By WGBH News
Jan. 3, 2012
BOSTON — Last week, the Filene's Basement franchise closed its doors for good. Four years ago, the flagship Boston location was torn down to make room for a beautiful new 38-story castle… in the air. But Vornado Realty Trust, the company that owns the site of the original Filene's Basement department store in Downtown Crossing, may soon finally be forced to deal with that property.
It's because of casino gambling. Vornado owns a stake in the Suffolk Downs racetrack, whose owners are seeking a casino license. Boston Business Journal real estate editor Thomas Grillo said on "The Callie Crossley Show" that Mayor Thomas Menino wants to see development at the Filene's site before there's any talk of licenses.
Grillo said, "Vornado is a 20 percent owner of Suffolk Downs, and the Mayor has said, 'Over my dead body will something get done at Suffolk Downs, until Vornado cleans up the mess that they made at Downtown Crossing.'"
City Council president Stephen Murphy echoed that message on Jan. 2.
Grillo thought it's likely 2012 will finally see development get under way.
In a November 2011 appearance on "Greater Boston," Menino made a similar prediction: "I have no knowledge, but I hear, I see… I would think in the next six months we'll have something there," he said.
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