Developer concedes ground in Seaport waterfront battle

The Boston Globe | By Tim Logan
November 25, 2016

seaport-battleThe developers of a controversial condo tower in the Seaport District are offering to change the building and add more public amenities in their bid to win the blessing of state environmental regulators.

The changes by Cronin Holdings LLC include making the footprint for the proposed 22-story tower at 150 Seaport Boulevard, slightly smaller, providing public access to its ground floor, and paying for an upgraded water taxi terminal.

The measures were outlined in a letter the Boston Planning & Development Agency sent to state officials earlier and released Wednesday.

It’s the latest move in an ongoing chess match between Jon Cronin, who wants to build the 250-foot condo tower on a tiny lot on Seaport Boulevard at the site of two bars, and environmental groups who say the project will block off the waterfront and set dangerous precedents for construction over the water. One controversial aspect: Cronin would build an extension of the city’s Harborwalk over the water.

Although the tower has received approvals from the city, it needs an OK from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Peter Shelley, senior counsel at the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental group that has threatened to sue to block the building, said the letter suggests state officials have pressured Cronin to lessen the effects of his project. But Shelley said Cronin needs to make many more changes before his building passes environmental muster.

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