The Boston Redevelopment Authority will allow developer Don Chiofaro to build to an astounding (for Boston) 600 feet at the current site of the Harbor Garage. Recall that plans for something—anything—at the site have percolated for nearly a decade. Chiofaro unveiled his latest plans in June 2014, calling for some 1.3 million square feet of development in two towers, including 700,000 square feet of office space; a luxury hotel with between 250 and 300 rooms; 120 condos; three levels of retail and restaurants; and 1,400 parking spaces. Plus! The developer planned to sweeten the appeal of the project with what his firm called Harbor Square, a year-round public space complete with a retractable roof (it's rendered above).
As sure as the sun rises in east, however, opposition soon materialized, particularly from the neighboring Harbor Towers condos, where owners worried about the size and the noise and such. The Harbor Garage redevelopment seemed once again stalled. But! It clearly has the backing of the Walsh administration at this point (which sees it as part of a larger redevelopment scheme for that waterfront area), so much so that the BRA will indeed recommend today that Chiofaro be allowed to build to 600 feet, the high point of the two towers the developer proposed this time last year.
There is a catch, though. Take it away, Jon Chesto of The Globe: City officials will propose to limit development at the garage site to 900,000 square feet. ... Chiofaro declined to comment, so it's unclear whether the smaller building area would limit the developer to one tower instead of two." Stay tuned. This saga never disappoints.
· City Hall Opens Door for Tower on Harbor Garage Site [Globe]
· 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]
· Even the Fish Are Worried About the Harbor Garage Plans [Curbed Boston]