Boston Properties today submitted its plans for redeveloping Back Bay station, centering on a tower that would not look like any other tower in the city.
In a filing with the BRA, the company is proposing "a holistic and transformative transit-oriented redevelopment" for the Back Bay/South End Gateway Project that would include a 26-story office building, 600 residential units in two separate buildings - one 34 stories, the other 28 - and new retail and restaurant space. The company has air rights from the state to build atop the garage, station, train tracks and turnpike.
The company, which hopes to begin construction next year, would place the buildings atop the existing garage and station - with much of the garage getting completely rebuilt to allow for the towers. Boston Properties says it will continue to provide the roughly 2,000 spaces now available. It says it is also looking at possibly closing the westbound turnpike ramp that now runs underneath the station.
The company, which now manages the station, also committed to "a multimillion dollar renovation and restoration of the station concourse:"
Currently being designed by the Proponent and the consultant team and in consultation with the multiple rail services serving the Station, the planned renovation project will dramatically improve the customer experience by: improving air quality; restoring the architecture to its original condition; creating new and expanded waiting areas; introducing new lighting and temperature control measures to improve passenger comfort; clarifying signage and wayfinding components; improving access and egress to and from the Station; completely renovating the public restrooms; and creating additional retail amenities for transit customers and the neighborhood, all the while preserving the Station's original architectural expression.
In addition to changes in the station, Boston Properties is also proposing to renoovate the old New York, New Haven and Hartford "head house" across Columbus Avenue to provide new access to the commuter-rail and Amtrak platform.
The company says it will contribute roughly $5.5 million to the BRA for the creation of affordable-housing units elsewhere in the city - and $1.1 million to a city job fund.
Back Bay Station project-notification form (24.8M PDF)
The proposed view from Columbus Avenue: