Mar 24, 2023 - Real Estate

South Station Tower will be for more than just commuters

A welder works on the core of the tower, tucked behind the existing South Station facade. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Boston's busiest transit hub is transforming into the newest skyscraper on the city skyline.

  • Currently being built on a massive platform over the South Station Commuter Rail concourse and tracks, the project will include offices, residences, a restaurant and more.

Why it matters: Even if most Bostonians don't work or live in the new 51-story tower or in adjacent parts of the project, the South Station Tower is going to impact how we travel and could help revitalize a sleepy corner of downtown just a bridge away from Fort Point and the burgeoning Seaport.

At 690 feet, it will be the fifth tallest building in Boston when finished, just behind the new Winthrop Center and Millennium Tower downtown.

The main lobby of the building will look out onto Atlantic Avenue. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Having an enormous skyscraper on top of the city's main train depot will mean infrastructure improvements for the MBTA.

  • A new outdoor concourse for commuter rail service will have access to the existing South Station facility and the new buildings.
Giant arches will hold the tower up over the train concourse. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios.

An expansion to the bus terminal will finally connect the often overlooked bus station with the train and subway station next door.

  • You'll actually be able to get from a Peter Pan bus to the Red Line without going outside.
  • By building on top of the area that now separates the bus terminal and train station, it'll increase bus capacity by 50%.
  • According to the developer, Hines, $150 million of private investment is being spent on public transportation improvements.
The new bus terminal expansion will be open-air. Consider it the anti-Port Authority. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Hines says that in 2025, there will be about 670,000 square feet of available office space and a 500-space parking garage.

  • 166 luxury condos are also part of the plan. They'll come in studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom and penthouse options.
  • Plus, there will be a private park you'll likely see your rich friends post on Instagram from.
The core of the tower's 51 stories rises above commuters coming through the station. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Flashback: The tower has been a long time coming.

  • It took decades of planning and start-and-stop efforts to get the MBTA, investors and developers on the same page.
  • The FAA, Great Recession and COVID-19 pandemic were just a few of the obstacles the tower project faced over the years.

What's next: There's still a sliver of hope the state will come to terms with the Postal Service to take over the 16-acre site between South Station and the Fort Point Channel, allowing another project to expand rail service and build a new waterfront entrance to the city.


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