Photo courtesy of Millennium Partners

Millennium Partners will begin marketing 317 luxury condominiums at its $1.3 billion Winthrop Center skyscraper in Boston in April amid a recovery of the downtown high-end housing market.

After a slump in urban condo sales during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, developers received permission from the Boston Planning & Development Agency in July 2020 to rent the 510,000 square feet of residential space as apartments.

The downtown condo market has largely recovered in the past year, according to brokerage reports, prompting developers to resurrect the for-sale strategy.

Millennium Partners will begin their marketing campaign and announce prices on April 7. 

“We have always remained flexible in our offering. Even as COVID-19 introduced new challenges, we prioritized moving the project forward into the next phase of construction, with a plan to sell. Given the current landscape, we are fully committed to selling condominiums and are already seeing strong interest and demand from the market in The Residences at Winthrop Center and Winthrop Center’s office space,” MP Boston Principal Rich Baumert said in a statement.

The decision to switch back to condos from rentals could deliver a large payment to an affordable housing developer: but not necessarily the one that was originally designated as recipient.

Boston’s inclusionary development policy (IDP) requires 13 percent affordable units in multifamily projects. But developers have the option of making an “in-lieu payment” to the city for affordable housing creation in the surrounding neighborhood.

The development team and BPDA originally designated the Asian Community Development Corp. of Boston as recipient of Winthrop Center’s $51 million IDP payment. The payment would have supported financing for 168 condos and apartments as part of a hotel-residential project on the city-owned parcel P-12C at 290 Tremont St. in Chinatown.

When the Winthrop Center project was switched to apartments, a revised agreement called for $22 million in IDP payments spread over seven years. The decision drew an angry response on Twitter from Mayor Michelle Wu, then a city councilor.

Meanwhile, Asian CDC’s designation as developer of parcel P-12C expired in December, Executive Director Angie Liou told Banker & Tradesman recently.

The revised agreement, approved by BPDA directors in July 2020, states that if Millennium Partners changes back to condos, they will make IDP payments totaling $26.1 million to the city.

In response to questions about a recipient of the IDP funds, BPDA spokeswoman Bonnie McGilpin referred to the terms of the July 2020 agreement. A Millennium Partners spokeswoman said the recipient of the IDP funds will be the city’s decision.

Real estate brokers Wayne Lopez and Patrick Cutter, who were part of the sales team on the Millennium Tower Boston at 1 Franklin St., will lead the Winthrop Center marketing. The Winthrop Center project, which also includes 812,000 square feet of office space on the lower floors, is scheduled for completion in early 2023. Developers are incorporating work-from-home amenities at the new building including meeting rooms and co-working spaces, and “flex space” for home offices in most units.

Editor’s note: This report has been updated to correct that the IDP payment from Millennium Partners to Asian Community Development Corp. under the original agreement was $51 million, not $15 million.

Millennium Flips Winthrop Center Tower Back to Condos

by Steve Adams time to read: 2 min