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Developer unveils design for new Back Bay tower

390-foot office tower on Stuart Street would be visible from many corners of downtown

A rendering shows the proposed redevelopment at 380 Stuart St.CBT

The new developer of a long-planned Back Bay office tower has unveiled its design for what would be a striking addition to the neighborhood’s high-rise district.

Skanska USA this week submitted updated plans for a 390-foot building at 380 Stuart St., with office space above retail and restaurants on its ground floor. It provided a first glimpse of a glass-covered, rounded structure with a stack of offset segments that create several wide terraces jutting out to the building’s corners.

“At the city scale, the building’s forward thinking bold form will add a dynamic new element to Boston’s skyline with the clear importance of outdoor space articulated by the terraces as they make their way up the tower,” Skanska said in a filing to the Boston Planning & Development Agency. The project was designed by architecture firm CBT.


Skanska spent $177 million late last year to acquire the 0.7-acre site from John Hancock, which in 2015 proposed and received city permits for a 27-story, 625,000-square-foot office tower there. Hancock initially intended to fill the building itself, but changed plans.

A rendering shows the proposed redevelopment at 380 Stuart St. (center) seen from Boston Common. CBT

The new design will be subject to city review, and it will need some approvals from the BPDA, which will take public comment until Aug. 9. But the previous approvals for the Hancock plans likely mean a less-extensive permitting process than a project being drawn up from scratch.

Skanska gave no immediate indication when it might start construction, if approved, nor did it say if it would start work without an anchor tenant lined up to fill much of the office space. The downtown Boston office market has slowed sharply since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, though a wave of projects is moving forward in anticipation of a rebound.

In its filing, Skanska said it believes the building’s design will improve the public experience of the neighborhood by adding street-level improvements such as a pedestrian connection between Stuart Street and a public alley adjacent to the building site.


The company said it would comply with laws regarding shadows on public spaces and does not expect the tower to cast any substantial new shadows on Boston Common, the Public Garden, or the Commonwealth Avenue Mall — though it would add a narrow sliver of morning shadow to a part of Copley Square.

“While elegant in its own right, the building remains deferential to its historical neighbors and neighborhood,” the filing said.

A rendering shows the project from the street level. CBT

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.