Project of the Month: National Real Estate Advisors and HYM continue construction on 2.9 million s/f Bulfinch Crossing

November 23, 2018 - Retail

Boston, MA Anyone who’s ever gone to a game at the Boston Garden, shopped at the Boston Public Market, or passed by Boston City Hall knows the Government Center Garage. For decades, the hulking, brutalist-style mass that straddles Congress St. has been a recognizable feature in a neighborhood that occupies some of the most attractive real estate in the city, yet currently is little more than a visual barrier between existing neighborhoods. 

That is all changing with the development of Bulfinch Crossing, an ambitious 2.9 million s/f mixed-use project that is deconstructing the garage in order to redefine the Boston skyline and transform a neighborhood that sits at a nexus of mass transit, public amenities and in prime office location. National Real Estate Advisors (National), on behalf of a client, and developer The HYM Investment Group (HYM) are working together to realize their vision for the transformation of the late 1960s urban renewal above-grade garage into a new, active destination for residents, visitors, and workers. By reconnecting iconic Boston neighborhoods, Bulfinch Crossing stands to propel this heavily transit-served site into a 21st century global center. 

“Bulfinch Crossing is an example of National’s commitment to transforming urban districts, improving communities, creating quality job opportunities and securing investments for our clients and partners,” said Jeffrey Kanne, CEO at National Real Estate Advisors. “Bringing a mixed-use project of this scale to an underutilized area of Boston offers exciting new residential and commercial opportunities and will be an economic development catalyst for this neighborhood.”

The demolition of more than half of the garage will bring daylight to this portion of Congress St. for the first time in 50 years, providing the foundation for six new buildings across two city blocks. “We see Bulfinch Crossing as a chance to open up and improve a part of the city where people really want to be,” said Kanne. “This location is unrivaled when it comes to walkability, transit access and convenience for both living and working in Boston.” The first phase of the redevelopment, already underway, will see the construction of one of Boston’s best in class luxury residential towers on Bulfinch Crossing’s western-most site. 

The 45-story residential tower, designed by Boston-based CBT Architects, includes 368 apartment units and 55 for-sale condominiums, with panoramic views from Boston Harbor to the Back Bay and the Charles River. Construction on the tower began last summer and residential units are set to deliver in the spring of 2020. The tower’s multiple amenity floors will feature an outdoor pool, rooftop gardens and outdoor lounges, a 4,000 s/f fitness facility, a yoga studio, golf simulator, private dining room with a chef’s kitchen, and a pet spa/daycare. 

Bulfinch Crossing’s west parcel will be further anchored by the One Congress office tower, to be developed through a 50-50 joint venture between National and Carr Properties. This new distinctive high-rise designed by world-renowned architect Pelli Clarke Pelli will bring one million s/f of new class A office space to Boston. Set to redefine the Boston skyline, One Congress is designed with an unprecedented 528-ft. height for this area of Boston and, overlooking the historic districts surrounding it, the office tower will offer 360-degree uninterrupted views of the Boston Harbor, Financial District, North End, West End, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, and the Zakim and Tobin bridges. One Congress will also feature a private one-acre roof deck garden located on the 11th floor for employees to enjoy, as well as other office luxuries such as a fitness center and upscale food and beverage offerings. 

As One Congress is built, the portion of the garage hovering above Congress St. will soon be deconstructed to open up the site allowing the rest of the redevelopment to take shape. Wrapping the remaining garage to the west of Congress St., a second residential tower will conceal the last visible remnants of the garage which will provide approximately 1,000 above grade parking spaces. With the east parcel uncovered through garage deconstruction, three mid-rise structures will emerge – including a hotel/condo building, a boutique office building and an iconic retail building – all surrounding a new urban net-zero public square with al fresco dining, cafés and retail shops.

 The square has been designed to help improve walkability and reconnect Boston’s most significant historic, commercial and entertainment districts. Upon completion, the east parcel will modernize and improve the existing MBTA Haymarket Orange Line & Green Line Subway entrances and MBTA Haymarket Bus Station. 

Bulfinch Crossing is a natural extension of the legacy of Boston’s Bulfinch Triangle, both in location and in name. Bulfinch Triangle was originally master-planned by Charles Bulfinch, widely known as the first American-born professional architect, as one of the first mixed-use districts in the U.S. It was designed to be a place in which industry and commerce flourished, and with its central location at a major transit hub and commerce center, that legacy will live on in modern Boston. In recent years, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Boston Public Market and the new development at the TD Garden, have jumpstarted a revitalization of the neighborhood and will serve as incredible, local amenities to all who visit, work and live at Bulfinch Crossing. 

The simultaneous deconstruction of a yesteryear parking garage and emergence on the skyline of new iconic towers is an apt metaphor of where Boston as a city is headed. Bulfinch Crossing represents a changing city where residents want to work where they live, eschewing the commuter culture for access to transit, and where ambitious new vision can stand alongside storied history. As Bulfinch Crossing rises in a neighborhood first designed by an iconic 18th century architect, it will become another landmark in Boston’s storied history for many more years to come.

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