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Boston Redevelopment chief leaving post

The head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority has submitted his resignation, the Menino administration said Friday. John Palmieri, who has served in the post since 2007, is stepping down on May 1.

The powerful agency oversees economic development and planning within the city.

Mayor Thomas Menino will recommend a successor to the BRA’s board of directors.

“I’m proud that the Authority and Boston have weathered the economic downtown and emerged strong and vibrant,” Palmieri said in a statement. “As the city looks ahead to a new phase of growth, I am ready to pursue new challenges.”

In the release announcing his departure, Palmieri is credited with overseeing six million square feet permitted on the waterfront, new health centers, and the revitalization of the Theater District, among other projects.

Palmieri had previously served as director of the Department of Development Services in Hartford, Conn.

The agency came in for some intense criticism during the 2009 election cycle, with several mayoral candidates accusing it of lacking transparency and calling for its abolishment. Supporters, including Menino, who said the agency is often a “whipping post,” noted that the agency moved daytime meetings to evenings after receiving complaints.

The agency also now broadcasts its meetings on television and online.