Menino threatens Filene's project over developer's remarks
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is threatening to pull the permits of the stalled Filene's redevelopment and even take the property by eminent domain as he fired back as one of its developers, who last week implied he has allowed a project to sit idle in hopes of receiving government aid.
In a letter to Vornado Realty Trust of New York Menino said the city would explore those actions because he was convinced by recent remarks from company chairman Steven Roth that Vornado is deliberately neglecting Filene's so Boston officials will provide more money to pay for its redevelopment.
"This development is too important to Downtown Crossing and to the entire City of Boston to be used as a bargaining chip to improve your bottom line," Menino wrote.
Neither Roth nor Vornado had an immediate response to the letter.
In a talk at Columbia University last week, Roth recounted how he had allowed an Alexander's department store to sit vacant for three years in order to pressure NewYork officials to provide funds to improve it.
In Boston, the $700 million Filene's project, by Vornado and Gale International of Boston, stalled in the summer of 2008. Executives with Gale and Vornado have said they have been unable to borrow the money necessary to resume work on the site.