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Gone, Baby, Gone-dola: Another Part Of Millennium’s Seaport Plan Gets The Chop

Rendering of Cargo Ventures' July proposal for a 900K SF Seaport innovation campus. It has since shrunk the plans by more than half.

Millennium Partners has scaled down plans for its South Boston Innovation Campus for the second time this year, according to a letter of intent filed with the Boston Planning & Development Agency. 

ICCNE LC, a development entity led by Millennium affiliate Cargo Ventures, now plans a 380K SF office and lab development with ground-floor retail on the T and T-1 parcels in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Industrial Park.

The developer had filed an LOI in July that called for 900K SF of development, which was down from the original 2.7M SF floated in 2017, when it came with a $100M aerial gondola network to connect the project from the eastern edge of the Seaport to South Station. 

“Our new proposal has been redesigned to a size that we believe can be entitled expeditiously, which allows the commencement of construction by the end of 2020 or early 2021 to meet current tenant opportunities,” Cargo Ventures CEO Jacob Citrin said in a statement. “We are entitling a building that could be approved and built quickly versus focusing on a larger project. We remain confident in the Boston market. The leasing market is vibrant and we want to capture that momentum.”

Millennium’s project comes as the A Street corridor on the other side of the Seaport has taken off with development plans for life science and innovation-minded projects. Related Beal plans a three-building mixed-use project on former Gillette land it acquired in May for $218M. Alexandria Real Estate Equities and National Development are still underway with plans to develop the former General Electric headquarters construction site next door

The original plans for Millennium’s innovation hub are a short-lived, opinion-packed memory. The aerial gondola proposal sparked heated debate over whether a private developer should have a stake in the region’s transit system and whether time and resources would be better spent on improving the neighborhood’s bus network. 

The gondola plan hit turbulence first in the spring of 2018 after Millennium Partners missed a deadline to strike a land deal with a seafood tenant in the Marine Park. That shrunk its potential footprint in the area to build out the transit plan. The developer eventually handed over the gondola plan to Boston officials to consider in a Seaport transportation study. 

While the gondola’s wires haven’t been officially snipped, there has been no mention of the plan in the developer’s last two LOIs to the BPDA.