- Boston Mayor Marty Walsh proposed legislation that would allow a residential tower to cast a shadow over two of the city's most iconic public spaces — Boston Common and the Public Garden, according to The Boston Globe.
- The measure would permit developer Millennium Partners to build the 750-foot-tall tower — which would be the city's tallest residential tower — in Winthrop Square but prevent future projects from doing the same. Walsh's bill would restrict zoning in other areas of Boston as well.
- The fact that Millennium is buying the Winthrop Square site from the city for $153 million is a major incentive for Walsh to get this legislation passed. The mayor's rule changes must get legislative approval, as well as a green light from the governor.
Millennium is also the developer involved with the sinking Millennium Tower in San Francisco. There have been multiple legal actions filed in the matter, including one brought by the homeowners' association and the other by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who alleges that Millennium knew the building had serious settling issues but did not disclose that to buyers. So far, the tower has settled 16 inches and tilts 2 inches from it base. Some officials claim the problem lies in the building's design, which did not allow for its foundation piles to reach the solid bedrock below.
Boston is seeing a surge in development, including plans from area firm WS Development to turn more than 12 acres of parking lots in the Boston Seaport District into a nine-building development that will hike the area density by 21% to almost 8 million square feet. The development includes 1.4 million square feet of residential, innovation space, a promenade with shops and restaurants and a public plaza.
The city also introduced a major transportation initiative last month, which, when complete, would better support the development Boston has seen in the last several years. The $4.7 billion plan represents a shift toward mass transit and other alternative forms of transportation, like self-driving vehicles and bikes, and reserves significant funding for projects similar to the Green Line light-rail extension.