Boston Herald

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Menino in turn wrote a stern letter to the lead developer of thecurrently stagnant Downtown Crossing development, also known as theFilene's project. The mayor said in the letter, "The notion thatyou would purposefully cause this to occur--not due to financingdifficulties or other problems beyond your control, but as anintentional cynical ploy to extract concessions from the publicsector--is inexcusable."

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As the Herald reports, Hynes the CEO of GaleInternational--partner in the project with Vornado--explained in astatement: "We have asked the city for help, but there's a bigdifference between asking for help and trying to blackmail them. Wehave done nothing but try to find a financing solution. It's neverbeen our strategy to deliberately put the real estate in badcondition."

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The Filene's project, once much ballyhooed, found itself intough financial straights as the economy turned in 2008. Theoriginal project was scaled down and eventually put on hold inNovember of 2008 as the developers struggled to obtain financing tocommence construction.

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In the meantime Filene's, which once held its flagship store onthat site, filedfor bankruptcy and was acquired jointly by Syms and Vornado.There had been questions of Filene's viability in the unbuiltproject, however Vornado's inclusion in its purchase all-butassures its inclusion in the final project, should it ever reachfruition.

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Menino has proposed an offer to take the property throughimminent domain, however there is no official offer on the table.To read the full Boston Herald story, click here.

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