Boston church selected Carpenter & Company, Inc. as the master developer
Boston, MA The First Church of Christ, Scientist has selected Carpenter & Company, Inc. as the master developer for two development sites adjacent to the 14.8-acre Christian Science Plaza in the city's Back Bay. The parcels are part of the master plan designed to revitalize the plaza and enliven its open space, which was approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) after a comprehensive review process characterized by extensive public input.
The development sites are on Belvidere and Dalton Sts. across the street from the Hilton and Sheraton Hotels. One parcel has BRA Master Plan approval for a 250 foot tall building and the other for a 500 foot tall building. Planned uses for the new buildings are a hotel, condominiums and rental apartments, along with ground floor restaurants and retail.
The project is expected to generate hundreds of new construction jobs as well as hundreds of permanent jobs once built.
The selection is the next step in implementing the Church's Plaza plans that were developed over a five-year period in collaboration with the BRA, which convened more than twenty public meetings of the Citizens Advisory Committee appointed by mayor Thomas Menino. "The Christian Science Plaza has always served as a beautiful outdoor destination for our city and its residents," mayor Menino said. "I am very pleased that the development of these buildings will allow the Plaza itself to be maintained for the enjoyment of Boston residents and visitors for many years to come."
"Our firm has the good fortune of being able to only compete for projects that we believe to be remarkable, with an opportunity to be innovative," said Richard Friedman, president and CEO of Carpenter. "This site absolutely captivated us. It is a gem without peer - a development site in the illustrious Back Bay that is set within a beautifully master planned iconic site. We could not be more thrilled to work with the Church on this site and to bring to bear the vision that our team has developed."
"We were happy with the selection process, which was extraordinarily competitive and included best-in-class developers nationally," said Barbara Burley, senior manager, real estate planning and operations for the Church. "Carpenter was the ideal choice for this property for two reasons: their portfolio of properties encompasses unique beautifully designed buildings that are sensitive to the urban environment around them; and they assembled a first-class team with successful experience working together. This is another significant step in fulfilling our vision of a revitalized Plaza, including increasing real estate revenues to more fully match real estate expenses so that a greater proportion of the Church's resources go toward its healing mission."
"This is great news," said Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president and executive director of the Back Bay Association and a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Plaza. "The development on the Belvidere/Dalton Sites will bring significant new vitality and improvements to the area. We look forward to continuing the collaborative positive public review process in this next phase of the Plaza Revitalization plans."
Carpenter has engaged New York based Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Cambridge Seven Associates as collaborating architects for the project. Pei Cobb Freed was responsible for the initial design of the Christian Science Plaza. Henry Cobb, who will lead Pei Cobb's efforts on the project, also designed a number of notable buildings in Boston, including the nearby John Hancock Tower, which won the American Institute of Architect's prestigious Twenty-Five Year Award. He will bring a design sensitivity to assure that the new buildings integrate harmoniously with both the Plaza and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Story ran in the Owners, Developers & Managers section on 02/01/2013