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Copley Place tower developer abandons plans for 625-foot spire

But why?

The developer behind what would have been one of Boston’s 10 tallest buildings has scrapped plans to plunk 625 feet atop Copley Place in Back Bay.

Simon Properties’ 52-story tower was due to include 542 condos and apartments as well as retail, and had been a long, long time in coming. Plans for it stretch back nearly a decade; and survived not only the Great Recession but vociferous neighborhood opposition.

In the end, though, what seems to have doomed the Copley Place addition is a fear on the part of the developer that Boston’s luxury real estate market is—get this—slowing. Per Tim Logan in the Globe:

In a conference call with analysts Wednesday, Simon chief executive David Simon said his company was scrapping the project due to "rapidly rising construction costs" in Boston and a worry there is more high-end housing coming than the market can support.

Given that construction costs have always been rather high around here, it’s more likely Simon hit the brakes on so monumental a project because it would have been too difficult to sell the condos (and rent out the apartments) at sums justifying the development’s costs.

Or maybe not? The developers in Winthrop Square and Christian Science Plaza certainly don’t think there’ll be fire sales any time soon.