A proposed project could transform an area over the Mass. Pike in the Back Bay

News Back Bay
A rendering of the proposed Parcel 12 project.
A rendering of the proposed Parcel 12 project. Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

A proposed development could turn a section above the Massachusetts Turnpike in the Back Bay into a walkable and bicyclist-friendly area with offices and residences or a hotel, plus two levels of retail space.

Dubbed “Parcel 12” and put forth by S&A P-12 Property, a limited liability company affiliated with the commercial real estate firm Samuels and Associates, the project would sit at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Boylston, and Newbury streets, according to a letter of intent to the city. 

Talks of the 545,000-square-foot development have gone on since the early 2000s, according to the project description submitted to the city. The plans are currently under review by the city. 

The plans call for two towers set atop a platform over the Pike. On the bottom levels shared by the towers would be retail. One tower would then reach skyward with 14 levels of office space. The other 10-level tower could include either residences or a hotel.

A rendering of the proposed development in the Back Bay. —Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

“The Proposed Parcel 12 Project offers an important opportunity to repair a barren section of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue disrupted by the Turnpike, and to knit together distinct Boston neighborhoods: the Back Bay and the Fenway, and the South End and the City of Cambridge by creating a mix of dynamic mixed use development with ground-floor uses that will activate the street, repair the discontinuity in the urban street wall left behind by the Turnpike Extension, and improve the experience for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, as well as those using the wide array of nearby public transit options,” the project description says. “Designed holistically to address nearby public infrastructure needs, the project has the capacity to improve a long overlooked swath of Boston’s urban fabric.”

A public meeting on the proposal is set for Monday, Dec. 10, with public comments open until Dec. 14.

The proposed development —Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects
What the area looks like now with where the proposed project would go. —Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects