More Luxury Apartments. Hooray?

1215613441Downtown Crossing ain’t what it used to be. Back in November, Joe Keohane wrote we might as well let the area fall into complete disrepair so it could be resurrected as something better.

Let it die, so we can rebuild anew from scratch, ideally with more interesting indie businesses, and good music venues, bars and cafes, preferably with outdoor seating and good public art.

It was a beautiful dream while it lasted. But it looks like the city has decided to stick with the tried-and-true luxury apartments route.


A New York developer is proposing to build a $200 million retail and housing development in Downtown Crossing[.]

Midwood Management Corp. wants permission to raze several buildings at the northern corner of Bromfield and Washington streets, and replace them with a 28-story building that will include 260 units of luxury apartment units, three floors of retail space, and three floors of underground parking[.]

We’re guessing that the three floors of retail space probably won’t be home to the independent stores we’d so love to see.

You know what old-school indie business we’d like to see return to the Crossing? Filene’s Basement. Yes, we know it’s a chain store now. But the new location on Boylston Street leaves us cold. There’s no digging through bins. There’s no Automatic Markdown. The thrill of the hunt is gone.

Until the original Filene’s Basement reopens sometime in 2009, we feel that every resource should be dedicated to expediting construction on that building. We want to see Mayor Tom Menino getting his Basement suit covered in mortar as he lays bricks feverishly instead of giving tours to developers.

Besides, who wants to live in a Filene’s-free Downtown Crossing?