Texas developer: massive South Station project

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Re: Texas developer: massive South Station project

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:43 pm

ohalloranchris wrote:Back in the news. Hopefully negotiations will include the installation of proper exhaust ventilation for all tracks so the trains can actually park at the bumpers. I will miss the daylight in the track area and within the station head house, I assume it will become quite dark if/when this thing gets built:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/201 ... story.html


Ooooh, what a pretty and generically 2010s-looking new render they have there!

It seems that the FAA isn't budging on maximum heights and Cesar Pelli's painfully 90's postmodern spire has been sacrificed to the floor plate god in the name of maximizing square footage. It will be interesting to see what this does to Dewey Square, though I like how the mass has been oriented to minimize the shadows that it will cast on the plaza (just like the Milennium Tower and the Common). I suspect it will make the Silver Line's existing capacity woes that much worse, though.

As to the parking spaces: So long as they're bound by the Post Office and the Fidelity building to the Southeast, this leaves the developer with about 4-5 floor plates above the track and below the roof height of the bus station and South Station that will be boxed in from three sides with only a couple hundred feet of Atlantic Avenue for north-facing window frontage for floor plates that will end up being nearly 200' x 300', along with having all the noise and vibration from the trains beneath them. As a developer, when you have a space like that, you're stuck with two options: Build a mall/flagship retailer, or build a parking garage.

Since this space will also be filled with the dense structural piers needed to support the 51-story skyscraper above it, that all but completely rules out a mall since most retail isn't happy with having a pillar every 15-20 feet or so. So while a parking garage isn't ideal given that it's above a transit hub, it's just about the only way to use these hundreds of thousands of potential square feet that actually adds value to the property, though I guess you could stuff an IKEA or other big-box that doesn't mind maze-like spaces if you really wanted to.
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Re: Texas developer: massive South Station project

Postby BandA » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:42 pm

It's also right next to a MAJOR highway interchange. I think these parking spaces will be well utilized, especially since the Bedford St. Mechanical Garage and the Winthrop Sq. municipal garage were eliminated without replacement. Also remember that parking spaces in Boston and Cambridge have been artificially suppressed by the EPA consent decree since the early 1970's, yet emission controls are ~~>75% better than they were then. Maybe Amtrak passengers want to be able to park & take the train from South Station.
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Re: Texas developer: massive South Station project

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:46 am

And maybe people want to be able to park to pick up passengers. I've used the garage for that reason.
It's a zoo trying to "hold on the street" waiting for someone to arrive.
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Re: Texas developer: massive South Station project

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:28 am

BandA wrote:It's also right next to a MAJOR highway interchange. I think these parking spaces will be well utilized, especially since the Bedford St. Mechanical Garage and the Winthrop Sq. municipal garage were eliminated without replacement. Also remember that parking spaces in Boston and Cambridge have been artificially suppressed by the EPA consent decree since the early 1970's, yet emission controls are ~~>75% better than they were then. Maybe Amtrak passengers want to be able to park & take the train from South Station.


If people want to be able to drive to the station to park and take an Amtrak train, that is what Route 128 station is for. Hell, even Back Bay already has a massive garage on top of it.

Rockingham Racer wrote:And maybe people want to be able to park to pick up passengers. I've used the garage for that reason.
It's a zoo trying to "hold on the street" waiting for someone to arrive.


I agree that it's difficult to wait for someone on the street in a car (even dropping someone off is a pain), but that can be solved by creating a new, enforced loading zone. There's plenty of available space on Atlantic or Summer. If you want to be able to park and go into the station to wait for someone, well, again, that's what the other Boston stations with parking are for. South Station also does already have some parking (though I'm not sure what availability is like) on top of the bus station. It's even free if you're there for <15 minutes!

South Station needs a lot of things - more parking is not one of them. If there's absolutely nothing else they can use that space for, fine, make it parking. But traffic is already bad enough downtown and adding parking on top of the city's biggest transit hub seems counterproductive to me.
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