As the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and the governmental and private sectors formulate their responses, it has become apparent that the associated economic impacts will be significant and affect all sectors of the economy, including construction. Robinson+Cole’s Construction Group has been monitoring these developments and is already seeing preliminary notices being sent out by
What’s Next for the Winthrop Square Development Project?
On July 28, 2017 Governor Baker approved a home rule petition proposed by Mayor Walsh which changed a Massachusetts law so that a skyscraper could be built over the Winthrop Square garage in Boston, Massachusetts. Obtaining the Governor’s approval of House Bill 3749 was a tremendous challenge that the developer, Millennium Partners has now overcome moving one step closer to the construction of the project.
The incumbent Secretary of State, William Galvin, who also serves as chair of the Massachusetts Historical Commission urged the Governor to veto the bill stating in a July 24, 2017 letter: “It is the conclusion of the Massachusetts Historical Commission that the construction of this building at its proposed height would do great damage to historic buildings included on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, including the State House, public parks, and private residences.”…
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A Shadow Cast Over Boston’s Building Boom
There has been a law on the books in Massachusetts since 1990 restricting the construction of tall buildings that would cast what some might view as unsightly shadows over the Boston Common and Public Garden. With no open space remaining for ground up construction in downtown Boston, developers are looking build a 775 foot residential tower that undoubtedly would cast a shadow over the Common and Public Garden in violation of that law; and are thus seeking to change the law. On June 27, 2017, Massachusetts legislators delayed a vote to waive the law. William Galvin, incumbent Massachusetts Secretary of State, asked lawmakers to delay their vote by two weeks so that his office can study the legislation. Secretary Galvin also oversees the Massachusetts Historic Commission.
The proposed 775-foot tower was named by the developer Winthrop Square. According to the Friends of the Public Garden, a park nonprofit advocacy group, the tower, if built would violate the existing shadow laws for 264 days of the year on the Boston Common and 120 days on the Public Garden.
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