Governor Paul Cellucci, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Congressman Joseph Moakley and Bernard Cardinal Law today broke ground on a new seafood processing center on South Boston's North Jetty. The new 65,000 square foot seafood processing packaging and distribution center, which will be constructed and managed by Pilot Development Partners, Inc., will provide 125 permanent jobs and support Boston's $650 million seafood industry.
"The fishing industry remains a key component of the Commonwealth's economy, employing more than 26,000 people and generating $4.8 billion a year," said Cellucci. "With additional facilities like this one, we can guarantee that the Massachusetts fishing industry will be more than just a picturesque chapter of our storied past, but an important part of our economy for generations to come."
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), the facility's landlord, has provided Pilot Development Partners, Inc. with a $10 million financial guarantee to move the project forward. Today's announcement is also made possible by bonds issued through Boston's Industrial Development Finance Agency. These bonds are tax exempt due to the federally designated Empowerment Zone.
"The sea has always been an anchor of Boston's economy, and today, I am proud to say that we are making sure our maritime economy thrives into the next century," said Menino. "Maintaining and promoting the industrial character of the area as well as creating a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood is our vision for the South Boston waterfront."
The state-of-the-art facility is expected to cost $10 million and be completed by November 2000. The development is another example of Massport and the City of the Boston's commitment to preserving and promoting the region's seafood industry.
"Today, we take another step forward in building a world-class waterfront that honors Boston's long seafaring history, while providing the job opportunities essential to maintaining our neighborhood," said Moakley.
Massport has reserved a minimum of eight acres on the North Jetty for the development of a seafood district. The district will join the New Boston Seafood Center in the Marine Industrial Park in creating local maritime-related jobs. South Boston is a key area for the seafood industry due to historical ties and its proximity to major highways and Logan International Airport. Proximity to infrastructure is essential in distributing fresh and frozen seafood products.
"Maintaining an active port is one of our core missions," said Massport Executive Director and CEO Virginia Buckingham. "As development occurs in South Boston, it's important to save space for our vital maritime industries."
Boston's seafood processing industry includes 88 companies, employs nearly 2,000 people, and generates roughly $650 million in annual sales to regional, national, and international markets.
The building phase of the facility will generate close to 300 construction jobs.