We've known for a while that officials at the New England Aquarium were skittish about major plans to redevelop the nearby Harbor Garage into (maybe) two towers with hundreds of hotel rooms, dozens of luxury condos and an enormous amount of office and public space. Now it appears that skittishness has moved to outright opposition, threatening to derail one of the more ambitious construction projects in recent Boston memory.
Jon Chesto and Dan Adams at The Globe have the details: "Aquarium officials said the vibrations and noise from construction of a tower on the Boston Harbor Garage site next door could threaten the health of its marine animals and that the towers would worsen existing traffic and parking problems in the neighborhood, scaring away the visitors it depends on for revenue."
'Tis the sames species of complaint that owners in the neighboring Harbor Towers condo complex have been leveling at developer Don Chiofaro for ages. But! There's a twist: "[T]he aquarium can marshal an army of wealthy and politically connected donors and board members — not to mention the 1.3 million visitors who come to see its seals, turtles, penguins, and exhibits each year." As it stands, the city has already called for Chiofaro to dramatically scale back his latest two-tower plan, though it's not clear if that will happen. Which means, of course, that it's not clear if any redevelopment of the Harbor Garage will happen. Stay tuned.
· Aquarium Firmly Against Waterfront Tower Plan [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]
· Harbor Garage Project Can Move Forward But There's a Catch [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete Boston Harbor redevelopment coverage [Curbed Boston]