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Plans for Harbor Garage redevelopment shrink, though still controversial

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It’s also not clear what would go in a new tower

Developer Don Chiofaro has been trying to build on the Boston Harbor Garage for what feels like ages. Plans once called for a dramatic pair of towers that would include some 1,300,000 square feet and touches such as a seasonal open space that can be roofed during the colder seasons.

That plan shrunk amid withering neighborhood opposition to its scope as well as its possible effects on traffic, access to the waterfront, and, um, how it would affect fish at the neighboring New England Aquarium. (And earlier plans disappeared amid civic opposition that included a feud between Chiofaro and then-Mayor Tom Menino.)

Now, Chiofaro and team are back with a new plan: 900,000 square feet of ... something.

"The truth is we don’t know whether and when we can make it work at 900,000 square feet, but if that’s the hand we’re dealt, we’re damn sure going to try," Chiofaro told the Globe’s Tim Logan.

The (relatively) smaller, single building would be within existing zoning for the area, so, theoretically at least, it should not face too much opposition. But opposition there will be: Some in the area, including at the Harbor Towers condos, still object to the scope and to the possible effects on the fish and the waterfront access (and Chiofaro’s plans to sink the garage underground).

Meanwhile, the developer isn’t quite sure what would go in the reduced building—probably still a mix of condos, office, hotel rooms, and retail. Only the market knows, though. Stay tuned.