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News Notes: Mayor Thomas Menino, Millennium Partners celebrate $630M groundbreaking; Roche Brothers to go in Boston Downtown Crossing


Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Millennium Partners celebrated the commencement of construction this week of the Millennium Tower. 

Located in the city’s Downtown Crossing area at the site of the former Filene’s Department Store, the $630 million project consists of the landmark 1912 Burnham Building and a new, mixed-use tower that will rise 625 feet into the Boston skyline. 

“The Filene’s site is synonymous with downtown Boston,” Menino said. “The start of construction celebrates the beginning of a new chapter in the history of this historic building and highlights the promising future that is in store for this neighborhood.”

The proposed 1.4 million-square-foot development is expected to reinvigorate downtown Boston with its innovative office space, dynamic street-level retail and a new level of luxury residential condominium offerings.

“We strongly believe that this new project will support the further economic resurgence of one of the country’s most vibrant urban centers, and will extend residential and retail growth in a continuous stretch from the Theatre District to City Hall,” said Christopher M. Jeffries, founding partner at Millennium Partners.

Millennium Tower will consist of 450 luxury residences and 95,000 square feet of additional retail space on its lower floors. 

Millennium Partners signed its first office lease in April at the same time that construction began, making the Burnham Building the new Boston headquarters of Arnold Worldwide, a subsidiary of Havas Advertising, the world’s sixth-largest communications group.  Arnold’s is slated to move into the Burnham Building in 2014.

In addition, Millennium Partners announced this week that it has reached an agreement with Roche Brothers Supermarkets to bring the retail grocery store chain to downtown Boston. This new store is the first large-scale grocery store to be built in Downtown Crossing and will serve the growing residential neighborhood first initiated by Millennium Partners.

Anthony Pangaro, principal at Millennium Partners/Boston, added, “No neighborhood can be called complete without a food purveyor of the highest quality and good value.  Now, with Roche Brothers, we can truly say that what we have here is a total urban neighborhood place to live.”

The Burnham Building restoration will have the features envisioned by legendary Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, who designed it when he was the most prominent retail merchandising architect in the nation.

The only structure in Boston that Daniel Burnham designed and his last major project, the Burnham Building will be restored to its original grandeur by Handel Architects.