ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Page 135 of 155

HAUTE PROPERTY The Kensington is among the area's new developments; a sleek, windowed living room at Millennium Place. continued from page 133 mayor, who called the company "scurrilous" in public, and many other things in private. At the same time, with so much of the neighborhood dependent on retail, residential properties have never gotten their footing—even as the area once called the Combat Zone (remember that?) next door bloomed to life with the Ritz-Carlton development and other projects. So you could practically hear the sigh of relief across the city when Millennium Partners, which developed the Ritz, swooped in to take over the Filene's project last year. Their plan calls for simplifying the development to focus on retail in a faithfully restored Filene's building and adjoining "retail row," and developing 450 upscale residences in a soaring glass obe—BLAKE MIDDLETON lisk called Millennium Tower, which is slated to become the fourth-tallest building in Boston. "We wanted to create something that would work on a neighborhood scale and an urban scale," says Blake Middleton, partner in Handel Architects, which designed the building. "The intersection of the Red and Orange lines has always had a name, but there was no clear marker on the skyline of the city. This 625-foot tower will really pinpoint Downtown Crossing." The tower will also serve as a marked contrast to the monolithic stone architecture that characterizes the neighborhood. To solve the problem of a long, flat pane of glass at street level, the architects "Projects of this magnitude have the power to change what is going on in the city." broke up the exterior in a series of asymmetrical folds, similar to a cut-crystal Champagne flute, that will reflect the surrounding skyline. That visual marker is important as a signpost that something is going on in the neighborhood. "Projects of this magnitude, we call them catalysts for change," says Middleton. "They are of such a scale that if done right, they have an incredible power to change the pattern of what is going on in the city." Already advertising giant Arnold Worldwide has taken more than 100,000 feet in the historic Filene's building, ensuring a steady influx of hipsters in the neighborhood after dark, and Millennium is reportedly in negotiations with several big-box retailers, including Roche Bros., which is considering opening an urban supermarket in the space. The project both spurs and complements other new developments in the neighborhood, including The Kensington, a 381-unit apartment building at Washington and LaGrange, as well as a flagship Walgreens store in the old Borders building. According to Boston Redevelopment Authority's Randi Lathrop, 95 new retail businesses have opened in the neighborhood since 2008 (though she admits most of those have been within the past two years), and currently nearly 1,100 housing units are under construction, a significant addition to the neighborhood's current 6,000 residents. A new boutique hotel by Chicago's Oxford Capital Group is in the works on Temple Place; high-end condos are being built in the Locke-Ober building; and several new restaurants, including JM Curley, Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale, and Petit Robert Central Bistro, have hit the right balance between destination and neighborhood dining. The city has helped the process along by creating its first-ever Business Improvement District three years ago, earmarking some $3 million a year from a tax on neighborhood retailers for beautification projects. BC LIVING IT UP The keystone developments in Downtown Crossing offer amenities galore. THE KENSINGTON 665 Washington St., 617-266-3214; Square feet: 550–1,560 per unit High numbers: 381 units Amenities: Fitness center, billiards lounge, solarium, 24-hour concierge, and Sky Deck pool Price: $2,700–$10,645 per month. Show off your green thumb when you move into this LEED-certified luxury apartment building. The building is both smoke-free and pet-friendly, and there is even a special grooming room for dogs. Choose from one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as penthouses. Units come with high ceilings, walk-in closets, and oak flooring. MILLENNIUM PLACE 580 Washington St., Unit 6B, 617-542-1555; Square feet: 1,908 Beds and Baths: 3, 3 Amenities: Private club, garden, theater room, 24-hour concierge, fitness center, on-site yoga and Pilates, valet parking, and full-time security staff Price: $2,045,000 Enjoy a truly centralized location in the Theatre District, with south-facing views down Avery Street toward Boston Common. This particular unit has 33 linear feet of windows, and the building features eco-conscious, state-of-the art facilities. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDY RYAN (KENSINGTON); COURTESY OF MILLENNIUM PARTNERS (LIVING ROOM) FROM LEFT: 134 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 133-134_BC_HP_Opner_Sep13.indd 134 8/5/13 9:59 AM

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