The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced that U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, U.S. Senator John Kerry and Congressman Michael Capuano have helped secure $1 million in an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to invest in Boston Harbor's working port facilities. Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and other local elected officials welcomed the grant which will be matched by additional Massport funds. Combined the funds will pay for the:
renovation of a dilapidated industrial structure in East Boston's shipyard (Building 23/33) and the purchase of a high capacity boatlift for the shipyard.
"I am so pleased that we were able to work together and win this funding to help rebuild the East Boston waterfront," Kennedy said. "Since the early days of this nation, Boston's working waterfront has been one the key economic engines throughout the northeast. By making vital investments like the Roseland/ SeaChain development, we can ensure that the Boston waterfront will continue to be an integral part of the region's prosperous future."
"This is an important investment in the future of the Boston waterfront," stated Kerry. "Boston's port is a critical part of the region's economic engine and this funding will help ensure that we have a world class port infrastructure as well as a clean and vibrant waterfront."
"These funds will help improve a section of the Boston waterfront badly in need of revitalization. Upon completion, this area will be transformed into a vibrant working marina for ship maintenance and repair, resulting in the creation of new jobs. I commend Massport for their commitment to Boston's working port," stated Capuano.
"This grant will mean great things for East Boston. It will allow the neighborhood to preserve a healthy mix of uses by promoting port related and recreational activities, as well as creating much-needed housing at Pier One. We are proud to be part of the efforts to revitalize the East Boston waterfront," said Menino.
The efforts of state Senate Majority Whip Robert E. Travaglini and State Representative Anthony Petruccelli from East Boston contributed to landing this much needed grant that will help redefine the City of Boston's waterfront. "Both Massport and our federal delegation are to be commended for their community outreach and participation efforts regarding these important local improvements," said Travaglini. "Our vision of a truly revitalized waterfront is one step closer toward becoming a reality, thanks to the ongoing support from our friends in Washington."
"This is another great step towards revitalizing our waterfront and increasing public access to our most cherished resource," added Petruccelli.
These investments are part of the proposed $100 million Roseland/SeaChain redevelopment and revitalization of Massport-owned property in East Boston that will include housing on Pier One, an enhanced and expanded marina, and a modern, working shipyard. Massport selected Roseland/SeaChain to redevelop the waterfront because of their strong maritime expertise and willingness to address community concerns.
"This is truly good news for East Boston's waterfront," said Vivien Li, Executive Director of The Boston Harbor Association, a waterfront advocacy group. "This grant, together with the additional Massport funds, will allow much-needed port improvements to finally move forward. We are very grateful to Massport and the congressional delegation for working together so diligently in securing these funds."
Currently Building 23/33 in the East Boston shipyard is closed due to its poor general condition. Under the proposal, the building would be completely rehabilitated and nearly 20,000 sq. ft. would be available for industrial use such as shipbuilding and ship maintenance and repair. In addition, a high capacity boatlift would be purchased, greatly enhancing the shipyard's ability to repair multiple vessels at the same time. Upon completion of this project, the shipyard would be the only facility in Boston Harbor with the capability to haul and repair tugs, Coast Guard vessels, harbor ferries and other small to medium-sized commercial vessels.
It is estimated that 100 jobs will be retained or created with this investment in ship repair and maintenance.
"By working together, we are bringing back an important part of our harbor's legacy right here in East Boston," said Massport CEO Craig P. Coy. "We are fortunate to have local, state and federal elected officials who are true defenders of Boston Harbor's history and are committed advocates for Boston Harbor's future."