Columbus Center Now Stalled

As you know, developers of Columbus Center requested an 18-month moratorium on construction earlier this year, effectively leaving the state of the entire project in limbo. Developers met with officials from the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) on May 1, 2008 to discuss the developers’ attempts to get the project back on track.

Information flowing from the South End News earlier this month paints a somewhat positive picture that parties are moving towards a resolution.

Jessica Shumaker, a spokeswoman for the BRA, said that “nothing really was settled from the meeting.” After filling the agency in on their current situation, the developers, represented by the local Winn Development Company, told the BRA that they’re still exploring their options. “We’re still very much working hard to see if this project can move forward and how we can get it to move forward,” said Shumaker. As for the developers, she said, “They were very committed, they weren’t trying to say to us that they were stepping away at all.”

Last week, the South End News reported that the construction on the Columbus Center site would continue at a slower pace over the next 18 months, according to Alan Eisner, a spokesman for the developers. Eisner said that the developers would be doing “minimal work there” so as to “keep the site in play.”

“If it keeps them going until they can get things finalized and fully move forward, I would say that further proves that they’re committed to finding a solution so that they can move forward,” said Shumaker. “I would say that’s a positive that they’re doing everything they can to get this up and running.”

Given the significant ups and downs that the Columbus Center project has experienced over the years, the only thing that is clear now is that Winn Developers (in business with California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and MacFarlane Partners on this deal) will continue to search for financing to make the development happen – the timeline, however, is uncertain.