"During his 20-year tenure, [Mayor Menino] has overseen the addition of 80 million square feet of development, increasing the city’s total square footage of office and residential space by 11 percent," says Katharine Q. Seelye. "The projects range from the $1 billion Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, completed in 2004, to almost 12,000 college dormitory rooms. He has backed a new casino; he proposed spending $16 billion in private and public money to build 30,000 housing units by 2020; and developers are planning a new residential tower at the Christian Science Plaza that, at 691 feet, will become the tallest residential building in the Boston skyline."
"Some of the candidates who are running to succeed Mr. Menino — the preliminary election, with 12 candidates, is Tuesday — want him to scale back, worrying that his $16 billion housing plan in particular could saddle the city with debt," notes Seelye. "Another concern is that the building boom is gentrifying some neighborhoods to the point where residents are being priced out."