fb-pixelSouth Station tower to move forward with more condos - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

South Station tower to move forward with more condos

Development company Hines and its new partner, Gemdale Partners, a real estate firm from China, plan to build a 51-story tower above the tracks at South Station.Hines

With a new investment partner, the developer of a long-stalled tower planned for South Station said the new building would be a mix of offices and residences.

Houston-based Hines said the upper floors of the 51-story tower now include plans for 175 condominiums, with office space below. Thursday night, it won approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority to bring a new majority investor — an arm of big Chinese builder Gemdale Properties — into the project.

“It’s a very large-scale project and we need a major capital partner,” said David Perry, who runs Hines’ Boston office. “They are one of the largest property owners in China.”


Lately Gemdale has become more active in the United States, opening a Boston office and investing in projects in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“We are delighted to join in this venture with Hines to develop such an important and well-located project in a city which is exhibiting some of the strongest office and residential condominium market fundamentals in the US,” Gemdale said in a prepared statement.

The revived project has changed a bit from an earlier plan. When it was first approved a decade ago, the nearly million-square-foot tower was designed as almost entirely office space. Now the 677-foot tower plan includes luxury condos, a reflection of how downtown Boston’s real estate market has changed in the last 10 years. It would also include 530 parking spaces.

The tower would rise above the tracks at South Station. As part of the project the developers will also expand the bus terminal along Atlantic Ave, doubling its capacity.

The Hines team said revenues that the state would receive from the development will help offset the cost of expanding the number of tracks at South Station, which include relocating the adjacent US Postal Service facility.

Perry said the Hines team plans to file more detailed changes within a few months, with an eye to starting construction later this year. The developers are still negotiating with state transportation officials, who must also sign off on changes. Hines’ development rights on the site are due to expire in April 2017 if it hasn’t yet started work.


Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan