The redevelopment of the Boston Harbor Garage, one of the region's most controversial projects, has taken a major turn. Recall that the Chiofaro Company, the lead builder on the would-be development, has been trying for some eight years to plunk a major tower or towers in place of the unsightly waterfront carpark. Various holdups, including opposition from neighboring residents and City Hall, have stymied the effort. The latest Chiofaro proposal called for a pair of towers stretching to 600 and 550 feet, with condos, offices, retail, hotel rooms and a public space capped by a retractable roof (rendered above). Mayor Marty Walsh's administration demurred, suggesting a single tower instead, and community opposition was particularly harsh in response to the twin-tower plan.
Now the Walsh administration is apparently attempting an end-run around Chiofaro. The Globe's Tim Logan has the scoop: "The Boston Redevelopment Authority is in 'active conversations' with Prudential Real Estate Investors, which owns a majority stake in the controversial Harbor Garage project next to the New England Aquarium, BRA director Brian Golden said in a letter to neighbors and nearby civic leaders." In other words, the city is following the money, which leads past Chiofaro and possibly to an entirely new proposal for the Harbor Garage site. Stay tuned.
· BRA Meets with Financial Backers on Stalled Harbor Garage Plan [Globe]
· Greater Boston's Five Most Controversial Developments Now [Curbed Boston]
· Check Out the Giant Ice Rink and Other Harbor Garage Plans [Curbed Boston]
· Harbor Towers: 600 Feet High, Are You Crazy? This Is Boston! [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete Boston Harbor Garage towers coverage [Curbed Boston]