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Curious About The Hole In Downtown Crossing

BOSTON (CBS) -- The city of Boston is trying to get more people to Downtown Crossing, but many of the area's woes are blamed on the stalled Filene's Basement project.

Sue in Maynard Declared her Curiosity saying, "I'm curious about the big hole at downtown crossing. What's the hold-up? What's the future for that spot?"

It's been three years since Filene's Basement went away and yet there's still a gaping hole in its spot.

Some people call it a shame, others a disgrace.

A developer named Vornado has the rights to the hold and they're holding back, said Boston Mayor Tom Menino. He says they purchased the spot, did some demolition and then ran short on money. He has now pulled their permits and the company is trying to sell the land.

Menino says Vornado is asking too much for the land. He says it's worth less than $100 million, which is about half of what Vornado is reportedly asking.

WBZ-TV's David Wade reports.

There are some bright spots for Downtown Crossing including three new theatres, 29 new businesses, and a parking lot that is expected, this summer, to be transformed into 265 apartments and condos and 12,000 square feet of retail space.

Business owners volunteered to pay extra property tax for neighborhood improvements.

"Despite the hole in the ground, we want to move forward because this are has so much potential," said Rosemarie Sansone of the Business Improvement District.

Next month uniformed improvement ambassadors will be out giving directions and keeping the sidewalks clean.

WBZ called Vornado to see how things were going with a possible sale, but they did not want to comment.

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