The Viola will total approximately 432,000 square feet of mixed-use space. The Viola will total approximately432,000 square feet of mixed-use space.

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BOSTON—A significant air rights project that dates back morethan five years in the Back Bay is now moving forward.

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Peebles Corp. has filed a letter of intent to file an expandedproject notification form with the Boston Planning and DevelopmentAgency. The letter of intent filed on Friday on behalf an affiliateof Peebles Corp. by Trademark Partners of Charlestown, MA is inconnection with Air Rights Parcel 13 located on the northeastcorner of the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and BoylstonStreet, partially over the east and west bound lanes of theMassachusetts Turnpike and partially over the MBTA Green Line HynesStation in Boston.

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Peebles was selected to undertake the project back in2015 by the Massachusetts Department of Transportationand Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as result of an RFPprocess for the air rights development. Peebles and MassDOT haveentered a development agreement and are finalizing draft a groundlease, a Project Interface Agreement related to the Hynes StationImprovements, and other pre-development agreements andinvestigations necessary to properly commence the permittingprocess with the City of Boston and others.

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The proposed "Viola" project will involve the construction of amixed-use structure of approximately 432,000 square feet. Theproposals calls for a full-service luxury hotel component with aamenities and support services, a for-sale residential componentwith associated amenity spaces, first floor retail units, communityspace, an MBTA head house and support spaces, along with aninternal above-grade parking garage for approximately 200 parkingspaces.

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The project will include hardscape areas at Boylston Street andthe intersection of Boylston Street and Mass Avenue to provideadditional public realm area for foot traffic at the currentlycongested crossing area, as well as connections and accessibilityto the Hynes station platforms, according to the letter of intentfiling.

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Peebles Boston intends to include green roof areas, enhanced airquality and acoustic envelope systems, and other sustainable andresiliency measures.

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The developer has increased the proposed height of the projectfrom the RFP submission, now including areas of 12 levels and 17levels and zoning heights between 145 feet and 221 feet.

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Peebles states in the filing that the due diligence period forthe project also resulted in some other changes or additions,including the "creation of internal queuing for arriving vehicles,addressing the evolving resiliency and critical infrastructurestandards, and resolution of complex timing and access issuesrelated to Hynes Station transformers, electrical distribution andegress."

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The MBTA is now beginning its design for the Hynes StationImprovements Project, according to Peebles.

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Back in 2015, Peebles' winning proposal for a390,000-square-foot mixed-use development, was valued at $330million and was one of three submitted in response to an RFP issuedby the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and theMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in November 2014.

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Peebles, which maintains operations in New York City, Miami andWashington, DC, did not divulge the revised cost estimate for theproject that now calls for 432,000 square feet of mixed-usespace.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.