Neighborhood Groups Oppose Winthrop Square Proposal

By Phil Orlandella

Opponent after opponent continues trying to halt a proposal by Millennium Partners for a $1 billion 775-foot tower on the city owned garage site at Winthrop Square.

Several neighborhood groups and individuals have for some time objected to the project’s violation of a State Shadow Law that limits shadows on new developments that can cast on Boston Common and the Public Garden and changes by the city to skirt those regulations.

Some say changing the law would set a bad precedent that other developers will eventually take advantage of.

The shadow laws have been in place for over a quarter of a century during which Boston has undergone an unprecedented surge of construction.

A project opponent noted, in an email, “The land is open space where citizens and others gather to enjoy the elements that tall buildings could diminish for many people.”

Millennium Partners has claimed in a recent article, “They will welcome dialogue with all concerned parties to create a transformative development at Winthrop Square that will possibly positively impact and benefit the city for years.”

Reportedly, the city stands to make $153 million from the sale of the one-acre site.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has pledged proceeds to parks, open space and affordable housing improvements.

One Beacon Hill resident suggested the city find other ways to raise revenue.

Many neighborhood organizations have opposed or want changes made on the scale of the project but basically, they do not want the Shadow Law altered to accommodate this or any other project.