Ground broken on distinctive 17-story Boston commercial development project

With its distinctive elliptical-shaped design, 121 Seaport will look like no other tower in the area.

Joined by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Skanska officially broke ground last Thursday on 121 Seaport – a 17-story, 400,000-square-foot Class A office building with two floors of retail – in Boston’s Seaport District. The $281 million project is adjacent to two other commercial development projects that we also have under construction, but is unlike any other tower in the area because of its distinctive elliptical-shaped design.

Beyond the normal partnership of USA Commercial Development and USA Building on such projects, USA Civil will be constructing 121 Seaport’s foundations, a first for a CDUS project.

Our project investment includes a $150 million construction contract. Construction starts this month, with completed scheduled for the first quarter of July 2018.

Different look

The tower’s unique elliptical design is partly a response to Walsh’s desire to have developers create buildings with new and different looks. It’s also a selling point, helping the building stand out from others in the fast-growing Seaport District. Additionally, the shape will maximize the skyline viewable from an adjacent park and reduce solar heat gain.

“121 Seaport is not your typical office building, said Shawn Hurley, CDUS executive vice president, according to the Boston Herald. “We believe 121 Seaport is pushing that design level in the city.”

Advanced features

The tower is designed to promote innovation and collaboration, all to increase employee workplace productivity. This includes having virtually column-free floor plates to provide tenants with maximum flexibility over time.

Other innovative features include a highly efficient chilled-beam mechanical system and a 40,000-gallon-tank to collect rainwater for re-use in toilets and potentially in cooling towers – this rainwater system will reduce water use by about 30 percent. The building is targeting LEED Platinum.

Skanska Strong

USA Civil was brought on board to help quickly advance this project in a highly competitive Boston office market, said Al Gogolin, USB senior vice president.

“Having USA Civil at the table to help make decisions on some of the most complex aspects of the job has made a huge difference,” Gogolin said. “This site has some of the most challenging constraints in the city right now, and the only way we can pull off a quick start and finish is to have Civil involved.”

A Silver Line subway tunnel passes through the site, adding significant complexity to the work. To accommodate that and other site challenges on a rapid schedule, Civil devised an innovative modified up-down foundation design that will help complete the project four to six months earlier than originally anticipated, while ensuring the safety of the subway, said Paul Pedini, USC vice president.

Our kind of neighborhood

121 Seaport joins Skanska’s two additional Seaport developments: 101 Seaport, a 17-story, 440,000-square-foot office tower with 20,000-square-feet of ground floor retail that will be home to PwC’s new headquarters come October 2015, and Watermark Seaport, a 300,000-square-foot residential building with ground floor retail that is currently underway with pre-leasing scheduled to begin this fall.

Click here to read more about the project in The Boston Globe.

121 Seaport will collect rainwater for re-use in toilets and potentially cooling towers.

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