Luxury Homes

Government Center Garage redevelopment project to include the tallest residential rental tower in Boston

The Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved the redevelopment of the Government Center Garage to include retail, office, hotel, and residential space.

Rendering of the approved residential tower. CBT Architects

Say goodbye to the Government Center Garage and hello to the tallest rental tower in the city.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority just gave the final approval for a plan to demolish and redevelop the site of the garage where they plan to include retail, office, hotel, and residential space.

National Real Estate Advisors and The HYM Investment Group’s $1.5 billion plan includes six different buildings, two of which have been approved by the BRA.

One is a planned luxury apartment building that will be the tallest rental housing building in the city when completed. The 480-foot tall, 486-unit building is set to break ground in the spring.

Map of the full proposed project.

Also approved is a 43-story, 528-foot-tall glass office tower. National plans to break ground as soon as it secures a tenant. Once construction begins on the office tower, the existing Government Center Garage will be demolished.

Office tower rendering. – Pelli Clarke Pelli / CBT Architects

Other proposed buildings include a hotel and condo building, a boutique office, and a retail space. In total, the plan includes 812 residential units, 196 hotel rooms, 1.1 million square feet of office space, and 85,000 square feet of new retail.


“We are humbled by the historic opportunity that this project presents,’’ HYM founding partner and managing director Thomas N. O’Brien said in a statement. “This project will reconnect four of Boston’s greatest neighborhoods – the North End, the West End, Beacon Hill and Downtown – that have been divided by this hulking concrete structure for decades.’’

The plan includes 1,100 parking spaces underneath the office tower and two residential buildings, which will partially replace the 2,300 spaces lost when the garage is torn down. The proposed parking spaces will be available for building residents, daily users, and events.

Related: 9 questions to ask when viewing an apartment

Guide to renting an apartment: 9 questions to ask

Finding your dream apartment is no easy task. But apartment rental site RentHop has put together the nine useful questions renters should keep in mind when renting an apartment. Here are the things that are important to look for when youu2019re searching for a u201cdreamu2019u2019 apartment. Ralf Kleemann

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1. Am I getting a good deal? Itu2019s a good idea to investigate rates in the apartmentu2019s neighborhood, according to RentHop. If the apartment is more expensive or much cheaper than other housing units in the area, itu2019s better to find out why before moving in. Also look at whether rates have gone up or down in the neighborhood, and if so how quickly. If you really like the neighborhood and rents have been getting more expensive, you might want to consider a lease longer than one year. You might have to agree to a rent increase, but you can at least have the certainty of being in the neighborhood you enjoy during the term of the lease.Also, check if the lease and floor plan allow for the conversion of the apartment to add an additional bedroom. If you can create a new bedroom space with a pressurized wall, you might be able to find a roommate to lower the cost of your rent. Architecturist/CC 3.0

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2. Am I paying for a bunch of amenities? Will I really use them? Apartments can offer a wide array of amenities. More expensive apartment buildings can offer amenities like fitness facilities and pools. Other apartments might offer appliances such as washers/dryers and dishwashers in the unit. Landlords often charge more for these amenities, so RentHop encourages potential tenants to consider carefully whether or not they will make use of them. RentHop also has a pretty useful list of amenities you should and shouldnu2019t pay for. Will Merydith/CC BY-SA 2.0

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3. Howu2019s the water pressure? Be sure to test the apartmentu2019s water system, says RentHop. Check the water pressure and find out how long it takes for the water to get hot. Confirm the plumbing works and that there isnu2019t a problem with clogged drains. If the apartment comes with a garbage disposal, make sure it works properly. Les Orchard/CC 2.0

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4. Howu2019s the heat and air conditioning? Make sure both the heat and the air conditioning work. If the unit doesnu2019t have central air, find out if the apartment has in-unit A/C and sufficient heat. If not, make sure the windows are strong enough to support a window-mounted air conditioner. RentHop also recommends checking the ventilation in the kitchen, especially if you cook a lot.Also, if you are responsible for paying the energy bills, ask about how much the previous tenants had to pay. Make sure the heat and A/C are both effective and efficient. Quinn Dombrowski/CC BY-SA 2.0

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5. How many bathrooms are there and how do I access them? Does the apartment only have one bathroom? If so, where is it located? If the bathroom is only accessible via the bedroom, then remember your guests will need to go through your bedroom to use it. Aleksey Butov

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6. Who are my neighbors? Itu2019s a good idea to get a sense of the people with whom you will be sharing a building. Find out how long the people have been living there or if there has been significant turnover. Itu2019s also a good idea to find out how thick the walls are, and whether you will be able to hear your neighbors above, below, or around you.Also, does the apartment share space with commercial tenants? RentHop advises being u201cparticularly vigilantu2019u2019 when renting an apartment above a restaurant. iStock

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7. How safe is it? Take the time do a security check, advises RentHop. How secure does the front door feel to you? Is there a deadbolt? If the apartment is on the first floor, how confident are you that intruders wonu2019t come in through the windows. These questions are important not just for your peace of mind, but also if youu2019re getting renteru2019s insurance. (RentHop says renteru2019s insurance is definitely worth considering.)Also, check out crime statistics in the neighborhood. The FBI website can be very useful for this. Do you get the sense that the area is well-lit? Are there people around? Walk around the neighborhood, and if possible, see what if feels like at night. iStock

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8. How do I get to work? Is there parking, or is mass transit nearby? Will you need a car to go places? This u201cgreatlyu2019u2019 adds to the cost of living, says RentHop. In addition to rent, youu2019ll also have to pay for gas, fuel, insurance, and maintenance. But bear in mind, you might pay more in rent for the convenience of being able to walk everywhere. Eric Kilby/CC BY-SA 2.0

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9. Will I get good cellphone reception/WiFi connectivity? How many bars do you get in the apartment? Know where the dead spots are in the apartment before you sign a lease. Consider going old-school and getting a landline if the entire apartment has bad reception.Also, determine the thickness of the walls and determine whether you can get wireless connectivity in the apartment with one router. If not, you might need to get additional equipment which can be both frustrating and expensive. Clive Darra/CC BY-SA 2.0

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