Developer cancels plans for downtown project

Massachusetts real estate developer Weiner Ventures recently announced it was cancelling a major project that would have built two high-rise buildings over the busy Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston. Weiner referred to the project as 1000 Boylston Street.

The development would have included a 39-story building and a 24-story building where Massachusetts Avenue meets Boylston Street. It would have included 325,000 square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of residential or hotel space and 70,000 feet of retail and restaurant space. Weiner claims "air rights" over the turnpike area, a property concept that comes into play chiefly with high-rise buildings in densely populated urban areas.

The 1000 Boylston Street case would have the first air rights project over the Massachusetts Turnpike in almost 40 years. Just recently, Samuel & Associates, another development company, announced it had received approval for an air-rights project over the turnpike near Boylston Street.

It wasn't a lack of demand that caused Weiner to back out. In today's market, demand would probably have been high. Residential real estate has been absurdly expensive, commercial real estate is scarce, and there is not a lot of undeveloped space left in Boston for a large project. Rather, the company blamed a combination of legal and financial factors for cancelling the massive project.

Even in easier times and less-crowded areas, commercial real estate is a high-risk, incredibly complex business, but it can be extremely rewarding. It is important to seek out help from attorneys with experience in commercial real estate.

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