Holey moley: Developer that actually builds things downtown to take lead on Filene's project

The lights were on but nobody was home the other night, CKP reports.

The Globe reports Millennium Partners has struck a deal with the owner of the Hole to actually build a tower on the negative space on Washington Street.

Millennium Partners built the Ritz and is currently building a new residential tower on the other side of Washington Street. Vornado Realty Trust of New York tore down most of Filene's - it will remain a "passive" partner in the new project.

Details of the plan - such as the exact specs of the tower and whether the city sweetened the deal with promises of Liberty Mutual-style tax breaks - remain unknown. The Globe says Millennium Partners expects to file its proposal within two months.

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    Great news!

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    Great news!

    Um.

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    "City officials emphasized that Millennium will lead the project, with Vornado taking take a more passive role."

    A MORE passive role? How could Vornado get any more passive about this project than they already are?

    Seriously though, this is great news. I'm sick of walking past that ugly scar every day and seeing it outside the office windows.

    It will be really good to

    It will be really good to finally see steel rising up from the pit of gloom. It's a bit of a shock to say this, but we appear to have the beginnings of a construction boom in Boston.

    Maybe

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    The newly discovered inability to get into and out of downtown without a car (unless you already live along a subway line) will most certainly put a damper on the attractiveness of downtown properties.

    Here's hoping!

    My experience with Millennium has been mostly positive. I'm hopeful they'll come up with a decent proposal and carry it out properly. This is potentially great news.

    I'll believe it when I see it

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    I'll believe it when I see it being done. Speaking of the 'other side of Washington Street' - the side directly across from the Hole, we must have at least a half dozen empty storefronts now that Borders and FYE have joined Barnes and Noble and sundry other businesses in closing shop. What's the game-plan there? More than likely the mysterious owners of those properties will continue to sit on these blights until any new tower is built so as to jack up the rent when its completed. (side note - wouldn't a Starbucks in the old Border space be a good idea? The only one in DTX, on Winter Street, has no space to sit. Just think of all the Emerson and Suffolk kids lounging with their iPads while listening to readings and acoustic sets - just like Borders used to have...)

    School Street

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    Theres also a Starbucks on School Street in DTX, across from the former Borders.

    Oh, yeah, forgot about that

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    Oh, yeah, forgot about that one - but again, it just has a few tables. I'm talking about a place where you can stretch out on sofas and study or read. Seems a natural for an area with so many students.

    Not down there too often, are you

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    It would be the only Starbucks in that area, if you didn't count the one across the street from it on School Street and the other just a block down from it across Pi Alley. Otherwise you're spot on.

    Coincidence that this is resolved after Kevin White lauded?

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    Knowing the way that the buffoonish Menino operates, I can't help but wonder if the plaudits recently heaped on Mayor Kevin White for encouraging development and changing the skyline didn't cause Mumbles to order his minions to finally, finally deal with "the hole". Is it possible that Menino is just smart enough to realize that when his "legacy" is compared to Whi.... Never mind, there is no comparison.

    More likely: Steve Murphy's

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    More likely: Steve Murphy's ultimatum that the council would order a citywide casino vote if they didn't budge. Don't forget: the two are linked — Vornado's owner has a minority stake in the East Boston deal at Suffolk Downs.

    These developers don't want that kind of citywide scrutiny on the casino deal. Too expensive, too many concessions.

    While the mayor's been promising them a free ride, Murphy pulled their card and played hardball in recent weeks. You can say it wouldn't have happened without him, but then, why didn't it happen before now?? Murphy should get his share of the credit.

    Murphy's a joke

    "Hardball" would have been pushing for eminent domain- about five years ago. Murphy's certainly been on the council that long. Vornado is still involved, and will probably make a hefty profit from the debacle, after blighting the area for the better part of a decade and contributing to the demise of probably a half-dozen businesses in the area. Their stall tactic worked.

    The casino rhetoric was most likely staged- the Millennium deal was likely already in the works. And I bet the City will pay through the nose with tax breaks or out-and-out grants to these scumbags for the privilege of finally doing what they said they were going to do back in frickin '03 or whatever. Crony capitalism, corporate ass-kissing, and cowardice. It's all a joke, and a disgrace.

    Good to see them putting

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    Good to see them putting something REALLY tall here, at least by Boston standards. 600 ft = 60 stories, if we assume 10 ft/floor.

    awesome

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    Another few hundred empty luxury apartments

    Would you rather see more

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    Would you rather see more under-scaled low density subsidized housing at this prime downtown location that costs taxpayers money in maintenance and social services or a appropriately scaled, for downtown, dense mixed use luxury building which generates a lot of tax revenue to pay for civic amenities, essential services, and social services?

    lost in space

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    Jck there are over 3000 LUXURY units scheduled to come on line in the next couple of years and thousands in the planning process behind that. It takes a six or multiple six figure income to afford this. Our economy is growing but very slowly. Where do you suppose we are going to find 1000 six figure households annuallyfor years to come that want to live in a rental box in the city? This is not a dig on this project it's a dig on the maniacs in the bra who think that if we build it they will come so zoning and planning be damned license boston to the sky. We are about three years from turning boston into Las Vegas or south Florida at this rate. And the way our tax system works it's not just a disaster for the developers- we all pay for their mistakes.

    Where do you think all our

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    Where do you think all our university grads with highly specialized degrees which are needed for six figure salaries go right now that there isn't enough housing stock for them to occupy? Many businesses aren't in Boston simply because there isn't enough or good enough housing to retain their employees. Many tech companies would have a much larger footprint in Boston to pick up MIT's braintrust if there were sufficient housing to keep the talent here.