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August 10, 2012

Stalled $615 Million Project Seeking Approval to Revitalize Downtown Crossing

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Shortly after Mayor Thomas Menino announced that Chicago-based real estate investment and development firm Oxford Capital Group LLC plans to develop a 240-key hotel at 59 Temple Place in Downtown Crossing, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) reveals another investor’s intention to revitalize the area.

Millennium Partners filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC) for the previously proposed Millennium Tower and Burnham Building, which was a mixed-use project of up to 1.25 million square feet with a 280-room hotel, a restaurant, up to 176 residential units, retail space, an underground parking space and a health club/spa that was put on hold in 2008 because of the collapse of the financial markets.

According to the NPC, the developer has altered the original project to make it viable given the current market conditions. With a $615 million private investment and encompassing 1.2 million square feet, the revised mixed-use project will be located at the partially vacant site of the former Filene’s Department Store on a parcel delimited by Washington, Franklin, Hawley and Summer Streets. The development will include 600 condominiums and rental units in the 625-feet tall Millennium Tower as well as 125,000 to 218,000 square feet of office space within the rehabilitated Burnham Building and 550 below-grade parking spaces of which up to 250 will be slated for public use. Also included in the project are a health club of 35,000 square feet and a 10,000-square-foot restaurant.

In order to maximize pedestrian access through a plaza between Hawley and Washington Streets, the development team will create a new automobile drop-off. Paving, landscape materials, signage and lighting will be coordinated to unify the drop-off with the entire plaza.

It is estimated that the project would generate around 600 construction jobs and, after completion, up to $5.5 million in real estate taxes annually and 2,300 permanent jobs. The development team includes Millennium Partners, Handel Architects, DLA Piper, Epsilon Associates, Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Nitsch Engineering, WSP Flack + Kurtz, Haley & Aldrich, RWDI, MacRostie Historic Advisors, and Suffolk Construction. According to the BRA, a community meeting will be held next week to review the project.

Rendering courtesy of the Boston Redevelopment Authority

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