SOUTH STATION AIR RIGHTS PROJECT RECEIVES APPROVAL FROM BOSTON PLANNING AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
BOSTON – Hines, the international real estate firm, with partner Gemdale Properties & Investment Corporation Limited (Gemdale PI), today announced another milestone reached in their joint venture to redevelop Boston’s South Station into a transportation hub and mixed-use complex. The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) voted to approve the Notice of Project Change (NPC), filed July 29, 2016. The first phase of this transformational project will include the tallest building in Boston’s financial district and fourth-tallest building in Massachusetts.
Since the NPC filing, Hines has undertaken a robust community engagement process, meeting with nearly two dozen neighborhood and civic associations, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders to solicit input from these thought leaders about the project’s design, operation and public benefits. The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) held a public comment period through September 27, 2016, and following this public feedback, the project received MEPA approval October 7, 2016. The project’s design was approved by the Boston Civic Design Commission November 1, 2016. Hines is in the process of seeking final approvals from the Commonwealth and expects to break ground in the second quarter of 2017.
This project will increase the capacity of the existing bus terminal at South Station by approximately 50 percent which will create additional recurring revenue for the MBTA from new bus gate fees and associated retail sales. Approximately 6,600 construction jobs and 5,300 permanent jobs are expected to be created by the project. The project will also generate contributions to the Neighborhood Housing Trust and Neighborhood Jobs Trust, and will provide contributions to off-site affordable housing and provide on-site affordable housing. An estimated $26 million annually will be generated in property taxes, with the City and State seeing additional sales and wage tax revenue as well.
Hines Senior Managing Director and longtime head of the firm’s Boston office David Perry commented, “This is a major step forward in bringing this long-planned project to fruition. Hines and Gemdale PI will be making a major investment in upgrading and expanding the City’s transportation infrastructure at the regional transit hub, including completion of the intermodal transportation center that was originally conceived in the 1970s. As we have met with interested parties across Boston and in the neighborhood, we have experienced a growing excitement among public transit advocates, potential office tenants and residents who want to be a part of this new icon connecting Boston’s Seaport and Financial Districts.”
The project will become a part of, and rise above, South Station. The first phase of this development consists of a 51-story, mixed-use office and residential tower. The first 26 floors of the tower, starting nine stories above ground, will feature state-of-the-art commercial office space, while the upper 16 floors will feature residential condominium units offering panoramic views of the city and Boston Harbor.
The redevelopment of the South Station Transportation Center, now known as the Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center, has been an ongoing effort of the federal, state and local governments since the 1970s. The restoration and expansion of the historic train station building and reconstruction of all tracks and platforms was completed in the mid-1980s. The first phase of construction of a bus terminal and parking structure was then completed in 1995.
This project will include construction of the second phase of the bus terminal, completing the intermodal transportation center which was originally conceived by federal, state and local governments in the 1970s. In addition to additional capacity, the transportation infrastructure improvements included in the project will provide an architecturally significant gateway to the city, provide more convenient pedestrian connections between bus and subway and train, provide weather protection to train station platforms, and facilitate and reduce the amount of public investment required to expand the train tracks and platforms on the adjacent U.S. Postal Service property. The project obtained approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in 2006.
Hines’ noteworthy development projects in Boston include Two Twenty-Two Berkeley and Five Hundred Boylston. To the South Station project, Hines brings its in-depth experience in developing above major transportation centers, having developed New York City’s one-million- square-foot 450 Lexington Avenue and 1.2 million-square-foot 383 Madison Avenue, both of which involved construction over operating train tracks serving Grand Central Station. Salesforce Tower above the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco and One Vanderbilt above Grand Central Station in New York City, both being co-developed by Hines, are currently under construction.
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with locations in 192 cities in 20 countries. Hines has $93.2 billion of assets under management, including $47.9 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $45.3 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. Hines has 105 developments currently underway around the world, and historically, has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,180 properties, totaling over 379 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 483 properties, representing over 199 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit hines.com for more information.
About Gemdale Properties and Investment
Gemdale Properties and Investment, a subsidiary of Gemdale Corporation, is a leading real estate developer and operator in the Greater China region. Gemdale PI is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (535.HK) and is principally engaged in residential and commercial property investment, development and management. Gemdale Corporation (600383.SH) was founded in 1988 and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2001. Gemdale is renowned for being a large-scale national property developer in China with highly regarded projects throughout the country. While Gemdale’s roots are in the residential condominium sector, with over 45,000 residential condominium units built and sold in 29 major cities in China in 2015 alone, Gemdale has also embarked in recent years on commercial/mixed-use developments as well as real estate private equity funds management. Gemdale has received numerous real estate industry awards over the years, including “Top 10 China Listed Real Estate Companies in terms of Comprehensive Strength,” “Blue Chip Property Developers in China,” and the “Most Valuable Listed Real Estate Enterprise in China,” amongst other honors.