Thursday, July 5, 2012

Changes in Downtown Crossing

By: Robert Gorden

Downtown crossing used to be a vibrant, fun,  popular area with shops, restaurants and large amounts  of  foot traffic . With the Copley Mall and Newbury Street taking over as our primary shopping areas, Downtown Crossing hasn’t been the same. There were whispers of turning the area into  a student village for both Suffolk University and Emerson College, who both occupy parts of Downtown Crossing. Unfortunately, the idea lacked support from the beginning and never came to fruition.   Perhaps the biggest indicator that Downtown Crossing has lost its shine can be found in the empty lot which used to be Filene’s Basement.  The prime location has gone unoccupied for months.

Proposed Drawing of the Bulding
Yet there might be hope for Downtown Crossing after all. Recently, Millennium Partners has announced new design plans for a tower to fill the Filene’s Basement lot which will cost around 615 million dollars. The company plans to turn the land into a tower that would hold approximately 500 residences and would also offer 200,000 square feet of office space, 525 parking spaces and 230,000 square feet of retail stores. 

It would look similar to the John Hancock tower as it would be slim, but tall.  The possibility of that many people living in the building could bring the much needed activity the area’s been desperate for.  With the addition of this tower, up-scale shops, more restaurants and high end retail stores might be tempted to set up shop.   

However, as many businesses, retail shops and restaurants are making their way to the new and improved Seaport district, it might still be hard to lure companies to Downtown Crossing.  The popularity of the Seaport District is on the rise and quickly transforming into a bustling commerce center.  As our Boston Property Management office is located in the Seaport District, we’ve been able to see these changes first hand.

Millennium’s tower could be the start of Downtown Crossing’s renaissance.  It’s a prime location; sandwiched between the Financial District, Government Center and the Boston Common.  We’ll be waiting on the edge of our seats to see if this leads to a resurgence of Downtown Crossing. 

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