A view of Arsenal Street from inside Building E, one of the historic structures being redeveloped as part of the Arsenal Yards Project. Boylston Properties seeks a tenant for this “prime spot.” As the new Arsenal Yards begins to take shape, developers have changed plans for the last building in the project, shifting the 130-foot Building G from condos to a lab and office building. In December, Boylston Properties withdrew a request to the Town to allow them to make Building G a 197 foot apartment tower, 67 feet higher than allowed by Watertown’s zoning rules. They will soon submit plans for a new building that they hope to lease to biotech companies.
With approvals for all but one building in the new Arsenal Mall, construction is moving full speed ahead at Arsenal Yards. The public can only access a small portion of the site right now, but Andrew Copelotti, principal with Boylston Properties, led a tour of the site. The walk started over a large expanse of dirt, which includes the former under pass beneath the mall. The entire building that used to sit on top of it is now gone. Where the dirt is located will become Building F, which will include Roche Bros.
The owner of the former Boston Garden scoreboard needs a new home for the large historic item that used to hang in the Arsenal Mall. With the mall undergoing renovation, the scoreboard’s spot in the mall is no longer available. Ted Tye, a managing partner with National Development, purchased the scoreboard used when Boston sporting Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, and many others played on Causeway Street, was in danger of being desgtroyed. Tye told WHDH Channel 7 that he hopes to find a new home for the scoreboard used in Boston Garden until it closed in 1995. The Garden was demolished in 1998. Tye said he would like to keep in in New England.
At its next meeting the Planning Board will hear arguments from the developers of Arsenal Yards about their requested amendment to increase the allowable height in the area to 197 feet. The proposed amendment to the Regional Mixed Use District (RMUD) section of the Zoning Ordinance would increase the maximum height by 67 feet over the currently allowed 130 feet. The maximum height is allowed if a parcel is 10 acres or more. The Planning Board will discuss the amendment on July 11, 2018 at the meeting that begins at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. The item is comes after two other cases.
The developers of the Arsenal Mall renovation got a mix of opinions Monday night about their request to build a tower even higher than the 130-foot limit in Watertown’s Regional Mixed Use District (RMUD). Watertown residents packed a room at the Arsenal Mall, a short distance from where developers of Arsenal Yards would like to put up Building G, a 197-foot condominium tower. Boylston Properties, the developer of the property, has submitted an amendment for the Town to consider which would increase the maximum height of the RMUD — located around the eastern end of Arsenal Street — by 67 feet. The people speaking in opposition to the height increase outnumbered those who like the idea of a taller tower. Why Taller?
The owners of Arsenal Yards sent out the following information:
Boylston Properties and J.P. Morgan today announced a $109 million strategic investment from institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan in Boylston Properties’ Arsenal Yards development, a mixed-use destination of the former Arsenal Mall in East End Watertown. With sitework currently underway and upon the first phase opening in 2019, the vibrant urban neighborhood will be more than one million square feet, including 250,000 square feet of shops and eateries, anchored by Roche Bros. and The Majestic Cinema, YardWorks (200,000 sq. ft. of new and existing office and lab space), Blvd & Bond (425 contemporary residences), a 150-room Hampton by Hilton, The Fitness Collection, and a revitalized Arsenal Park with expanded access to the Charles River.
I wrote this letter in December 2016 but it is even more relevant today in lieu of the zoning amendment proposal to increase the RMUD height to 197 feet. To the citizens of Watertown, regarding the Arsenal Project MP/SP proposal, 12/19/16. In over a year of meetings the issue which I thought would have been a major concern to both the citizens of Watertown, the city councilors, and the city planning department employees was rarely discussed. The issue I am referring to is the development of a 12 story building (building “G”) approximately 100 feet from Greenough Boulevard. Now the reason the developer wants to build this building is obvious.
The fourth phase of the Arsenal Yards project will feature what developers hope will become a focal point of the site, with a plaza where people will stroll, eat at restaurants’ outdoor seating and gather for special events. Developers from Boylston Properties presented the plans during a Community Meeting at the Arsenal Yards last Thursday. This phase, the fourth of five, includes three buildings, two of which will surround the plaza in the center of the new layout of the former Arsenal Mall. It will be in the middle of what was the front parking lot of the old mall. Building C will have 27,500 sq. ft.