Boston – Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences marks a milestone as its structure goes vertical. Opening in 2022, the $400 million, 35-story, LEED Gold project will be the first mixed-use property in North America for Raffles Hotels & Resorts.
Raffles Boston is developed in a joint venture between Trinity Stuart LLC (a partnership between two Boston entities: developer Jordan Warshaw’s The Noannet Group and hotelier Gary Saunders’ Saunders Hotel Group) together with Cain International, the privately held investment firm led by Jonathan Goldstein. Accor, the Paris-based parent of Raffles Hotels & Resorts, is the hotel management partner, and Madison Realty Capital is providing construction financing.
In what is a rare occurrence within Boston real estate, Raffles Boston secured the air rights over the adjoining University Club, allowing it to soar to 35 stories through the use of a cantilever structure designed by Boston-based structural engineers, McNamara Salvia. Boston-based architectural firm, The Architectural Team, Inc. (TAT), spearheaded Raffles Boston’s dramatic exterior.
Suffolk leads the project’s complex build. Following the groundbreaking in 2019, construction focused on demolition and below ground work for over a year. In the spring of 2020, after a 10-week COVID shutdown, Suffolk reignited work as safely and quickly as possible, working with the city of Boston in order to take a proactive approach to COVID safety protocols and offer workers the highest quality of protection.
Recently, 1,428 cubic yards of concrete was placed for Raffles Boston’s seven-foot thick mat slab, which equates to six million pounds of concrete and 13 miles of rebar. Prior to pouring the mat slab, a dense field of six-foot wide caissons was drilled approximately 150 feet into bedrock; 1.5 million pounds of steel plate girders, fabricated from three-inch thick steel plate, tied the grid of caissons together. The concrete structural core and columns that form the building’s aboveground structure rest on this concrete mat slab.
The Tower Crane, active now, sits on the corner of Stuart Street and Trinity Place, and is 150 feet tall. It will climb up to 512 feet as the building tops out. Working on two shifts, the Tower Crane focuses on the concrete core structure during the first shift, and erecting the first six floors of steel on its swing shift.
Once Raffles Boston reaches the seventh floor, the Tower Crane will revert back to work on the building’s concrete core and superstructure until the project’s topping out. The team of trade partners on the project site, managed by Suffolk, will soon expand to 80 ironworkers, carpenters, operating engineers, laborers, electricians, plumbers and other mechanical trades.
As the structure reaches the fourth floor, a 30-foot cantilever will gracefully curve out and over its 100-foot neighbor, the University Club, before climbing another 340 feet into the sky.