BOSTON-The Boston Zoning Commission has approved changes to a plan to create a mixed-use development at South Station. The move paves the way for construction to begin on the 1.76-million-sf project that will bring a 40-story skyscraper, hotel and other buildings to the city’s transit center.

Construction on the first of three phases–a 40-story glass office tower designed by the New Haven, CT architectural firm of Pelli Clark Pelli Architects–is expected to begin next year. The $800-million project, which is being developed by Hines Interests LP and TUDC LLC, a subsidiary of Tufts University, will include a 200-room hotel, condominiums, office and retail space along with a 943-space parking garage.

The second and third phases will include a hotel, residences and a nine-floor office building. About $40 million will also be spent on transportation improvements to South Station that will nearly double the size of an existing bus terminal and create better access to subway and commuter rail services.

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