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Developer unwraps plans for two-tower residential complex over the turnpike at Boylston and Dalton

Towers proposed for Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street

Weiner Ventures this week filed formal plans with the BPDA for two towers - one 39 stories - of apartments and condos on air rights over the turnpike along Boylston Street across Dalton Street from the Hynes.

Both towers would sit atop a six- or seven-story "podium" housing two floors of retail space topped by a four-story garage.

The taller tower, which would house 160 condos, would rise up to 586 feet; the second tower, which would house 182 apartments, would be 23 stories including the podium space, or up to 301 feet high.

The project, which would also use small existing but vacant parcels, would include a 303-space garage and some retail space.

Weiner hopes to begin construction in early 2018, with residential occupancy by mid-2021.

1000 Boylston St. project notification form (47M PDF).

From the filing:

The Project will transform the Project Site from an undeveloped highway overpass into a hub of residential and retail activity, which will help knit together the fabric of the City. The Project will provide a new connection between the Back Bay neighborhood, the bustling Massachusetts Avenue corridor south of Boylston Street and the Fenway neighborhood. This connection will be strengthened by street-level retail and an improved streetscape that will provide significant urban design and social benefits, as well as stimulate economic growth.

View from Boylston Street
Map
Aerial view from Boylston Street

Prudential building on left, other proposed building in middle, 1000 Boylston:

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Comments

More housing is always good, near transit. Nothing better than turning a hole in the ground into something useful.

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Yes, because millionaire foreign investors need more ultra luxury housing to drive up the rental costs of working people and students who can already barely afford to live here.

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Why I was going to live in a RV in that parking lot and now I've been priced out!

Your entire post is nonsense but thanks anyways.

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The number of those investors has increased and has been well known for a while now.

If you think otherwise, then you aren't really informed about the real estate market around here.

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It's quite impressive that you've discovered the first market on earth where a direct increase in supply drives up prices for the entire existing customer base, you should really hurry before another economist scoops you and gets the Nobel undeservedly!

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there are plenty of studies showing that building in a neighborhood can raise the prices for nearby residents due to the increased quality of life. In this case, you are actually removing a major eyesore in the uncapped Pike, so it could raise prices no matter what you built due to that improvement. What would win you a Nobel is if this project drove up prices in Roslindale or Reading.

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Rental prices have dropped in the last year.

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Only this year have the rents flattened, and that's not likely to last if things continue the way that they have in recent years.

It's not entirely about the supply. Newer and more expensive housing in an area makes the area more attractive for that type of housing, that can drive up neighboring assessments and taxes.

Also, there's been a lot of new housing created and yet rents increased along with it. Using supply as the sole means to reduce rents is not going to work well in all places.

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Would you rather the millionaires buy up condos in these new buildings, or in the existing old buildings that should be naturally becoming increasingly affordable but aren't because we've turned housing into a rare collectible item? I mean, I agree that it's kind of obnoxious when developers put up huge towers that block the sun from the Common, or displace residents just to build vacant towers, but this is literally a hole in the ground that belches noise and fumes right now, so I don't see any harm in letting the foreign investors waste their money on this.

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"Rents fall for first time since 2010"

"The decline was modest, just 1.7 percent... But it was the latest and clearest sign that the flood of construction in Boston is putting a lid on prices..."

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That's just rents though, not values.

Unless the underlying things that have raised prices for many years somehow change, that is likely to only be temporary. Then you have to create even more housing.

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Do you live in the Back Bay? Do you even live in Boston? If you think the elite moving into yet another luxury high-rise in the Back Bay will be taking the T instead of driving their Mercedes and Porsche SUV then you're not paying attention to what is actually happening in Boston. Happy the 1%-ers have a champion in you... I'm more of a supporter for the working middle class, myself. I've lived in this neighborhood for nearly 20 years now
and have seen several residential high-rises go up and prices have not gone down, they have sky-rocketed. Theories are cute and cuddly, but facts are facts. Google it if you want to check out the astronomical rise in housing costs in the Back Bay during the many past years of luxury housing growth, or you could just keep making things up as suits your idealistic whimsy.

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is that the Back f––king Bay needs to be preserved as a place for the working middle class to Iive? Why?

How about we get all the tax money we can from the 1% to live near Newbury St, etc... and use that to pay for city services and costs. We could try to build a luxury condo tower in the Parkway but it won't command the same amount on needed tax income.

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it's always sad when gentrification drives regular blue collar folks out of working class neighborhoods like the back bay. and this is just the beginning. soon, gentrification will be moving into beacon hill and the south end, making rent practically affordable for these neighborhoods' downtrodden denizens. this is a dickens novel come to life i say!

