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Harbor Garage tower could move forward under new waterfront zoning plan

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600 feet on Atlantic Ave.

A new zoning plan for a large swath of the Boston waterfront would allow for a 600-foot tower in place of the Boston Harbor Garage at Milk Street and Atlantic Avenue.

The plan needs approval from the Boston Planning & Development Agency as well as state environmental officials, but, should it it receive the requisite green lights, it would represent a milestone for the area.

Namely, it’s taken developer Don Chiofaro seemingly forever to redevelop the Harbor Garage, with opposition arising not only from would-be neighbors such as the condo owners in Harbor Towers, but the nearby New England Aquarium as well.

More than that, though, a 600-foot tower on the waterfront would signal the potential for a new era of high-rise development in downtown Boston.

Should Chiofaro’s 600-foot proposal go through around the same time as an up-to-775-foot one for the city-owned Winthrop Square Garage, then look out: It would mean three towers of at least 600 feet planned or underway in Boston—the Four Seasons-infused One Dalton is under construction in western Back Bay as you read. It’s due to be 740 feet at its highest point and 699 feet at is highest habitable one.

Again, though, nothing’s finalized re: the Harbor Tower spire. The same opponents might yet object. (Chiofaro, for the record, is fine with the zoning plan, though his firm will have to include more open space in its Harbor Tower designs.)

And the Winthrop Square plan faces its own set of challenges.

Stay tuned.