- Developer Millennium Partners has once again reduced the height of its controversial Winthrop Square residential mixed-use tower project in Boston, this time to 691 feet, according to Curbed Boston. The revision now makes the tower 84 feet shorter than originally planned.
- The first height reduction down to 702 feet came in September after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expressed concern that the tower might interfere with air traffic in and out of Logan International Airport. The latest change to the building's planned height was made after a review of an environmental-impact report and was likely meant to satisfy the FAA, as well as to placate project critics who complained that the taller version of Winthrop Square would cast a shadow over nearby Boston Common and the Public Garden.
- Before the project can move forward, it must undergo another public review period and reconcile its affordable housing plan with the city's goals. With the new changes, the building will total 1.6 million square feet, including 640,000 square feet of condos and 115,000 square feet of office space, making it the fourth tallest building in Boston.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh supported the project at its original height and pushed through legislation last summer that would permit construction of Winthrop Square, shadows and all. The project also would provide an extra financial boost for Boston as Millennium is paying $153 million for the city-owned site where it will build the tower.
The FAA usually has the final word on whether a project is good to go. Late last year, the administration gave the nod to the new $1.9 billion Las Vegas Raiders stadium after deciding the venue's height would not endanger air traffic in and out of McCarran International Airport.
The move was a big victory for the project as the FAA took more than a year to review and approve the Los Angeles Rams' new $2.6 billion stadium. The approval is contingent upon the Rams purchasing a $29 million radar system that will help Los Angeles International Airport control incoming and departing flights.
In February 2016, FAA questions about air traffic interference led developer Crescent Heights Inspiration Living to reduce the height of its planned Seattle mixed-use tower. In addition to the building potentially threatening air traffic, the agency said cranes used during construction would interfere with emergency helicopter service at a nearby hospital.