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Will there be moderately priced units for working class families? How about affordable small units for working class individuals of lower to middle class income? If not, how is this alleviating the housing crisis in Boston? It's just more shiny new pied-à-terres for the mostly international ultra rich who likely already own multiple homes around the globe. Confused as to why so many think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread...
I would love a multi-story development to be built for the working class -- I will cheer for that. Till then, it's just yet another Monopoly toy property for the elite and does nothing to solve outrageous housing costs that are pricing recent grads out of Boston and working class families out of Boston.

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They can't win approval without either selling/renting 15% of the units as "affordable," or giving enough money to the BPDA to build/buy such units elsewhere in the city. "Affordable"means possibly attainable for people making up to some percentage of the area median income, 70 or 80%, I think, but somebody please correct me if wrong).

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Props to the developer for including the under-construction 30 Dalton condo / hotel tower (and other projects under review, including the Berklee College tower ...) in their renderings.

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If you guessed Elkus Manfredi, you win, um, the satisfaction of knowing you can always tell an Elkus Manfredi building (you just can't tell it much - OK, shoot me now).

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   IMAGE(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/42/a4/c4/42a4c46531670a229122347f8adbe743.jpg)

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To "Adorable!" your own post. If not - then "Adorable!"

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n/t

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   IMAGE(https://elmercatdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/popcorn2.jpg)

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I will bet any amount of money this project will be delayed due to the upcoming mega recession this country will have in about a year.

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I sense a Filene's hole in the ground and Harvard's Allston campus hole in the ground deja vu.

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Alright, I'll bite.

It can't end up a hole in the ground because it's built on air rights, silly.

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Hanover was an economist. Zero chance of a recession in the next year. Zero.

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Care to back that up?

Facts, logic, and reason all point to Trump steering the ship of state onto the rocks out of sheer narcissism and greed.

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Does this project eliminate Cambria Street or is it just being built over it?

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Over it.

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One of the above Diagrams does say 'air rights', so I assume the street will remain. (I assume it's some kind of pru/hynes access road?)

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It's interesting that it doesn't make sense to buy the garage and then do a development of the entire block but I guess there's the bowling alley and all that in there.

Does that church get much usage? It's always seems like an odd location from an older time of greater density of religious residents but I know some of these places draw from the region.

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I've never been inside, nor can I vouch for their attendance, but they just did a very lovely renovation of the outside. I really salute the parish for doing such a fine job. They didn't have to spend the money -- it's tucked away and pretty low profile. But they showed a lot of respect to the neighborhood.

Contrast that with the vile job Berklee just did on the facade of their building on the very same street, at the very high-profile corner of Massachusetts Avenue. It's ugly, uninviting, and boring. And the marquee-style Berklee sign is bargain-basement theatre district.

Yay St. Cecilia. Boo Berklee.

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For what it's worth, former Mayor Kevin White's funeral Mass was held at St. Cecilia's.

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Hmm. I think the timing of it & ownership issues precluded that option, but maybe you are already aware of the background, etc. The project we're talking about is on Mass DOT (Mass Pike) property, while the garage is owned by a private entity, Pilgrim Parking. I don't know if the new developer (ADG Scotia - Weiner Ventures) had the time (or, desire?) to buy the garage. I agree, it seems logical, although I also assume the garage is a cash cow (even if they closed the bowling alley ...)

Apparently, the Archdiocese of Boston owns Saint Cecilia's, so maybe they would have considered selling in the past but who knows, now. They recently rebuilt / expanded it, so maybe they want to hold onto it. Plus, I doubt any new owner could tear it down, so unhelpful with any parcel aggregation plans.

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They used the money from the sale of the Scotia parcel shown in the renderings to make the church more accessible.

A little history; the then Diocese of Boston gambled on the South End, not the Back Bay being the place to be for the 1900's. The Protestant churches had jumped from downtown (Trinity, First, Second, First Baptist, Old South) to Back Bay parcels while the Catholics built the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and were not going to buy another site in the Back Bay for a big church. They built St. Cecilia's and then later purchased a defunct Protestant church and made it St. Clement's (Boylston and Ipswich).

From what I understand St. Cecilia's gets a lot of use by Catholics from the BB and SE and is also used by a few LGBT groups who used to meet at Immaculate Conception until the Jesuits decided to dismember one of Peter Keely's most beautiful churches, also for AA meetings, and for other social organizations.

Also, for anyone not supporting this project to be done by a family with an excellent track record of development on what is essentially an alley way and an open pit down to the Pike, while being near two MBTA stations, needs to have their head examined.

For all of you who want housing for the poor? Buy the land, hire the fixers, hire the contractors, and have at it and stop whining. More housing is better for all in the long run.

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....except well said on all fronts. This is a huge improvement that stitches back together and activates some prime, but uninviting, Back Bay blocks that were torn apart by the Pike decades ago.

