The roadblocks have been lifted, the economy has rebounded, and the time has come to break ground. Nearly five years after I first learned of the dispute over a planned tower tower in Chinatown, the Boston Globe reports that construction of the 29-story tower is set to start over the next few months.
The tower, which will replace the abandoned Dainty Dots factory, will consist of 240 apartments ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, and should be completed by spring 2104.
A key goal of the project, developed by Swampscott-based Hudson Group North America and Forest City Enterprises Inc., based in Cleveland, is to help activate the area around the tower. To that end, the project will widen the Chinatown section of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, with about 2,200 square feet of outdoor space along the park. The new building will also feature a large outdoor patio connected to a 5,000-square-foot restaurant.
Of course, 240 apartments at the edge of Chinatown will help foot traffic, too.
The building, designed by Boston architecture giants Elkus Manfredi Architects, Perkins Eastman and RODE Architects Inc., is a pretty standard E-M palette: a handsome if not terribly inspiring mix of glass, granite, and concrete. It will surely be a welcome sight as you approach Boston on the Southeast Expressway.
No, it’s not the most exciting design ever, but an apartment tower isn’t expected to be. Let’s hope one of the city’s financial, educational or bioscience powerhouses adds a bit of spark to the Boston skyline soon.