Aquarium softens opposition to Chiofaro waterfront tower


The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
April 4, 2017

The most influential critic of a skyscraper proposed for the Boston waterfront appears to be softening its opposition.

The New England Aquarium signaled this week that it could support developer Don Chiofaro’s plans for a 600-foot-tall tower on the site of the neighboring Boston Harbor Garage, as long as the popular tourist attraction is compensated for lost business during construction and the project creates a welcoming environment for the Central Wharf area.

That’s what R.J. Lyman, an attorney for the aquarium, said at a state hearing Monday on new zoning rules for the downtown waterfront that could enable Chiofaro’s long-debated tower. While a number of neighbors remain opposed to the project, the aquarium said it generally supports the zoning rules passed last month by the Boston Planning & Development Agency, with a few caveats. Those rules are now being reviewed by state environmental regulators.

“We think this plan creates a sound foundation and a reasonable framework,” said Lyman, himself a former top environmental regulator under then-governor William Weld. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

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