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This isn't the first time Chiofaro Company?s Don Chiofaro and partner Ted Oatis are developing aggressively while others lay low. Remember 1.8M SF high rises at International Place in the ?80?s and 90's? Now it's a $900M mixed-use project overlooking the Harbor.
Chiofaro Company?s Don Chiofaro
?The timing is perfect,? says Don whom we snapped in his top floor office at International Place One. He and Ted are proposing to build a 1.5M SF mixed-use complex on the Greenway, where the 1400-car Harbor Garage now stands. With little new Class A office space in development, he believes it will be in great demand when the market and economy recover in a few years. Don says he and Ted, colleagues since 1976, have been through four other RE cycles. ?They aren't all the same, but they're similar.? In Boston, he's certain, the world isn't ending; the market and the economy will recover.
Chiofaro Company?s Ted Oatis
Ted is used to bringing new trophy towers to the CBD. In '87, he and Don completed International Place One, opening up a new downtown submarket for high priced offices. It's still a premiere property, but two decades ago Don and Ted faced a storm of criticism about the project?s height—46 and 35 stories— and the Philip Johnson design that features Palladian windows. ?The controversy helped us,? Don said. His new project, still going by Harbor Garage for now, has run into headwinds of its own from residential neighbors, planners, and others. Don?s take: ?The dialog is healthy; I like it.?
Chiofaro Company?s Don Chiofaro, Duna Chiofaro, and partner Ted Oatis
They're joined here by DC Jr., also known as Duna, who does leasing and project management. Of the division of labor between Ted and his dad, he says ?Ted does all of the difficult stuff; Don does the easy stuff and tries to take as much credit as possible.? In their new project, they hope to build: 850k SF of offices, 120 condos, 70k SF of retail, a five star, 300-room hotel, and underground parking for 1400 cars.
Chiofaro Company?s Don Chiofaro and Erin Johnson
If Don, here with assistant project manager Erin Johnson, can keep Harbor Garage moving (he's already done a year of permitting with the city and state), he'll be plenty busy. He figures they might secure permits in another year, have Kohn Pedersen Fox do the design, and then start to pre-lease offices: ?We'll return to the old model,? first lease, then build. Construction will take about 3 years. If all goes well, they hope to open the doors in nine years.