By Tim Logan and Joshua Miller
June 12, 2017
The City of Boston, Baker administration officials, and key Beacon Hill lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement on a deal that would smooth the way for a massive skyscraper to rise over Winthrop Square and could help finance the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway over the next decade.
State Representative Aaron Michlewitz Monday filed a bill that would change laws governing shadows cast on Boston Common and the Public Garden, key to plans for a 775-foot tower that developer Millennium Partners wants to build on the site of a shuttered city parking garage on Devonshire Street.
As part of closed-door negotiations around the legislation, Michlewitz, Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston, state officials, and the nonprofit that runs the 17-acre Greenway are finalizing a deal that could generate $2 million to $3 million a year in funds from the city, state, and neighboring property owners.
“This is a huge win for my constituents,” said Michlewitz, who represents much of downtown Boston and whose support was considered key to passing a new shadow law. “The Greenway is something that’s used by everyone in the City of Boston and the Commonwealth. For us to get something to help it long term is a huge victory for all of us.”
The state owns the land that the Greenway is on and currently gives the Greenway Conservancy $2 million a year, about 40 percent of its budget, to run and maintain the park. But the agreement expires June 30 and the state, which has contributed more than $15 million since 2009, has long warned it no longer wants to commit that kind of money.