Business

Tower set to rise in Chinatown

240 apartments could open by spring 2014

Elkus Manfredi Architects
A 26-story tower will be built after the Dainty Dot building is demolished.

Developers of a 26-story residential tower at the edge of Chinatown said they will start construction in the next few months, adding to a flurry of apartment buildings getting underway across the city.

The project by Hudson Group North America and Forest City Enterprises Inc. will result in 240 apartments and a new restaurant on the site of the vacant Dainty Dot building at 120 Kingston St.

Demolition of the Dainty Dot is scheduled to begin in weeks, with construction of the tower to follow shortly afterward. The developers are hoping to open the building by spring 2014.

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“Once we remove the blight of the existing building, people will be able to walk around a site that is well lit and lively,’’ said Ori Ron, a principal of Hudson Group North America, based in Swampscott. “Today, it’s a dead area after 5 o’clock. There needs to be activity, and we’re looking to bring that 24-seven with new residents.’’

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The $130 million project will also add about 2,200 square feet of outdoor space along the Chinatown section of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The park will be widened and the new building will feature a large outdoor patio connected to a 5,000-square-foot restaurant.

The 120 Kingston project, delayed for years by the soft economy, was jump-started recently by the entry of Forest City, a Cleveland-based firm that will make its Boston debut with the building. Forest City is a national developer that has been operating in the region since 1984. It built University Park in Cambridge, a 2.3 million-square-foot complex of labs, residences, and stores. It recently partnered in the development of Manhattan’s tallest residential building, a 76-story tower at 8 Spruce St.

Frank Wuest, head of Forest City’s Boston office, said the 120 Kingston project will become a gateway to the city’s Financial District and increase the visibility and use of Chinatown’s section of the Greenway.

“We worked hard with Ori [Ron] to perfect a design that is deserving of this place in the city,’’ Wuest said. “This is going to be a great building for Boston.’’

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Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, the building will feature a mix of glass, granite, and concrete. Also included in the design team were Perkins Eastman and the interior designer RODE Architects Inc.

Hudson Group had planned to build a mix of apartments and condominiums on the site but has switched to all apartments. The building, which will include units ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, was initially approved in the spring of 2008, but encountered delays due financial issues during the economic downturn and concerns about its design.

Some neighbors also fought for preservation of the 121-year-old Dainty Dot building, but it was denied historic status in 2007 by the Boston Landmarks Commission, which noted that its value was diminished when part of the building was lopped off in the 1950s to make way for the old elevated Central Artery.

To meet the city’s affordable housing requirements, the developers will be contributing four nearby parcels to the Chinese Economic Development Council, which intends to create about 48 units of below-market-rate housing. Several affordable units also will be built in the new building at 120 Kingston St.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.