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Boston gives tax breaks to build Lovejoy Wharf

Converse’s move from North Andover was made official yesterday at a conference with Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Converse’s move from North Andover was made official yesterday at a conference with Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The City of Boston will grant up to $10 million in tax breaks to the Lovejoy Wharf project, which could revitalize a section of the waterfront near TD Garden.

Peter Meade, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, said the full $10 million will only be granted if the project’s main tenant, Converse Inc., retains the 400 employees it is bringing to the city for the project.

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“We think this is a win-win-win for us,” said Meade, adding that the redeveloped Lovejoy Wharf will produce $63 million in tax revenue for the city over the next 25 years, compared with $19 million under the current conditions.

At a press conference Tuesday, Converse’s chief executive, Jim Calhoun, officially acknowledged what has been reported for weeks: His company will move its world headquarters to Lovejoy Wharf from North Andover in 2015.

“We have an incredible opportunity to reenergize the northern gateway to the city, and to create a dynamic new place for all Bostonians to be really proud of,” Calhoun said.

The $230 million redevelopment of Lovejoy Wharf will include a 187,000-square-foot office building for Converse, as well as an adjacent building with 100 residences.

The project will include ­retail shops, a restaurant and outdoor cafe, and a new public park along the water with floating docks and a visitor center.

City officials said the tax breaks will help pay for the public improvements and help make the deal financially feasible for developers Beal Cos. and Related Cos., as well as Converse.

The sports apparel company is owned by Nike Inc., which reported revenue of $24.1 billion in its last fiscal year.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.
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