Filene’s Basement closed in vein?

A Bustling City Center

Downtown Crossing Alive!

Downtown Crossing’s once bustling magnet store, Filene’s Basement, was forced to close for a redevelopment project that promised a 39 story tower holding office space and residential housing. Unfortunately it appears that the project will not be moving forward anytime soon. The City of Boston has pulled the permits due to lack of financing. Pulling the permits is definitely a move on the city’s part to pass the project along to a different developer.

The current developers, Vornado Realty Trust of New York, cannot move forward with the project because of financing troubles. This once bustling Filene’s Basement is now just a big hole in the ground. The Director of Boston Redevelopment commented, “It’s in our best interests for them to find a buyer, someone with the wherewithal and commitment to deliver a project to the city. They have proven unable or unwilling to commit the resources needed to proceed.’’

Construction stalled on the project in 2008 due to the global credit crisis. As a result Boston is currently losing 20 million dollars in tax revenue, has lost 3,300 construction jobs and 218 jobs from the old Filenes Basement. Not to mention the wonderful revitalization that will take place once a project like this succeeds in Downtown Crossing.

Because of the current economic situation Vornado and partner John B Hynes III are going to have a hard time selling. In 2005 the property was bought for 100 million dollars. Many developers have expressed interest but will only consider acquiring the project for much less than 100 million. It could be a while until things move forward.

The facts and quote that appear in this blog were obtained from an article written by Casey Ross, Filene’s site permits revoked, in the Boston Globe on Nov, 18th 2010.

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