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BOSTON-The city’s Theater District will get a Times Square look now that a billboard company has won approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority to build a three-story, $5-million building with an electronic billboard at the gateway to the area. The project, which will be developed by Amherst Media Investors LLC, will place a 13,000-sf glass enclosed building with retail, restaurant, cultural and community space at the corner of Stuart and Tremont streets that has for 24 years been home to a trailer that served as the Hub Ticket Agency.

The building “will help bring the Theater District to the next level,” Mayor Thomas Menino says in a statement following the BRA’s decision. Menino has long advocated revitalizing the Theater District, which sits on the edge of Chinatown and the former Combat Zone.

Plans for the project include 5,400 sf of office, rehearsal and conference space and more than 8,000 sf of restaurant, retail and entertainment space. An electronic billboard will wrap around the building and will include video display. It will be available for commercial displays with a portion of the proceeds going to the BRA for a Theater District Improvement Fund that will pay for neighborhood maintenance.

The project, one of three submitted to the BRA, is already drawing some debate. A rival bidder, which includes members of Tufts-New England Medical Center and the managing partner of the Wilbur Theater, both located next to the project, have threatened legal action. In a letter from the group’s lawyer, Attorney Michael F. Donlan said that the group feels the BRA is “proceeding on an unproductive and illegal course” that may prompt both abutters to take legal action.

Robert S. Merowitz, managing partner of the Wilbur Theater, which had proposed a 90-ft structure on the site, called the BRA’s selection process “flawed from the start” and says the city lost a minimum of $2 million in additional real estate tax revenues because the BRA decision prevented the Wilbur Theater and Tufts-New England Medical Center from using the air rights over their adjacent properties.

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