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Winthrop Square Garage will Have a Lower Tower Height to Meet FAA Regulations

The proposed skyscraper called the Winthrop Square Garage is one of the famous development plans in Boston right now. If completed, it would be recognized as the third tallest building in the whole city as well as in New England. Such recognition remains the same even though the developer has announced their willingness to reduce the height of the tower.

Past and Present Plans

Winthrop Square Tower will surpass the Millennium Tower in the city, which has a total of 60 stories. The former will have at least 17 feet additional height than the current third tallest building in the entire Boston area. After the completion of the Winthrop Square Garage Tower, Millennium Tower would be considered the fourth tallest structure.

The tower would be built on the defunct Garage right in the Financial District of the city. During the first stages of the plan, six developers pitched their designs for the tower. Finally, the Boston Redevelopment Authority chose the Millennium Partners to develop the site.

Last year, the construction was approved but Millennium Partners increased the planned height of the tower to 775 feet after just a month of its approval. It caused some people to oppose the construction of the building. Just recently, the planned height of the building was cut to 702 feet.

What Does the Project Involve?

The Winthrop Square Tower would serve as a redevelopment of the site. Therefore, as part of the process, there would be some demolitions involved, including the removal of the existing parking garage that is currently vacant. After that, there would be the construction of the mixed-use tower, which is estimated to take at least 1.1 million square feet up to 1.5 million square feet.

The skyscraper would include spaces for restaurants, parking, office, retail, and residential. There will also be a Great Hall and is planned to have a total of 460 residential units.

The Controversies Surrounding the Construction of the Tower

Some residents and activists were not happy with the plans for the tower. Their biggest reason is that the building would cast a large shadow all over the Boston Common. It would last for at least 90 minutes on regular mornings. The state law prohibits casting of shadows on two sites in the city, which is the Public Garden and of course, Boston Common.

The construction of the tower was also delayed because the Massachusetts Port Authority, Massport, claimed that the height of the tower would disturb the normal air traffic, causing flight problems from the Logan Airport.

The Mayor of Boston has already expressed his sentiments on the issue. According to him, he proposed to change that particular law of the state. This way, the building’s construction would commence; however, he wants the change to prevent more developments in the area in the future.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the State, William Galvin, tried to persuade lawmakers to postpone a critical vote that would begin the construction of the soaring residential tower in the city. Millennium Partners, however, were willing to pay Boston more than $150 million for the approval of the tower’s construction at 240 Devonshire Street.

The originally planned height of the tower was modified just this September 2017 to meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations. The FAA reasoned out that the proposed height was too tall, which would certainly cause disruptions of flight from the international airport of the city.

Will the Tower Construction Ever Start?

After the new proposal was submitted by the developer to the FAA, the authorities will review the plan. Unfortunately, it could take several months, and there would also be a period for the announcement. Nevertheless, even though the shrinkage has affected the total height of the building, it will still be considered one of the tallest in New England as it towers over other residential buildings in the region.

According to the developer, the height reduction would lead to a decrease in the planned office space of the tower and not the condominiums.