The Boston Globe recently reported that the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board has secured a $270 million guarantee from the developers of the Columbus Center project that they will see the expensive four-block deck over the highway to completion.
The guarantee clears another hurdle for the project, which has been 11 years in planning and development, encountered monumental opposition, and finally went into construction only late last year.
Columbus Center is a significant mixed-use six-building development that will be built on top of a deck that stretches over open traffic lanes on the Massachusetts Turnpike from Clarendon to Tremont Streets in Boston’s South End.
An interesting point that the article in the Globe mentions is that the deck will be owned by the Turnpike. The Turnpike Authority amended its air-rights lease with the developers, Winn Development and MacFarlane Urban Realty Co., to clarify the ownership and purpose of the deck on which the mixed-use project is being built on the edge of the Back Bay.
That clarification – stating the deck will be owned by the Turnpike, leased to the developers, and created in part to benefit the public – was necessary for the developers to use $10 million in jobs-creation grants from the state.