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BOSTON-A group of city residents have filed an appeal on the $1.2 billion sf Fan Pier project’s chapter 91 license, a move that could potentially delay the start of construction on the 2.9 million sf project, one of the city’s largest ever developments.

According to David Begelfer, president of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties, the group that filed this appeal files frequently to appeal larger projects in the city. “All it takes is ten signatures to stop a multimillion dollar project,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s amazing that these same people can stop [these projects].” A source close to the case tells GlobeSt.com that the suit doesn’t carry too much weight but is a hassle for the developers.

Efforts to contact to the plaintiff’s lawyer were unsuccessful. Begelfer notes that the complaint states that the project does not serve a “proper public purpose.” He says that the case will have to go through the whole appeals process. “Its unclear how long this can hold something up but it takes up time,” he points out.

Fan Pier, located on South Boston’s waterfront is being developed by Chicago-based hotel magnate Nicholas Pritzker. The developer went through years of wrangling with the city before finally getting most of the approvals for the project this past summer. According to Pritzker’s local representative, Kyle Warwick of Spaulding & Slye Colliers, “We requested and were granted an expedited hearing before a DEP administrative law judge. The City of Boston and DEP have joined the Fan Pier in requesting the dismissal of the appeal. The first step in the process was a pre-hearing conference that took place on September 17. We expect that the appeal will be resolved in a timely manner.”

The Fan Pier project consists of nine buildings with 625 residential units, office and retail space, and a 325-room anchor hotel. 20% of the residential space will be designated as affordable–50 units on site and 75 units off site. The development also includes 263,000 sf of open space with 107,000 sf for civic use, marina use and associated parking.

The issue of financing remains a thorny issue for this project. Hotel projects in the area have been struggling with securing financing. A local representative of Pritzker told GlobeSt.com last year that the developer was still shopping around for financing, and adds that he is waiting to get the final license before he gets the financing nailed down.

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