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Roxbury’s Tremont Crossing plan crumbles amid delays

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The Boston Planning and Development Agency plans to relaunch bidding for the 7.5-acre, city-owned site that could host the largest development in Roxbury in decades

Rendering of a multi-story, rectangular office building.
This is a rendering of part of the now-kaput Tremont Crossing.
Feldco Development

What was supposed to be one of the largest developments in Roxbury in years, if not decades, is going back to the drawing board.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency in mid-October decided not to renew the requisite development designation for the team behind the 1.2 million-square-foot project at Tremont and Whittier streets dubbed Tremont Crossing. Said team hit too many financing speed bumps over the past eight years, as the BPDA saw it.

The agency expects to launch another round of bidding for the 7.5-acre, city-owned development site—one of the largest such sites left in Boston proper—sometime next year, per the Globe’s Jon Chesto. The last development team might bid for the site all over again.

Meanwhile, whatever does fill what’s also known as Parcel P-3 will likely be fitted into a recently wrapped city-driven planning study for Roxbury’s Dudley Square area. That study concluded that future development would have to prioritize public benefit.

“In Roxbury’s Dudley Square, many publicly and privately owned parcels still sit vacant, offering little benefit to Roxbury’s residents,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in an introduction to the study. “We launched PLAN: Dudley Square three years ago to determine if the publicly-owned vacant land in Dudley Square could be put to better use, and how redevelopment could improve the quality of life of residents of Roxbury.”

Tremont Crossing was due to include a new Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists as well as a BJ’s Wholesale Club. It was also supposed to have 727 apartments, many designated as affordable.

The project’s travails come as other major developments around Boston either pivot or pullback completely as well—willingly or not. John Hancock recently announced it was putting its vacant 144,000-square-foot 380 Stuart Street in Back Bay on the market rather than remake it into a major commercial building.

And the firm behind a proposal to construct two towers of 24 and 21 stories on a 2.23-acre parcel along Dorchester’s Morrissey Boulevard have scaled back those plans. Center Court Partners would now build towers of 17 and 15 stories due largely to concerns from some neighborhood residents.

And, in South Boston, an affiliate of Millennium Partners recently shrunk its plans for a research campus. It’s now expected to run to 381,000 square feet rather than 900,000—never mind the 2 million originally proposed.