Boston officials have begun the disposition process for a Downtown Crossing parking garage, with plans to reinvest the proceeds in public housing and affordable housing.

The Department of Neighborhood Development issued a request for proposals for the Lafayette parking garage at 474-552 Washington St., a three-story structure spanning 159,123 square feet.

The buyer will be required to continue operating the 1,029-space garage, but officials haven’t ruled out additional development on the 3.6-acre property. The limiting factor: the neighboring Lafayette City Center office and retail complex owns air rights above the garage, so the new owner would be required to negotiate a separate deal with owner The Abbey Group of Boston.

“It’s not out of the question, but our expectation is because of the complexity involved in negotiating air rights, it probably wouldn’t make sense for a developer,” said Alexander Sturke, spokesman for the Department of Neighborhood Development.

Developers who do propose changes to the property are required to include development and design plans in their responses, which are due March 8.

The 40-year-old garage operates under a ground lease and profit-sharing agreement that expires in April 2022. The DND is overseeing the disposition process, with plans to reinvest the proceeds in renovations of Boston Housing Authority properties and subsidies for affordable housing developments. Specific recipients would be selected at a later date, Sturke said.

The sale will require approvals from the Public Facilities Commission and the Boston City Council. The transaction could be completed in the second half of 2021, according to the RFP.

Additional development would significantly increase the city’s potential windfall based upon the recent strong response to disposition of the WInthrop Square garage. Six developers submitted proposals to buy the 1-acre property at 115 Federal St., with Millennium Partners submitting the high bid of $102 million.

Proceeds from that project also included a $15-million payment toward an affordable housing tower at 280 Tremont St. in Chinatown, but will be delayed following a switch from condo sales to apartments for the residential portion of Millennium’s Winthrop Center tower.

Boston Seeks Offers for Downtown Crossing Garage Property

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min