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    Developer proposes 24-story office tower for Leather District

    One of Boston’s biggest landlords wants to build an office tower downtown.

    Oxford Properties on Friday filed notice with the Boston Planning & Development Agency for a 24-story, 625,000-square-foot building at 125 Lincoln St., an aging parking garage on the edge of the Leather District near Chinatown.

    Friday’s filing was just an initial notice, with more specifics, community review, and architectural images likely to come in a few months. But Oxford said it’s looking forward to getting started on what would be its first development project in the city.


    “Our team is excited to take the first step in the permitting process,” said Chad Remis, head of Oxford’s Boston office. “We look forward to continuing our outreach to the community and neighbors and working through more details in the weeks and months ahead.”

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    The real estate arm of a large Canadian pension fund, Oxford owns eight buildings, with about 4.5 million square feet of space, in Boston and Cambridge. Its portfolio includes the massive complex at 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley streets in the Back Bay. The firm paid $39.5 million in 2017 to buy 125 Lincoln, a five-story garage with office space on the top floor and retail, including a busy Asian supermarket, at the street level. It has been planning a tower there since.

    The downtown office market has been surging of late, with rents on top-tier buildings up 12.5 percent in the last year, according to real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank. Several long-planned towers are launching construction on the strength of major new leases to fill the space. That gave Oxford the confidence to push forward with the plans for 125 Lincoln.

    “We believe the site offers a very compelling option for companies looking to relocate or expand in Boston,” said Mark McGowan, the firm’s vice president and head of development in Boston.

    Tim Logan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.