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New Developer Plans To Build At Former Filene’s Site 04:27
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The gaping hole in Boston's Downtown Crossing could get a new lease on life.

City of Boston officials hope construction will begin within a year at the former Filene's Basement site after the long-stalled project found a new developer Thursday night.

New York-based developer Millennium Partners has reached a deal to take a 50-percent stake in the project. Millennium says it plans to build a new tower, up to 600 feet tall, with retail, office space and residential units.

Vornado Realty Trust bought the former Filene’s Basement building and promised to construct a hotel, retail and housing complex but the site has remained undeveloped for years.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has long criticized Vornado for its handling of the development.

"Because of the hole in the ground, there's been a perception that the area is struggling and isn't doing well," Rosemarie Sansone, president of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, told WBUR's Morning Edition Friday. "No matter how much we talked about the successes that are happening all around us, people would continually talk about the hole in the ground."

Boston Chamber of Commerce President Paul Guzzi says he's finally confident the project will move forward.

"It's gonna provide jobs and it's gonna further continue the progress and really the transformation of the city that were seeing, so I have no concerns whatsoever," Guzzi said.

Click "Listen Now," above, for the full interview with Sansone.

Earlier:

This program aired on February 3, 2012.

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