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BISNOW EXCLUSIVE: A Chat with Mayor Menino

BISNOW EXCLUSIVE: A Chat with  Mayor Menino
With the horrible, abandoned construction site at One Franklin  finally slated for development, Mayor Thomas Menino is looking forward to the Downtown Crossing sighting of his favorite bird: another construction crane.
MAYor Menino
We snapped the mayor in his City Hall office yesterday, where he told us that he helped encourage Vornado to resolve issues concerning the construction project it abandoned on Washington Street. Now he says he's delighted that Millennium Partners has taken control of the site, because the company has a long track record of developing in the submarket, and along with Emerson College, has been reinvigorating the once-forlorn area.
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Mayor Menino
Here's his usual workstation, which he prefers to the fancy desk behind him. He tells us that he spoke to Vertex execs Tuesday, who are as thrilled as he with the 1.1M SF HQ they're building on Fan Pier. The life science company will have the benefit of an efficient campus, a point that he stressed in the many conversations he had with Vertex to encourage its move to Boston from Cambridge. Menino tells us that he's been working on the redevelopment of Fan Pier since the '90s, from negotiations with prior owners (the Pritzkers) and environmentalists to rezoning the area to assure open space and public access to the waterfront. Next door at Pier 4, he says, there will soon be an agreement to build a hotel, as well as the residential and retail already announced by New England Development and Hanover.
Mayor Menino with staff
With the Back Bay now outshining the Financial District as the hot new office submarket, the mayor (here with staffers Kattie Portis, Nigel Jacob, and Dan Loh) says it's just a natural shift in preferences. But he stresses that the city isn't losing businesses since many are relocating from one neighborhood to another. Also, he's confident that as the financial sector?s recovery gains steam, Financial District tenants will once again expand there. He points to this week?s news that Boston Properties is likely to pay $600M for 100 Federal St (see below) as confirmation of the Financial District?s appeal. ?That tells you something,? the mayor says. ?Boston Properties doesn?t make mistakes.?
Mayor menino
And there's more development poised for take-off, he says while holding a construction helmet used by Mayor John Collins (who in the ?60s was the first to occupy the office in the new City Hall). Mayor Menino says that the next big growth area will be East Boston, where development will kick off in the near future on five major sites. Mostly, developers will build housing, which Mayor Menino says the city desperately needs. As for a new casino  somewhere in the city, the mayor wants one, but only if it's a resort-style development that brings Boston economic development and jobs for businesses that supply everything from food to linens and paper products.