BOSTON-The First Church of Christ, Scientist announced Wednesday that it has selected Carpenter & Co. Inc. as the master developer for two development parcels adjacent to the 14.8-acre Christian Science Plaza in the Back Bay. The sites are part of a master plan designed to revitalize the Plaza and enliven its open space, as approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The development sites are on Belvidere and Dalton Streets across the street from the Hilton and Sheraton Hotels.  One parcel has BRA Master Plan approval for an approximately 250-foot tall building and the other for an approximately 500-foot tall building. Planned uses for the new buildings are a hotel, condominiums and rental apartments, along with ground floor restaurants and retail. 

HFF is marketing the two sites for sale. The deal team is executive managing director John Fowler, senior managing directors Coleman Benedict and Riaz Cassum and director Ben Sayles. Carpenter will take care of the design, financing, construction and maintenance of the new buildings. The Church will collaborate with Carpenter during the public review process but, once necessary approvals are obtained, Carpenter will take full ownership of the building sites. 

The selection of a developer is the next step in implementing the Church’s Plaza plans that were developed over a five-year period in collaboration with the BRA. “This site absolutely captivated us,” says Richard Friedman, president and CEO of Carpenter, in the announcement. “It is a gem without peer –a development site in the illustrious Back Bay that is set within a beautifully master planned iconic site.”

Added Barbara Burley, senior manager of real estate planning and operations for the church, “Carpenter was the ideal choice for this property for two reasons: its portfolio of properties encompasses unique, beautifully designed buildings that are sensitive to the urban environment around them and they assembled a first-class team with successful experience working together.”

Carpenter has engaged New York based Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Cambridge Seven Associates as collaborating architects for the project. Pei Cobb Freed was responsible for the initial design of the acclaimed Christian Science Plaza.  Henry Cobb, who will lead Pei Cobb’s efforts on the project, also designed a number of notable buildings in Boston, including the nearby John Hancock Tower. According to the announcement, “he will bring a design sensitivity to assure that the new buildings integrate harmoniously with both the Plaza and the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Adds Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president and executive director of the Back Bay Association, and a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Plaza, in the announcement, “The development on the Belvidere/Dalton Sites will bring significant new vitality and improvements to the area.”