Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Filene's building sweepstakes underway

Seven developers are interested in the Filene's building, according to the Globe.

It's a complicated deal, because the building is protected as a historic site, and Filene's Basement has a long-term lease, popular support and plenty of political cover. I'm OK with a residential tower going up over the building, which at least one developer is proposing. Creating a residential component will inject new life into the area.

Of course, people get stupid when it comes to Downtown Crossing. When the city confirmed a million-dollar spruce-up for the area a couple of months ago, critics screamed about the mallification of the area. If people get that huffy about new planters and restored sidewalks, what will they think of condos in the area?

But putting people in the area puts action on the street level. It'll help foster movement in the area after 7 p.m., which is a major problem for such a marquee destination.

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