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Rendering a glassy tower coming out of a squat train station. Hines

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South Station tower could start construction in 2019—really

The long-planned project, which would feature a 678-foot glassy tower erupting out of New England’s busiest train and bus hub, has new investors

It’s one of the biggest what-ifs in Boston-area real estate: the redevelopment of South Station, featuring a ginormous (for Boston) tower plunked on top of New England's busiest train and bus hub.

After fits and starts going back about a decade, it looks as if the project really is a go.

Hines, the Houston-based developer that has long had the go-ahead at South Station, plans to ask the Boston Planning & Development Agency on Thursday to approve two commercial investors in the project. That funding—the amount of which has not been disclosed—would come from Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management and New York private equity giant Dune Real Estate Partners, per the Globe’s Tim Logan.

The funding would allow Hines to start the project, which the company estimates could take up to four years to finish. Construction could start before the end of 2019.

The crux is a 678-foot tower that would instantly become one of the 10 tallest in the Boston area and one of its most distinct, erupting as it would from South Station at its ninth floor and rising to 51 total.

It would also join a slew of projects on and around other transportation centers, including Back Bay Station and North Station.

The South Station tower is due to have 175 condos on its upper floors and 768,000 square feet of office space below. The project, too, would include an expanded bus terminal, an 895-spot parking garage, a separate 279-foot office component, and a separate 349-foot residential (or hotel) tower.

Interestingly, Hines is planning to move ahead without a tenant to anchor the office portion. As for the condos in the 1.1 million-square-foot tower, it’s likely they’ll find a warm reception in a housing-starved Boston, even years from now. Stay tuned.

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