Imagine waiting 20 years to build this tower and then once you finally start the commercial real estate market crashes. If this had waited just a bit longer it would have had a good chance of being put on hold...again. Theyre very lucky that they redesigned it to have residential in the top half, because now they only need to rent half the amount of office space as the previous version. This also gives me confidence theyre going to complete it and not knock the height down seeing that the valuable condos are in the top half and the office portion is partly constructed.
A lot of commercial properties have reason to be concerned and be thinking about pivots, but this one, I believe, has a lot going for it even in these times. Yes, a big part of it is what you mentioned about the residential component at height - which is further strengthened by having a big brand name sign on (Ritz) - helps this building's case. But even for the office component, I have read in multiple places - and just saw again in a recent survey report - that proximity to transit is emerging as the #1 differentiator for office leasing (as sought by prospective tenants):
Boston – Companies are more proactive about office attendance than last year: 65% say they’re requiring in-office work at least some of the time, according to a new survey by […]
The fact that it's Class A space, directly atop a major transit hub, with nicely configurable floor plans should make the office part viable. I think one of the biggest changes they'll see is probably leasing individual floors to smaller tenants rather than one giant anchor tenant. But I think this office space will move since it is among the best opportunities in the entire city.