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Winthrop Square Tower Scheduled To Break Ground In Late October

Winthrop Center rendering

Work is expected to finally begin on one of the most debated pieces of property in Boston history. 

Following a Boston City Council vote Wednesday that approved the funding from the sale of a city-owned parking garage at Winthrop Square to Millennium Partners, the developer announced it will break ground Oct. 24 on its planned 691-foot tower.

The $1.3B, mixed-use project, officially named Winthrop Center, comes after more than a decade of calls for an iconic building on the property. Neighbors, developers and city leaders didn’t always agree on how that icon should look.

The late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino pressed for a 1,000-foot skyscraper on the site in 2006. A global economic crisis two years later and objections by the Federal Aviation Administration over something so tall interfering with operations at Boston’s Logan International Airport stood in the way of Menino’s vision of creating a sky-high legacy to his tenure as mayor. Plans were revived on a shorter scale several years later, with Millennium Partners winning a bidding process in 2016 to develop at the site. 

Heated debate over potential shadows created by the building and continued height objections from the FAA led Millennium to shorten the tower from its original 775-foot design to its current 691-foot plan. Boston is expected to make $153M from the garage sale to Millennium, and the city intends to use the money toward park funding and affordable housing projects. 

When completed, Winthrop Center will be Boston’s fourth-tallest building after 200 Clarendon St., the Prudential Tower and Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences tower, respectively.