Don Chiofaro’s Boston Harbor Tower Inches Closer to Reality

The developer that was once something is now blah.

Don Chiofaro's Tower

A rendering of Don Chiofaro’s planned Boston Harbor Garage tower.

A transformative development that could soar 600 feet over Boston Harbor just inched closer to reality.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved a height and density change for the parcel that developer Don Chiofaro has eyes on for a project set to feature a 600-foot tower and 1.3 million square feet of developed space. The change, though, stops short of what Chiofaro is seeking and limits the development’s density to 900,000 square feet. The original site, currently home to an ugly concrete parking lot with no relation to the street or harbor, was zoned for approximately 300,000 square feet and a structure no taller than 150 feet.

The move by the BRA to allow just 900,000 square feet for the project may seem like a blow to Chiofaro’s plans, but in reality, this is the best shake he’s received from Boston City Hall in the last decade. The larger-than-life developer was iced out during the final years of the Menino administration after the two soured on each other. Chiofaro has eyed a tower at his Boston Harbor Garage since 2007 when he bought it with help from Prudential.

The BRA’s move is a significant one because it allows, finally, for the development of a substantial structure at the site, but it by no means green lights the current plans for the site. An additional public meeting on the project is scheduled for June 24 at a location to be determined.

Chiofaro’s planned tower is still in the conceptual phase and no formal filings have been submitted to the BRA according to spokesman Nick Martin.