Chiofaro revises plan for waterfront project
The revised plans for the towers appears at right, with the old tower plans shown at left.
Developer Donald J. Chiofaro today unveiled his latest revision of the Harbor Garage redevelopment, proposing a pair of angular towers reaching 470 feet and 615 feet, respectively.
The plan, at a cost of $1 billion, is roughly 20 percent smaller than Chiofaro's initial plan but is still significantly taller than the city's 200-foot building guideline for the property. The garage is situated at a highly sensitive location between the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and Boston Harbor. It also abuts the New England Aquarium.
But to this point, relations between Chiofaro and the city have been extremely turbulent, a dynamic that promises to make a compromise more elusive. A couple months ago, the city released a study of height limits along the Greenway that established a 200-foot guideline for Chiofaro's property, and city officials have not shown a willingness to be flexible on that front. Chiofaro also unveiled the revised the design to the media before he showed it to neighbors and city officials he must persuade to support it.
Officials at the Boston Redevelopment Authority could not immediately be reached for comment today on Chiofaro's latest proposal.
In addition to reducing the project's height, Chiofaro substantially altered the design. The revised towers, which would contain offices, a hotel, and residences, are more angular than before, twisting upward to sloped rooftops. Chiofaro also changed plans for a promenade between the two towers, making it a zig-zagging pathway instead of straight opening to the water.
Despite the acrimony that has thus far prevented the project from moving forward, Chiofaro said he thinks latest version can open the channels of communication. He said the project would generate 7,000 new jobs and $20 million in annual tax revenue for the city.
"This is the most important site on the Greenway," he said. "It's a place the city and the financial district can make a statement not only about themselves, but about the city's future. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and we shouldn't miss it."
The revised tower plans are part of a sweeping waterfront plaza redesign previously proposed by Chiofaro, with the aquarium as its centerpiece. The plaza would connect with the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and offer more space for food vendors, public art, a fountain, and other uses.
Related: Don Chiofaro's evolving tower plans