The city has approved nearly $8 million in tax breaks to spur development of the former Filene's department store site in Boston's Downtown Crossing.

The site has been an ugly undeveloped hole in the city for years since the economic downtown stalled the previous developer's plans. The $7.8 million in tax breaks were approved Monday by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Developer Millennium Partners is planning a $630 million, mixed-use skyscraper at the site which would include residential space, as well as office and retail space, including a supermarket.

The tax breaks would be spread out over 13 years. The development is expected to generate about $60 million in property taxes for the city.

Mayor Thomas Menino opposed tax breaks for the previous developer.