In July, we looked at five residential projects across North America that eschewed a private parking garage. It's a trend that's sweeping the continent, especially walkable cities like Boston, where the amenities and conveniences of downtown living are at your doorstep. Looking to add another development to the parking-free list is Rafi Properties, who is planning to build a 30-storey tower in the dense Downtown Crossing neighbourhood.
The former site of the Felt night club at 533 Washington Street offers up 3,648 square feet of developable land. The proposal reinforces the steady evolution of Downtown Crossing from a predominantly commercial district into a mixed-use neighbourhood by combining a program of residences, office space, and retail uses. The four-storey commercial component — including of a two-level restaurant — will be situated on the lower floors of the 92-metre (304-foot) building with 94 apartments occupying the remaining interior spaces.
To support the general scale and materiality of Washington Street, the existing four-storey brick and stone facade of the former nightclub will be retained. The residential lobby will be accessed from the north corner of the facade with the rest of the frontage dedicated to the proposed restaurant.
Stantec Architecture is handling the exterior design of the project. The tower will be set back from the historic base, respecting its long-standing importance to the street's built character. The narrow site produces a "pencil tower" of unique proportions articulated by two- and four-storey window expanses. Accent piers and balconies add further visual depth to the elevations. Rafi is hopeful construction can begin in mid-2017 and complete about 14 months later; thanks to the dearth of parking, that's a relatively quick timeframe.
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