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BOSTON-The final stage of the effort to win approval for the Fan Pier project–the largest hotel, office and residential project ever proposed for the waterfront in South Boston–took place this week when the developer submitted its final plan to state regulatory officials.

A representative from project developer Nicholas Pritzker’s local team confirms for GlobeSt.com that the final environmental impact report and the final project impact report have been submitted. In the filing, the original plan to develop 300 residential units has more than doubled to 675 units. The developer, a Chicago-based hotel magnate who is working locally with Spaulding & Slye Colliers International, scrapped plans for a small hotel because of concerns by the Federal Aviation Administration about the height of the facility. Reportedly, financing issues, which have plagued this $1.2 billion project from its inception, were also behind this decision.

The housing units would be luxury condominiums, a market that remains strong in this area. Daniel O’Connell, of Spaulding & Slye Colliers, did not return calls by presstime but reportedly he estimates that space in the project could sell for $650 a square foot, or over one million dollars per unit.

Perhaps a bigger surprise than the proposed changes to the project are the delays the 650-room hotel–the centerpiece of the Fan Pier project–face because of regulatory problems and the downturn in the economy. The reported delay could severely affect the planned convention center, which is scheduled to open in 2004. The convention center is already struggling with the development of its own 1,200-room hotel, which has hit financing difficulties. Hotels within walking distance of the convention center are considered vital to its success.

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