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Developer unwraps plans for Seaport life-sciences building to replace garage around the corner from the Children's Museum

Rendering of proposed 17 Farnsworth St. building

Rendering by Perkins + Will.

A Canadian developer last week filed detailed plans with the BPDA for a four-story life-sciences building that would replace a 369-space garage at 17 Farnsworth St. off Congress Street.

The proposal by BentallGreenOak of Toronto calls for no dedicated parking for the roughly 78,000-square foot building. The developer says there are more than 6,000 parking spaces in garages and lots within a half mile of the proposed building. It says it will develop a "transit demand management" plan that will include "at least two annual events that promote multimodal travel" and "posting real-time information about nearby public transportation options." It will also provide storage space for bicycles as well as showers and a changing area for people who commute on their bikes.

Because Farnsworth Street is at sea level, the building's first floor will be raised at least two feet above the current street level to account for future flooding as sea levels rise. Also, the building will be equipped with portable barriers.

The company bought the garage for $44 million in 2015.

17 Farnsworth St. filings and calendar.

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Comments

Just what a neighborhood with a parking crisis needs - less parking and more life science space!

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Voting closed 33

If Seaport actually were in a parking crisis, then adding more parking would indeed help. Fortunately, Seaport's problem is with traffic, not parking, and since traffic is made of vehicles, the solution is to bring fewer vehicles into the area. Removing parking is absolutely a valid and proven way to accomplish this.

Of course, to be truly effective this would need to be paired with improved transit access and that doesn't seem like it's coming any time soon, but it will still help Seaport. It might make things worse downtown and in South Boston, though.

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Voting closed 67

Removing parking is absolutely a valid and proven way to accomplish this.

Citation(s) please?

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Voting closed 19

half the neighborhood is still garages and surface lots

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Voting closed 34

Semantics - I think of Farnsworth Street as part of Fort Point - and I tend to think of the Seaport as a different neighborhood one block over. Back in the day, the Seaport was primarily a big dirt parking lot. The 300 block of Congress has 3 museums attracting visitors from all over and none of them have parking. The former lot at 10 Farnsworth is now developed, the lots at the end of Congress street are under development, there are proposals to develop the Necco St. garage —- and now the Farnsworth garage will be lost. Soon all that will be left is the Stillings St garage and the Congress St surface lot. Traffic in the Seaport (especially Seaport Blvd.) is terrible but one block over on Congress things are usually calm. I’ve worked in the neighborhood for 24 years; I live out of state. I personally have a good parking situation just outside of the neighborhood - but lately I’ve been spending my days communicating with potential visitors who just can’t find a place to park. Public transportation, bike lanes, good walking sidewalks etc. are great amenities for people who live and work in the area - and for some people visiting - and they help make the area healthier and greener. Some visitors will always need traditional parking - and that is rapidly disappearing.

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Voting closed 28

Besides the ICA and the Children's Museum, what is the third one?

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Voting closed 18

Tea Party Ship and Museum, Fire Museum, Boston Children’s Museum. ICA is not on Congress St.

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Voting closed 33

There's no shortage of garages on both sides of the Fort Point Channel.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/vLcFz3u.png)

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Voting closed 28

but surely the owners of a business providing parking are well aware of the existing and projected demand for parking and, perhaps more importantly, whether or not people are willing to pay for it? Seems to me that if there were a ton of people willing to pay for parking in the area, they'd be foolish to spend a ton of money to tear down what would be an already built cash cow.

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Voting closed 19

Or collect $1M a year indefinitely with maintenance and staff eating slightly into the profits. All about how you want to invest your money. You could take that $10M and invest it in something that appreciates more than a patch of pavement.

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Voting closed 16

This is in Ft Point, not Seaport

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Voting closed 20

pretty soon, all that will be left are gonna' be life-sciences buildings.

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Voting closed 24

can be easily converted to other uses if there's no market for life science space. That's not true for parking garages.

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Voting closed 18

Something escaped from the life sciences building and killed all the rendered birds.

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Voting closed 32