The Boston Redevelopment Authority announced yesterday that they selected Millennium Partners to redevelop the Winthrop Square Garage.
As previously reported, their proposal calls for a 65 story, 750-feet high building that’s largely the same as the other ones they’ve built over the years. It would have three levels of underground parking, for a total of 550 spaces. At the ground level would be the Great Hall, providing a pedestrian route from Federal Street to Devonshire Street with retail and performance space. There would be two more levels of retail spaces, 14 of office (including seven in a solarium), 14,620 square feet for a business accelerator and topped by 36 floors worth of residences, for around 300 apartments.
The Great Hall is the really interesting feature. Many of its details were inspired by Bates Hall at the Boston Public Library and it should do a decent job of activating the streets it fronts. How they program it and allow it to be used will be the key there.
Unfortunately, 550 parking spots is a black mark. The closed garage had 435 and Downtown hasn’t become a ghost town without them. There’s no reason to build more.