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That section of Back Bay was always "torn apart". The highway merely took the place of the railroad tracks which used to be there. In fact the rail causeway predated the filling in of the Back Bay, so the neighborhood grew up around it. Check out this 1858 photo taken from atop the State House:

http://historycamp.org/archives/october-17-back-bay-deconstructed-a-priv...

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As the others said, they just renovated a couple of years ago - one thing in particular being handicapped accessibility. Unlikely the Archdiocese would go through with that if there wasn't intention to stay long-term.

Also, there are so few actual parishes* in the downtown neighborhoods, I doubt they'd close this unless they made a property swap or finished space part of the deal (like they're doing on a smaller scale with the Seaport Chapel).

* St Ann, Immaculate Conception, Holy Trinity, Our Lady of Victories have all been closed or drastically scaled back in recent years. St Clement, St Francis, the Lourdes Center at Kenmore Sq, the Paulist Center, and St Anthony on Arch Street are all shrines or chapels operated by religious orders in coordination with the Archdiocese. The only "parish churches" are St Cecilia, the Cathedral, St James, and St Joseph.

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As an observer and UHub poster from just outside the city, does anyone believe that, at some point in the future, there will be so much ultra luxury housing in the area, that Boston and the surrounding burbs just might become unaffordable?

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If Boston is building more housing, and the vacancy rates aren't increasing, that means that by definition the housing is affordable to someone.

Every year that goes by the entire housing stock gets one year older and one year dingier. That means that former luxury units become merely high end, high end units become nice moderate units, etc.

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Yes, of course, ha ha, everthing bought or rented IS affordable to someone. But let's put aside the Webster's and define affordable as within reach of a person working full time, 40 hours a week, at minimum wage, or, hey, I'd even say double the minimum wage. How much affordable housing in Greater Boston for that person?

Oh, and that business about luxury units trickling-down to the masses? Where exactly are these posh pads for the proletariat, outside of your imagination?

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Allston. Brighton. Not even joking, there was a time when many of the buildings on Comm Ave were the luxury accommodations of the day; now they have graduate students living in them on $30K stipends or student loans.

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Can an entry level McDonalds worker making minimum wage and afford to live in the heart of a major city?

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Places with adequate wage levels.

Places with subsidized housing.

Places where it isn't illegal to pack people into small spaces/have rooming houses.

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Doesn't that pretty much rule out Boston? You know, the city we're discussing?

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Housing cost inflation increases far faster than depreciation. And building more doesn't help unless one is building mass quantities [by razing half or more of the city] of deliberately below market rate housing.

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This needs to be said more. The "build more and prices will go down" argument hasn't worked here for years, only just recently have we seen something. We have to look for other solutions.

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There are 100 plus year old places, with non high end finishes, in third floor walk ups, going for $1000k per square foot in the South End. Location location location.

How long are we going to have to wait until those units become affordable?

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Newly built units in the South End are indeed more expensive than older ones. And we're still not building enough housing at any market level, so we have shortages, and shortages mean high prices for everyone. It's just that without all of this luxury housing going in, all of those buyers would be bidding up the price of down-market units, so the situation would be even worse than it is today.

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Your model only works by assuming if you build enough that there won't be anymore buyers. That's not really how it works in a practical sense.

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They'll never be affordable. Why would they? Ignoring bubbles and market fluctuations, all housing goes up over time. Ask someone who bought a house in the 80s how much it's worth now. That would be a long enough term to ignore the ups and downs.

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There's a limit to how much luxury housing you can rent or sell. There have been a number of articles recently that luxury housing is taking a hit nationwide. Rents have recently started to drop locally (slightly). If they keep building, supply and demand eventually takes hold.

Lots to criticize mayor Marty about, but he's doing a good job on housing. Unfortunately that doesn't get press like Olympics and Indycar.

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Until neighborhoods like Roslindale and West Roxbury are razed to build wall to wall skyscrapers with rents deliberately held to 1990 levels I don't think the city has a chance.

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The city grows at about the rate of local job growth or historically 1%ish. That means to keep up we have to build about 2500 units per year.

Two things disrupted that. First the financial crisis halted virtually all construction for 3-4 years, so we fell behind by 10,000 units. On top of that there has been a move back to urban lifestyles. The combo of less supply and a bump to demand put pricing way out of whack. We are approaching or just reaching equilibrium. These things go in years long cycles and this too shall pass. We'll be fine as long as we keep building several thousand units a year. We are already seeing projects on the high end shelved until there is a better forecast for demand. Seeing similar trends in the "aspirational" markets as well. Only a matter of time until that trickles to mid level units. Low end will be a problem forever because politicians are politicians, not problem solvers.

