Developer pitches new design for Filene’s site

A glass skyscraper at the former Filene’s department store in Boston would rise to 606 feet under a plan released Monday that calls for a dramatic new peak on the city’s downtown skyline with new offices, stores, and 500 homes.

A proposed rendering for the new Filene’s. —Handel Architects

The new design by Millennium Partners of New York calls for a taller and more slender version of the building previously proposed by Vornado Realty Trust and Boston Developer John B. Hynes III. That building failed to move forward due to financial problems, leading Millennium to buy into the project earlier this year and revise its design.

The new plan calls for a dramatic increase in the number of residences, to 500 from a prior plan for 163 units. The design by Handel Architects will preserve the property’s original 1912 building — conceived by noted architect Daniel Burnham — and meld it with a striking glass tower that will cost $615 million.


“The project intends to present the simultaneous and harmonious pairing of new and old, and will consist of uses that will ensure a vital 24/7 city-sector,’’ Millennium Partners said in a statement.

In addition to the residences, which will be a combination of apartments and condominiums, the project will include 230,000 square feet of retail stores — enough to fill two Home Depots — as well as 200,000 square feet of offices and 525 parking spaces.

In a statement Monday, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said: “Millennium Partners has always been a real partner of the City of Boston. They continue to do excellent work leading the way in the building of an exciting new day for the area of Downtown Crossing.’’

Millennium is teaming up with the project’s existing owner, Vornado Realty Trust, which will be a passive investor. It intends to start building later this year. The new design still needs approvals from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Millennium has built large projects in major cities across the country, including the four-building Lincoln Square complex in New York, the Millennium Tower in San Francisco, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Towers down the street from the Filene’s site in Boston.

Anthony Pangaro, who leads the firm’s Boston operations, has deep roots in the city and previously worked for the state’s transportation department, where he helped to develop the Southwest Corridor Park in the Back Bay.

Loading Comments...