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New Downtown Crossing skyscraper to rival Millennium Tower

Midwood, a New York development company, released plans for its 683-foot tower in Downtown Crossing, the second tower that would be built in that part of the city. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

Another huge tower could be coming to Downtown Crossing.

New York-based developer Midwood has released more details of its plans to build a 683-foot tower on the corner of Washington and Bromfield streets, a sort of twin to the Millennium Tower across the street.

Images filed with the Boston Civic Design Commission show a rounded, twisting tower atop a five-story podium. From some angles the images depict the 59-story Midwood tower to be slightly higher than the Millennium, which would make it the tallest building in downtown Boston.

The tower is being designed by the Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.


And it would transform one of Boston’s busiest thoroughfares, replacing several older buildings on Washington and Bromfield streets with a glassy five-story facade. The base of the building will have retail stores, with a 235-car garage above them and space for 419 bicycles. The tower itself will be mostly residential, with 300 rental units, 119 condos on the upper floors, and 54 affordable units mixed within, according to a presentation Midwood submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The company is scheduled to make a presentation Tuesday evening at City Hall before the Boston Civic Design Commission, a BRA board that reviews proposals for their architecture.

High-end condo towers in prime locations of Boston have fared well so far; developers of the Millennium Tower said they have sold more than 95 percent of its units ahead of its scheduled opening later this year.

But several other projects are now under development—from One Dalton and 40 Trinity Place in the Back Bay to a 600-unit condo development in the Seaport District— that will test the market by the time this tower is ready to open, likely several years from now.

Midwood has owned the site for nearly a decade ago and had initially sought to build a smaller residential tower until the recession hit. In recent months, it has been working to revive the redevelopment, meeting with neighborhood groups and city officials.


Jonathan Greeley, director of development review at the BRA, said his agency expects Midwood to file a project impact report “any day now,” restarting the formal development review process. In a statement, Midwood said it would submit its project after finishing outreach meetings with the city, neighbors, and civic groups. Tuesday’s meeting with the BCDC is part of that outreach.

While several civic groups are holding off comment until the project had been officially filed, some neighbors have concerns with what they’ve seen.

The trustees of 45 Province, a newer condo building further up Bromfield Street from the Midwood project, sent a letter to the BRA blasting the project just one day after meeting with the developers.

“To be blunt, we have so many concerns that we do not even know where to begin,” Douglas Fiebelkorn, a 45 Province trustee, wrote in the letter.

Another resident, Debra Taylor Blair, who also runs a real estate data firm based in Downtown Crossing, said the Midwood tower is the latest project asking for big changes to the city’s zoning rules. That’s a sign, she said, that City Hall needs to review what is appropriate for this older stretch of Downtown Crossing.

“There needs to be clarity around longer-term goals and a plan for the area,” she said. “You have these sites zoned for 150 feet and people proposing nearly 700-foot towers. That’s just a really big disconnect.”


The BRA has also heard concerns about traffic in the area, Greeley said, especially for projects on pedestrian-oriented Washington Street. And the impact of wind and shadows are a perpetual concern. He predicted a thorough public debate before One Bromfield is fully permitted.

“This is an ambitious project,” he said. “We feel like there’s going to be a lot of conversation on this one.”

The tower will be mostly residential, with 300 rental units, 119 condos on the upper floors, and 54 affordable units mixed within, according to a presentation Midwood submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

Tim Logan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bytimlogan.