SOUTH BOSTON - Governor Jane Swift, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Representative Jack Hart, and City Councilor Jim Kelly and Massport Executive Director and CEO Virginia Buckingham today officially welcomed the new Harbor Seafood Center in South Boston's North Jetty. The new 65,000 square foot seafood processing packaging and distribution center was constructed by Pilot Development Partners, Inc. to support Boston's $650 million seafood industry. The facility will provide more than 120 permanent jobs.
The fishing industry has been an important part of Boston's history and with the official opening of this facility we ensure that it will be an important part of our future, said Swift. The fishing industry continues to be a key component of the Commonwealth's economy employing more than 6,000 people and generating $4.8 billion a year.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) is the facility's landlord and provided Pilot Development Partners, Inc. with a $10 million financial guarantee to move the project forward in 2000. The project's success was also made possible by bonds issued through Boston's Industrial Development Finance Agency.
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 another example of Massport and the City of the Boston's commitment to preserving and promoting the region's seafood industry.
It has been our collective goal, as elected officials, to advocate for blue collar jobs and particularly to ensure the integrity of the Industrial Park, said Hart. With the addition of the new Harbor Seafood Center we can continue to realize these goals and are pleased that collectively we have been successful in creating opportunity for us all.
It is always refreshing when state and local governments can come together with a common goal and produce superb results for the residents of not only Boston, but throughout the New England region, said Kelly. All those involved should be commended for their foresight.
Massport has reserved approximately 10 acres of land 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 a strong working port is one of our core missions, said Massport Executive Director and CEO Virginia Buckingham. A vibrant waterfront must honor Boston's historic connection to the sea and fishing industry.
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.