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    letters | the fate of the harbor garage

    Chiofaro needed to woo neighborhood more than he did the mayor

    After a prolonged stall in the economy, there are now projected to be more than 11 million square feet of development under construction in Boston by the end of the year. Joan Vennochi’s column “City soars — for some” (Op-ed, Sept. 19) repeats an old theory that the Harbor Garage redevelopment never got off the ground because of the supposed feud between Mayor Menino and develop Don Chiofaro.

    We believe the big reason Chiofaro’s Harbor Garage project is not under way is that he didn’t truly consult the neighborhood or consider what fits the context, as Boston’s successful developers do. In fact Mayor Menino’s appointed chair of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Peter Meade, has suggested that he may well have spent more time with Chiofaro than with any other developer in the city trying to make something work there.

    Any Chiofaro proposal also faces stringent state and city laws and regulations governing what can be constructed in the narrow strip between two Boston treasures — Boston Harbor and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. Harbor Towers’ 1,200 residents represent only one piece of the larger neighborhood, and like many others, we support a great and appropriately scaled redevelopment of the garage.

    Marcelle Willock

    Kitty Armstrong