From Dave Brigham:
When last I visited this location in downtown Boston, the Winthrop Square Garage was here. Owned by the City of Boston, it had been closed for a while when I snapped my photo (see August 19, 2015, "Misfit Garage"). Last fall, the developer's construction partner, Suffolk Construction, began work on the massive project that will replace what was a fairly modest structure. The first step was to tear down the old garage.
So what's replacing the sad old garage? Winthrop Center, a massive building with perhaps even larger hopes and aspirations. The building will rise 53 stories, 691 feet, and house more than 400 luxury condos on its top 26 floors. Winthrop Center will cost around $1.4 Billion to build and will also have 750,000 square feet of commercial office space on 20 floors below the luxury residences. There will also be a "grand hall," three floors containing 12,000 square feet of public space, connecting Winthrop Square and Federal Street. The connection will be lined with 31,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space as well as 21,000 square feet of shared meeting space, according to both the Elevated Boston and the North End Waterfront web sites.
The developer, Millennium Partners, is well known in Boston, having developed Millennium Tower, Millennium Place, the Ritz-Carlton Towers, 10 St. James Avenue and many other properties in the Hub. Millennium paid the city $163 million, which will be spread across budgets for the nearby Boston Common, as well as Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, Dorchester and Roxbury; completing the Emerald Necklace series of parks; and public housing in South Boston, Chinatown and East Boston, according to this BisNow article.
As for the building itself, Millennium claims it will be the largest passive house office project in the world, using 65% less energy than the average office building in Boston, according to the developer. Watch the video at this link to learn about all the wonderful things Winthrop Center will bring to its residents, office mates, ordinary Bostonians and the world at large. Seriously.
Directly across Devonshire Street from the construction site is 1 Winthrop Square, which was built in 1873 as either a J.M. Beebe & Co. store or the headquarters of the New England Press, depending on which account online you believe.
The building's entryway has "NEW ENGLAND PRESS" chiseled into the stone, so my money's on that. Subsequent to New England Press, the building was home to the Record American, according to this history of the building on the web site of a marketing agency called Brafton, which I don't believe is at this location anymore. The building is home to several businesses, but appears to be undergoing renovation.