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Developer building Winthrop Square tower wants to shrink size, change condos to apartments; blames funding collapse due to coronavirus

Millennium Partners yesterday asked the BPDA to let it shave a wing off its unfinished building at Winthrop Square, which would reduce the number of residential units from 387 to 321 - and it wants to rent those units out as apartments, rather than sell them as condos.

In its request to the BPDA, the developer blamed "the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic" for making it harder to gain financing to finish the building, already under way and to then attract the sort of buyers who previously might want to put down seven figures for units with serious views in downtown Boston.

The company said its plans for 772,000 square feet of office space in the tower and four levels of parking under it remain unchanged. Also:

The Great Hall/Connector remains at its original size and magnificence at 40’ wide by 60’ tall.

Millennium paid the city roughly $100 million for the site, formerly occupied by a municipal parking garage, and had agreed to pay out another $50 million as the condos were sold. The Globe reports that Millennium says it still plans to make good on that remaining $50 million in payments despite the reduction in the number of units and their change from condos to apartments.

The purchase price is in addition to roughly $13.7 million the developer has paid into BPDA funds for housing and jobs creation. About half the money will go towards construction of a Chinatown building that would include affordable apartments and condos, a hotel and a permanent Chinatown branch of the Boston Public Library.

Winthrop Center Project notice of project change (4.8M PDF).

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Comments

Amazing how quickly these folks change their tune about having apartments vs condos when they realize the economy has tanked and they can't sell a 2mil condo to some investor any more.

More of this please, and less "Luxury Condos".

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Voting closed 38

But "luxury" rentals aren't going to be much more affordable than condos.

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... silver lining!

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Not a good sign. If Mellenium Partners is doing this, then who knows what the future holds for other blue chip developers with real property in Boston. Lots of unfinished projects for years? Economic collapse? History repeats itself.

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The boomtown Boston construction will get downsized for those projects that already have financing and stop for those who don't.

All those Imagine 2030 plans will be strained, the preoccupation with luxury condos and neglect of equity and affordability will be an old, painful chapter in City Hall history.

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