What’s Next for the Old Filene’s?

As Boston residents, I know you’re dying to know.  We all know about that giant eye sore sitting where the Filene’s was in Downtown Crossing. They closed up the half-standing building and now it’s just there, ugly and dangerous. I was walking to TJ Maxx recently with a friend and we actually spent a solid 20 minutes talking about what should go there, and speculating as to why nothing is happening. We came to the uneducated conclusion that some builder had just run out of funding and was waiting for more financing. We were pretty much right. The Boston Globe revealed the answers in its article today.  According to the article, it turns out that the sellers, “Vornado, put the property up for sale in late 2010 after the city revoked its permits for a $700 million tower with offices, residences, retail stores, and a hotel. The firm halted construction on the site in the summer of 2008 after it lost its financing during the economic downturn and resulting global credit crisis.”

Now they are reluctant to accept offers that are a quarter of the 200 million dollars they spent on the site.  However, once they do decide to accept a much lower offer and take all the losses implied, there are many retailers lined up in the queues waiting to set up shop. According to the article, Target, Whole Foods, Au Bon Pain, Nordstrom Rack, and Filene’s itself have all expressed interest in the location.

Personally, I would like to see a Target or a Nordstrom Rack (or both). I think that they blend into the surrounding stores and are thriving in these economic times better than the other options. What would you like to see move in there?

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