Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 71
city's Congress Street for the first time in 50 years. The Government
Center Garage was built in the 1960s and runs across five acres in
the middle of downtown Boston. The garage is an eyesore, O'Brien
notes, and residents are anxious for it to be demolished.
"This garage is one of the ugliest buildings in the city," he says.
"There's a piece of it that covers Congress Street, which will be
demolished. We will then construct three buildings - the hotel and
condo building, and the office and retail buildings - on the eastern
side of Congress Street. The last residential building will then be
built on the west side of Congress Street to wrap the remainder of
Essentially, the remaining garage will no longer be visible, as it
will be enclosed within the three buildings. "We're in the midst of
investing a significant amount of capital in upgrading the garage,"
O'Brien says. "Once completed, this project will totally transform
O'Brien notes that because the garage is a well-known eyesore,
it affects pedestrian movement, as well as how people perceive
"The existing garage is not something that presents this part
of the city in a good light," he explains. "Bulfinch Crossing will
change the way people feel about this part of town. Today people
walk through this area to get somewhere else. In the future, people
will walk to this area and it will become a destination rather than a
Despite HYM's grand vision for the project, O'Brien notes that
there have been a few challenges since starting the demolition
process. "Permitting a project like this in Boston is always a challenge," he says. "There is also complex logistical sequencing required
for continuing to operate a garage while we're building, and there's
a significant engineering challenge around partially demolishing a
garage while its still in occupancy."
Nevertheless, HYM is confident about completing the large,
complicated project. "I think that's why we all enjoy this business
because each project is a puzzle, and it's always incredibly satisfying
to solve the puzzle," O'Brien concludes. "We are working hard to
move at a good pace. And again, having a team-oriented culture and
emphasizing good communication is essential to our success."
JULY/AUGUST 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM