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Winthrop Square tower proposal faces turbulence from airport operator

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Could mean big height-chop

The Massachusetts Port Authority has come out formally against plans for a tower of up to 775 feet at downtown Boston’s city-owned Winthrop Square Garage.

The tower would be the tallest residential one in New England and one of the tallest buildings overall in the U.S. north of New York City.

Concerns about the potential shadows it might cast over the Boston Common and the Public Garden had already appeared to preclude the spire from reaching developer Millennium Partners’ desired height.

But, now, it seems likelier that Massport’s concerns, especially re: how 775 feet might affect flights in and out of Logan Airport, will doom the current plans. Specifically, Massport is urging Millennium—the same folks behind Millennium Tower, New England’s current tallest residential tower—to chop its Winthrop Square plans to 710 feet.

That might not sit well, per the Globe’s Tim Logan: “Cutting the tower by 65 feet would lop four or five stories off the 60-story tower, probably not a deal-killer for a project estimated to cost $1 billion. But that could reduce the city’s payday. Under Millennium’s deal with the BPDA, $50.8 million of the $152.8 million purchase price is tied to the sale of condos in the tower. Fewer floors could mean fewer condos, which could mean less cash for the city.”

Still, a shorter tower might assuage the shadow concerns. Stay tuned—it’s not clear yet what Millennium makes of Massport’s objections.