Menino's rule | A city remade

Profiting under Menino

Globe Staff / August 23, 2009

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A Globe review found that six prominent developers flourished under Mayor Thomas M. Menino, building 25 percent of the 37 million square feet constructed by private developers since 1996. Together, these developers and their employees have given Menino $53,475 in campaign donations since 2005.

Trinity Financial, cofounded by Patrick Lee (top) and James G. Keefe, led the pack with a dozen projects totaling 2.1 million square feet, including a Shaw’s market in Dorchester and senior housing in Mattapan. Many of Trinity’s projects relied on public money, including a federally funded makeover of Maverick Gardens public housing in East Boston. Lee’s wife, Alyce, was cochairwoman of Menino’s transition committee when he first was elected mayor and became his chief of staff in 1994. Keefe, Lee, and their employees have given Menino $3,250 in campaign donations since 2005.

Anthony Pangaro, principal of Millennium Partners-Boston, was the second most prolific, racking up 2.06 million square feet under Menino, including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Towers, which accounts for 1.8 million square feet. That project contains the Boston Common Hotel; the 19-screen Loews Theatre Complex; Sports Club LA-Boston; and 300 condo apartments. Pangaro and his employees have given Menino $14,100 in campaign donations since 2005.

Joseph F. Fallon, president of The Fallon Co. , was third, with 1.6 million square feet developed, including The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and Park Lane Seaport, which includes 465 luxury apartments. Fallon is a friend of the mayor who helped bankroll his inaugural bash in 2006 and is developing a prime waterfront tract known as Fan Pier. Fallon and his employees have given Menino $3,000 in campaign donations.

Fourth most prolific was Edward H. Linde, chief executive of Boston Properties, who developed 1.2 million square feet, including 111 Huntington Ave., a skyscraper renowned for its crown chosen by Menino. He serves on the board of Boston World Partnerships, a nonprofit business organization founded by Menino. Last summer he gave the mayor the Back Bay Association’s Heavy Lifting Award for business advocacy. Linde and his employees have given Menino $4,750.

Steven Samuels, president of Samuels & Associates, was fifth, with 1.0647 million square feet developed, including Grove Hall Mecca in Roxbury, a shopping center built at Menino’s request. Samuels has served on the boards of the Boston Police Athletic League and Menino’s Main Streets Foundation, which seeks to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts. Samuels and his employees gave Menino $15,675 in campaign funds.

Edward A. Fish, chairman of EA Fish Cos. and former head of Suffolk Construction, was the sixth most prolific developer, with 1.0645 million square feet developed. His projects include a luxury condominium complex near the former Charlestown Navy Yard, a seven-building mixed-use community on a former hospital site in Brighton, and a high-end residential building in the Theatre District. His son, John, now runs Suffolk Construction, where Menino’s son works and which donated $1 million to help Menino boost sports programs in city schools. Fish, his son, and their employees have given Menino $12,700 since 2005.

SOURCES: Boston Redevelopment Authority, state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, news reports, and biographies