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Mayor Menino considering tax break for Filene's project

Mayor Thomas Menino is considering a tax break for the Downtown Crossing Filene's project.                                                              (Metro file photo) Mayor Thomas Menino is considering a tax break for the Downtown Crossing Filene's project. (Metro file photo)

Mayor Thomas Menino is currently considering a tax break for the Downtown Crossing construction development that is demolishing the former Filene's building.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority confirmed to the Boston Globe on Tuesday the possibilityof a tax deal with Millennium Partners, the developer now building the complexat the Filene’s site that will contain luxury residences, offices, and retail stores.

A spokeswoman for the authority declined to disclose the amount of money under discussion.

But just three years ago, Mayor Menino adamantly refusedtax incentives to former Filene’s developer Vornado Realty Trust of New York.

“This development is too important to Downtown Crossing and to the entire City of Boston to be used as a bargaining chip to improve your bottom line,” Menino wrote in 2010.

Anthony Pangaro of Millennium in Boston told the Globe that the firm is seeking reduced tax payments for a short period to help provide “predictable” costs for prospective retailers and office tenants. He said the downtown area is still up and coming, and that Millenium is working to attract more upscale retailers to the area.

“You’re asking people to make a very long-term commitment in these leases, and they will be pioneers to some extent,” Pangaro told the Globe. “A retailer doesn’t know what he is going to make down here, so we’re trying to take the experimental nature out of it.”

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