Massport’s master planning and permitting efforts over the last decade have resulted in the completion of several million square feet of mixed-use development including hotels, offices, restaurant/retail and residential all of which is consistent with the City of Boston’s overall vision for the South Boston Seaport District area known as Commonwealth Flats.
Additional development projects are presently under construction or in design and permitting. Massport’s commercial mixed-use development planning and implementation is guided by Massport’s core mission to develop and enhance the working port. This includes insuring there is a compatible land use pattern and excellent truck routes connecting the working port facilities with the interstate highway system.
The MBTA’s Silver Line provides convenient connections between South Station and Boston Logan International Airport with excellent service for the South Boston Waterfront via the World Trade Center Station and a stop east of D Street adjacent to the Hancock/Manulife building on Massport property. The opening of the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center (BCEC) and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston have added significant new visitor attractions to the district.
Commonwealth Flats Strategic Plan
In 1998, Massport initiated a Strategic Plan for its development properties in the South Boston Waterfront to support and enhance its core missions of operating the Port of Boston and Boston Logan International Airport. The primary focus of this Strategic Plan is Commonwealth Flats, approximately 50 acres of Massport's waterfront property north of Summer Street, west of the Ted Williams Tunnel, and east of 'B' Street.
The South Boston Strategic Plan reflects years of interagency coordination on the design and construction of projects in South Boston such as the Central Artery/Harbor Tunnel Project and the MBTA South Boston Transitway.
Commonwealth Flats MEPA Permitting
Between 1999 and 2001, Massport filed a series of permitting documents with MEPA for its overall development master plan for Commonwealth Flats under a Special Procedure agreement with the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA). These documents included an Expanded Environmental Notification Form (EENF), Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), and two Notices of Project Change (NPCs) addressing open space and Chapter 91 issues.
Commonwealth Flats Development
Since the completion of the master planning and permitting outlined above, Massport has designed and constructed the infrastructure to support the build-out of Commonwealth Flats. In addition to essential streets, sidewalks, and utilities, this investment included the 1.2-acre South Boston Maritime Park. This award winning waterfront public park is located along D Street between Congress Street and Northern Avenue. It features a café and pergola structure, public bathrooms, plentiful seating, a generous lawn with views of Boston Harbor, and maritime-themed interpretive art installations.
Several commercial development projects, under long-term ground leases, have been completed and are operating in Commonwealth Flats:
Commonwealth Pier / World Trade Center. Completely renovated pier building that contains almost 650,00 square feet of commercial office space and 200,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Excursion and commuter vessels are also berthed at this facility.
Seaport Hotel. 427-room, four star hotel featuring function rooms, fitness center, restaurant, and a 1,250-space underground parking garage. Opened in 1998.
East Office Building. 475,000-sf Class A office building with 15,000 sf of ground floor retail space, a wintergarden and adjacent Eastport Park, and a 700-space underground parking garage. Opened in 2000.
West Office Building. 490-sf Class A office building with 20,000 sf of ground floor retail space and a 350-space underground parking garage. Opened in 2002.
John Hancock/Manulife Financial. 480,000-sf Class A office building, including ground floor retail, an employee cafeteria and fitness club, and underground parking. LEED© Certified by the US Green Building Council in 2006. Opened in 2004.
Park Lane Seaport Apartments. Two-building complex, 465-unit luxury apartments, including ground floor restaurants and 470 underground parking spaces. Phased opening in 2005/2006.
Marriott Renaissance Hotel A 471-room, four-star hotel, including 20,000 sf of meeting space, ground floor restaurant / retail, and a fitness center. Opened in 2007.
Development Projects Underway
In addition to the existing developments and parcels available for future development, projects on Massport land that are currently being pursued include:
Waterside Place. 8-acre,regionally significant mixed-use development including a destination retail shopping mall, 200 condominiums, a 300 room hotel, and multi-level parking garage.
Parcel E. Exciting destination restaurant development planned for a unique over-water location along Northern Avenue. 2 – 3 destination restaurants, public amenities including Harborwalk and a public landing, and professional offices.
Commonwealth Flats Watersheet Study
In 2003, Massport prepared a Watersheet Study examining existing conditions, potential uses, and infrastructure plans for its waterfront and watersheet ownership in Commonwealth Flats. This study examined the long-term needs and opportunities of a variety of vessel types (fishing vessels, passenger water transportation, excursion vessels, etc.) in the waters around Commonwealth Pier (World Trade Center) and the Fish Pier and their relationship to the landside mixed-use development planned for this area.
Massport Marine Terminal Development Alternatives Analysis
The Massport Marine Terminal is a roughly 40-acre site within the Boston Marine Industrial Park in South Boston which is leased by Massport from the City of Boston under a long-term agreement. Massport prepared a study in 2002 which analyzed development alternatives for the site, which included seafood processing, warehouse, and bulk cargo activities.