Last Thursday, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved real estate developer Millennium Partners’ $615 million proposal to redevelop One Franklin Street in Downtown Crossing. The project will include a 625 foot structure, Millennium Tower, as well as a renovated Burnham Building. Plans include “600 condominiums and apartments, up to 218,000 square feet of office space and as much as 231,000 square feet of retail” [Boston Business Journal]. Furthermore, the project aims to preserve the historic Burnham Building, which was built in 1912 and was occupied by William Filene and Sons’ department store (Filene’s) until its closure in 2006.
Above: a rendering of the proposed Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing
Millennium Partners’ redevelopment plans follow a failed attempt by Vornado Realty Trust to develop the area in 2008. Vornado Realty proposed a $700 million redevelopment of the site; however, hit by hard economic times was not able to finance the project. Mayor Thomas Menino has referred to the site as ‘the centerpiece of Downtown Crossing,’ and has been an advocate for the revitalization of the Downtown Crossing area [Boston.com]. In fact, earlier this year Mayor Menino allocated $3.2 million to revamp sidewalks, roads, and signs in Downtown Crossing.
Founded in 1991, Millennium Partners has accumulated a real estate portfolio worth over $4 billion and is aggressively expanding nationally. Millennium Partners’ has an impeccable portfolio of Boston developments including: the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Boston Commons, One Charles in the Back Bay, as well as a new development, Millennium Place, that broke ground in November of 2011. Construction of Millennium Place, a $220 million residential building, is to be completed in fall of 2013 with the initial sales center set to open in late 2012.