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South Boston research campus that was supposed to include aerial gondola shrinks

A plan for two parcels would mean the end of another Boston-area surface parking lot

Rendering of a multistory building with a sweeping, wave-like front. Rendering via Handel Architects/Cargo Ventures

An affiliate of Millennium Partners, the same developer behind Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing and the under-construction Winthrop Center in the Financial District, has scaled back its plans for a research campus in South Boston.

The project planned for a pair of adjacent parcels at the Northern Avenue entrance to the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park would run to 381,000 square feet rather than up to 900,000 under a revised proposal filed with the city in mid-October.

Once upon a time, the project was supposed to be even bigger than the 900,000 feet. It was going to run to around 2 million square feet and feature an aerial gondola that would’ve moved the passenger equivalent of 40 city buses per hour back and forth from South Station.

Alas, the scaled-back scale-back seems likelier to nail down the necessary permits, per an executive at the Millennium Partners affiliate, Cargo Ventures. Designed by Handel Architects (which also designed Millennium Tower and is designing Winthrop Center), the revised proposal is also more to scale for the neighborhood, the exec said. Construction could start by the end of 2020.

Interestingly, one of the two parcels is a parking lot over the Ted Williams Tunnel (the other’s an empty warehouse). Its redevelopment would mark the repurposing of yet another Boston-area surface parking lot. Stay tuned.