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What really threw everything out of whack was a precipitous, more than doubling, of real estate value in 2001-2003. Now you would think once the bubble popped everything would have fallen back to the pre-2001 pricing, plus a slight increase for inflation. But instead it stayed over-inflated, then kept on rising [mostly] steadily from there. Almost every property in the city [and most of the rest of the country] today is actually only worth 1/3 what it is being priced and/or valued at.

So I got property in 1998 so you'd think... damn you lucked out right? But no because if I sell it, for that significantly bubbled price --- well unless I want to move to the New Mexico desert - everything else is also raised so I loose any gains by having to buy somewhere new to live. And now instead of having to get a new bridge loan or mortgage for say 100K it would need to be 300K. Which is a lot harder to both obtain and pay off afterwards.

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Just sell, then rent.

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You simply owe less on another place than someone who did not buy in 1998.

In the meantime, you have all that equity. You know how equity works, right? You buy a place for $200K and finance $180K. You pay down the mortgage for 20 years and owe, say, $90K. Then you sell that place for $500K. You have $410K in equity. If you buy a different home for $700K, you mortgage $290K (where your competing buyers would have mortgaged $630K). You are hundreds of thousands of dollars ahead of someone who didn't have that equity.

I bought in 1998, and I'm a bit baffled at your lack of grasp of this concept. You are indexed to the market. Unless you kept refinancing or took a lot of equity out, you are WAY AHEAD of someone who didn't buy anything. Buy a similarly priced place and you are still paying 1998 money for it. Buy a larger place, and you are paying 1998 prices for that fraction of the mortgage that you bought down with your equity.

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You didn't address the other part of the argument in that person's post. The price of the property has gone up, but that doesn't mean it exceeded other real estate so that it's easier to buy another local property after that person sells. They could have just kept pace or even been behind other real estate.

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How can it be a bubble when the vacancy rate is <4% and the economy is still growing? Basically, how could prices fall when an ever larger number of actual people are bidding against one another for places to live? The only way for prices to declined in a major way is for a lot of people to suddenly want to move out of Boston. I don't see that happening any time soon.

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Not all of the buyers and interest in the real estate is local people.

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303 parking spaces?

When are the city and state leaders going to have the courage to do the right thing, and say no more large garages in the downtown core?

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So you would rather street paring for the 300 or so vehicles? Great plan.

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Just because they have parking spots doesn't mean they will be driven every day. It means the included garage gets the cars off the street for other parking (tourist or otherwise) or bike lanes. With a building right in town like this, the people will more than likely work in town. They can walk or take the T to work and use their car on weekends.

Further, there is no way a developer is going to market a luxury tower without parking.

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"Further, there is no way a developer is going to market a luxury tower without parking."

They do it in NYC all the time...

But I'll grant that you're probably right. This is storage for weekend use. The maximum housing at this location should be encouraged parking or no.

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This means no new public parking spaces are allowed - all spaces are privately owned - and since this is residential, it'll end up being car storage for people who drive maybe twice a month.

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the top of the market when anyone plans to build on the Pike?

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GOOD.

Walking that parcel sucks right now. It's windy and dirty and loud.

Is the parcel that's across-ish the street from this one still going forward? The one that was supposed to redo the Hynes station and add a second entrance?

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At least, as of October.

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Do you hate Bukowski's too? Hope that's not slated to be axed for yet another glass tower with an empty bank branch populated with ATM's at street level. The Public Garden and Boston Common, (and yes it is the Common not the Commons)... too much for you to handle? Wasted spaces that can get 'scary' windy at times... let's build trillion-dollar towers on top of that 'offensive' open space where people walk, socialize and try to unwind. Build, baby, build! Keep the sunlight out! More shadows! More luxury! How's that Trump Wall Mexico is going to pay for working out for ya? Take a seat.

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Bukowski will be safe and sound in its building, which will still be sitting there, next door to this and is shown in the renderings as there.

But won't someone think of all the shadows that Bukowski patrons will have to endure? AND MY GOD, THE TRAFFIC.

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Too much sugar in your cereal this morning?

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Bruh do u even boston. Like, have you ever been on that bridge? It objectively sucks to walk on. This isn't a grassy area full of trees and parkland, it's a concrete stretch suspended over thousand cars in a wind tunnel. It's freezing in the winter and a sunbeaten nightmare in the summer, cuz, you know, it's A BUNCH OF CONCRETE AND STEEL. An empty hole in the ground. Also, that's not even the Bukowski's building?

Pot is legal, now, dude, sounds like you might benefit from a little.

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Boston City Archives has an old photo of that area (across the street though), back when Boylston has a bridge across the BA tracks.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/32081801085/

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I have slept in that empty field for the last 5 years. Gonna have to find a new safe place to sleep at night.

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