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What's new for the Waterfront?

Between Boston Harbor and the Rose Kennedy Greenway, sit the Harbor Towers. A gorgeous pair of high-rise developments, home to 624 residential units - from one-bedroom homes to gloriously spacious penthouses, the stunning views and ideal location of these towers makes them an excellent option for people looking to live in Boston.

Over the past year or two there have been rumors of another tower to be built over the garage between Harbor Towers and The Aquarium. The garage itself has been called an eyesore, but do we really need to add another large development to the already bursting skyline above the Greenway? Especially after the Atlantic Warf (which I'll talk about later) was just build a few blocks away.

Donald J. Chiofaro, developer of International Place, had asked the city for permission to develop the space above the garage. His proposal was denied early last year. "The Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles, said, "The proposed project [was] at such wide variance from the applicable state and local permitting requirements currently in force that it simply cannot be constructed as currently designed.""* However, Chiofaro who has a history of being effective at overcoming zoning restrictions (as evidenced by International Place) came back in the fall of last year with a proposal for a smaller building development over the garage. His newer, smaller proposal was quickly dismissed.

More information on the details of the proposal and the rejection can be found here, an article by CommonWealth.

While it looks like a development on the garage between the Aquarium and Harbor Towers is not going to come to fruition (at lease not with out a Chiofaro winning a huge negotiation), recently, Boston got its newest skyscraper only a block and a half away!

On the corner of Atlantic Ave and Congress St, sits a new glass walled residential tower called The Atlantic Warf. It will be the last large-scale building built on the downtown side of the city's waterfront for some time. "Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino last year moved to restrict the size of buildings along the new Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, just inland from the channel and waterfront."** This is why Chiofaro is having difficulties.

The goal is to, "transform the Fort Point Channel into a contemporary waterfront with residences, restaurants, boating tours, and cultural institutions." **  Therefore, The Atlantic Warf is now going to be home to not only hip residents but also retail and restaurant space. It announced in January of this year that it will be housing a new Smith & Wollensky. Don't worry though; the restaurant is not giving up its current location on Arlington Street.

What have you heard about the Waterfront development? And, what would you like to see for the future of it? I'd love to know!



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