail Properties Inc. to develop up to 13 acres of South Boston land known as the Core Block.

Massport, which owns the land, will begin negotiating a 95-year-lease for the site after Massport's board of directors approves the staff recommendation, which it is expected to do at its monthly meeting on Thursday morning.

Core Development Group LLC, the partnership formed by waterfront developer John Drew and Urban Retail Properties, won the highly competitive bidding with its $400 million project proposal, called Waterside Place that includes a 600,000-square-foot retail complex, 275 condominiums, a 457-room hotel and a 75,000-square-foot grocery store on about 1.2 million square feet, or 8.3 acres initially.

The Drew-led team was chosen over a proposal called Harbor Place, which would have totaled about 2.8 million square feet of development. While Waterside Place was designed to add another 700,000 square feet of space or so at a later time, the first phase is not dependent on getting the second phase approved as well.

Massport officials said they had reservations about recommending a plan that, while worthy, eclipsed the initial scope of what they wanted. The project could have run into permitting problems and neighborhood opposition given its size and the impact it would have on traffic in the area.

"The single-biggest difference was size and how size impacts on traffic and how it impacts on permitting," said Richard Henderson, director of planning and development for Massport. "In the proposal that we recommended, they stuck to those parameters."

Henderson said his team asked the Harbor Place team about scaling it back.

"We certainly discussed whether they would be willing to or be interested in doing it differently," Henderson said. "The way the Drew team is proposing (Waterside Place), there is the potential to do more on the site, but it doesn't need to all be figured out now and permitted at once. The flexibility was there."

The Drew-led plan, he said, gives Massport the destination feature it was looking for and should energize an undeveloped area that has never lived up to expectations.

"I'm very well acquainted with the needs of the area," Drew said. "Never once did I think that we should overshoot. Strategically, I just thought that was fruitless."

Though it took months to reach a decision, Massport officials said it should be exactly what the area needs.

"We see this as a home run for the waterfront," Henderson said. "Creating this retail center, we think, is not only going to help our property, but the adjacent property owners as well."

Drew knows the area well, having staked the most significant claim to date on waterfront development with the completion of his 576,000-square-foot World Trade Center West and 504,000-square-foot World Trade Center East office towers and the 426-room Seaport Hotel. The site will also feature a Boston Visitors' Center near the convention center.

Drew said the projected timeline calls for a 2007 or 2008 opening after a ground lease is negotiated, with permitting taking 12 to 18 months and construction taking a little more than two years.

A second phase, which is not part of this plan, could involve more housing along Congress Street, a second hotel on Summer Street and a "modest-sized" office building.

The only other significant new development in the area has been: Manulife's new North American headquarters on a neighboring parcel, the federal courthouse and a towering vent building used by the underground Central Artery.

In addition to the retail center, Waterside Place will feature another hotel that will be priced lower than Drew's Seaport Hotel. The new hotel, he said, would probably fall in line with the pricing of the Courtyard by Marriott brand, something he thinks will suit the area, particularly with the opening of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center this year.

Preliminary financing is being arranged through John Fowler at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP's Boston office, Drew said. And while retail and housing projects are currently the darlings of real estate financing, Drew thinks that Boston's mid-price-range hotel shortage, particularly given its proximity to the convention center, will make it a reality where other proposals have failed.

"Financing hotels represents a challenge today," Drew said. "I think we have an argument that this is a price point that is underserved in Boston. I think it makes a much stronger case (for getting financed)."

Even as the decision-making process dragged on, Drew said he was pleased with the way Massport officials handled the process. He said officials would come to him with questions, but never hinted at where things stood.

"Not once did we get any kind of information saying we were winning or losing," Drew said. "What we got were bona fide business questions asked of us. I'd rather have it that way than the usual kind of political gossiping. It's a much more professional way of doing business."

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Call me crazy but I actually like the vent building across from the convention Center

vent.JPG

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CRAZY!

:P

Actually, as far as vent buildings go, it's not bad.

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What I like about the vent building is that it was built without any comment or interviews with Vivian Li. Very refreshing.

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Those are pretty nice developments right on the sea.

I have to agree. Its almost Asian appearance. I look forward to the new plans to see how they might compare.

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I have to agree. Its almost Asian appearance. I look forward to the new plans to see how they might compare.

This is the most recent plan going around. It is probably just a general framework, since it shows a new ICA that is totally different from the one under construction.

miller12-5-3.jpg

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2006-0906-fanpier.jpg

Fan Pier shaping up as a Back Bay for 21st century. Instead of stately red brick, plans for the upscale neighborhood call for lots of glass and irregular angles, all to maximize water views. [Boston.com]

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Bo-Ring!

I wish they would do something more interesting than just the copycat stone/glass schizophrenic office palaces they are building all over the place right now.

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You know what though....that how cities are built....in the 1920's, every building was art deco clad in some sort of stone. In the 1950's it was pre-cast modernism. In the 1960 and 1970's it was glass modernism. In the 1980's, it was uninspired glass and stone mixed :) The 90's were similar except more tribute was paid to Art Deco. Now we are seeing double-walled glass-skinned buildings in the maybe "hyper-modern" movement.

It all blends together, and creates something unique in the long run. To the developers credit, I think Fan Pier is supposed to have a decent mix of glass and brick buildings.

EDIT. Ultimately though, I think the Ft. Point Channel district is going to have a tough time really becoming part of the urban fabric until something better than the Silver Line connects it. They really need heavy rail extended if they expect to support the amount of office sq. ft., convention traffic, and new residents that they are anticipating.

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Here is a rendering of Fan Pier....its very monotonous, but I like the scale.

aerial_spotlight_380.jpg

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A small blurb in today's Herald.

The veteran waterfront developer, who built the headquarters hotel for Boston

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86318-400-0.jpg

Sigh.....impressive, yet boring all at the same time :unsure:

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You'd think they could do a bit better than that clump of uninspired buildings- and what's that red thing on the right? Is this settled, or can we hope for something better in the end?

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That ugly red thing is already built :( It's the new Moakley Federal Courthouse....I think it's a work of Pei Cobb etc.

The rest of that cluster has not been started, though one or two should this fall.

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Hopefully more variations in facade treatments will develop over time.

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From the BBJ.

The Fallon Co. has awarded Turner Construction Co. the contract to build the first office tower on Fan Pier.

The 500,000-square-foot, 18-story office building will break ground in October and is expected to open by the end of 2009 when demand for office space is expected to be at a high, said Charles Buuck, senior vice president at Turner Construction. The building will cost $125 million to construct.

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