On Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 Millennium Partners broke ground on their next big project in Boston. The project, called Millennium Tower, is located at Downtown Crossing and will be part restoration and part new construction, as it fuses the old and much loved Filene’s Building in with a stunning sixty-story glass tower. The reactivation of the Filene’s building has been a dream since the store closed in 2006. The structure holds a special place in the hearts of many Bostonians who remember holiday trips to Filene’s or the deals found in the inimitable Basement store.
Filene’s was started in Boston in 1851, and grew to become the “World’s Largest Specialty Store”, and to revolutionize the way that people shop. The landmark Filene’s store on the corner of Washington and Summer Streets was opened with much fanfare in 1912. Placed prominently in the heart of Boston’s downtown shopping district, Filene’s hired one of the most famous American architects of his day, Daniel Hudson Burnham who was known for his design of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Union Station in Washington DC, and the Flatiron Building in New York City. However, he had also become the premiere architect in the emerging field of department store design. As a result, the Filene building was created specifically for the modern shopper.
In its new incarnation, Burnham’s famed building will once again serve the tailored commercial needs of the people of Boston. This is not the first development project that Millennium Partners has undertaken in the Hub. They are currently putting the finishing touches on Millennium Place, an upscale condominium building further down Washington Street. They were also developers of the new Ritz Carlton hotel and residences on Avery Street, completed in 2001, so they know first-hand that the woes of the Combat Zone are over, and that Downtown Boston is, in fact, an attractive and centrally located place to live. With this in mind, Millennium is trying to outfit the Burnham building, and its connected tower with the needs of a modern apartment dweller. They just finalized a deal with local grocery company, Roche Bros., which will be tenants in the remodeled building and the first full-service grocery store downtown. So, once again the building will be supplying every day needs to the hustle and bustle of a growing downtown residential neighborhood.
Historic Boston is so pleased to see that Millennium Partners has taken on another catalytic restoration project in the heart of Boston. HBI holds an easement on the Albany Building, a preservation project completed by Millennium in 2007. They have a proven track record of devoting themselves to the revitalization of urban downtowns through thoughtful development, and their work in Boston is no exception. In yet another act of support for Preservation in the Hub, Millennium Partners also made a significant contribution to HBI’s Trilogy Fund last week, for which we are very honored and grateful.
We look forward to seeing Burnham’s famous Filene’s Building returned to its original splendor.