Massport puts Seaport parcel up for grabs again
Millennium Partners made its name in Boston by building bold towers that reach to the sky. But the politically-astute developer finds itself vexed by a different project, one that’s decidedly less glamorous.
A Millennium affiliate has lost its right to develop a 6.8-acre parcel in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park controlled by the Massachusetts Port Authority. After the Millennium affiliate was unable to work out a deal with a seafood company it wants to move to the location, Massport moved on and put the property out to bid Friday.
The location is near the site of a major complex that Millennium plans to build in the industrial park. The company has also floated the idea of building an aerial gondola between that section of the Seaport and South Station.
On the Massport property, Millennium had until the end of May to begin work on one of two buildings: a fish processing center for Stavis Seafoods, and a trucking depot for Boston Freight Terminals. Millennium missed the deadline because it wasn’t able to work out a deal with Stavis. The developer had asked Massport to subdivide the land so it could begin work on the Boston Freight building.
After a meeting earlier in June with Millennium did not result in progress, Massport chief executive Thomas Glynn said it was time to look for another developer interested in building a maritime industrial project there.
“We didn’t really see a big advantage in waiting,” Glynn said. “We have an obligation to make these parcels available for the [agency’s maritime] mission.”
Millennium representatives did not return requests seeking comment.
Glynn said the agency isn’t ruling out that Millennium might apply again.
“Maybe we’ll start from scratch,” Glynn said. “Maybe that would be helpful for everybody.”
Millennium and Massport have a long history with the property, some of it contentious. A Millennium affiliate was first designated as the developer for a larger, 30-acre swath of Massport-controlled land along the waterfront in 2005, but struggled to pull off a project. The two sides worked out a deal in 2016 to carve out the smaller 6.8-acre section. Massport subsequently sought developers for the rest of the property, known as the Massport Marine Terminal.
The other complex Millennium wants to build is a few blocks away in the industrial park, an “innovation campus” of up to 2 million square feet that would host white-collar jobs. As part of the project, the developer is considering a terminal nearby for a proposed gondola that would whisk commuters above Summer Street to South Station.