One of Boston's longest-running development sagas appears to be entering its denouement. Recall that the Chiofaro Company has been trying for more than eight years to redevelop the waterfront's Harbor Garage into a major mixed-use project. 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 and containing 1,300,000 square feet of condos, offices, retail, and hotel rooms, and encompassing a public space capped by a retractable roof. 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 it appears that that plan is a definite non-starter, suggesting that the project is once again indefinitely on hold.
What happened to suggest such finality? The city made it clear on Wednesday that it would not allow Chiofaro to build to more than 900,000 square feet total or higher than 600 feet, whatever the number of towers. The developer, for its part, "sounded a conciliatory note," according to the Globe's Tim Logan, and promised to "review our options moving forward." It has said it needs to build bigger to make the project financially feasible. Regardless, the city seems to be moving on without Chiofaro, having already met with the developer's financial backer on the project to discuss alternatives and reconnoitering about a long-term plan for that area of the waterfront—a plan that apparently does not include the Chiofaro tower(s) any longer. Stay tuned.
· BRA Won't Budge on Size of Chiofaro Towers [Globe]
· Check Out the Giant Ice Rink and Other Harbor Garage Plans [Curbed Boston]
· Ceaseless Boston Harbor Garage Saga Takes a Major Turn [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete Harbor Garage project coverage [Curbed Boston]
[Rendering of Chiofaro's most recent two-tower plan via Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates]