Business

Mayor-elect Martin Walsh puts brakes on swift revamp of Boston Redevelopment Authority

Mayor-elect Martin Walsh is sharply curtailing one of his most prominent campaign promises, telling business leaders Thursday he is in no hurry to restructure the powerful city agency behind the building boom sweeping downtown Boston.

As a candidate, Walsh had promised he would move swiftly to dismantle the Boston Redevelopment Authority and replace it with a new agency he said would be more transparent and responsive to neighborhood concerns.

But after many business officials expressed concern that Walsh’s proposal would inadvertently discourage new development in the city, the mayor-elect said he is “not going to move on it fast.”

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“Some of the things we proposed in the campaign, we have to make sure it works,” he said at a gathering of business executives at the Boston Harbor Hotel. “I wouldn’t expect any major change until the second half of my first year in City Hall.”

The mayor reassured the developers, executives and lawyers in the room that he intents to continue to push projects through the pipeline.

“If there’s going to be changes they are going to be well thought out and it’s going to be a collaboration with the business community to make sure that people feel comfortable,” he said. “There’s no way that I want to discourage development.”

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