Reaching an agreement that ensures the construction of the nearly 11-acre Bremen Street Park in East Boston and leads to the removal of vehicle traffic from neighborhood streets, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) has finalized a transaction with ParkEX owners, the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD), the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and the Central Artery Project. The Central Artery expects to complete the landscaped buffer park on the current ParkEX site by spring 2004.
"With this agreement East Boston residents will gain precious open space, while having a busy parking business removed from the neighborhood," said Virginia Buckingham, Massport Executive Director and CEO. "As we have done with our commitment to the Piers Park, the East Boston Community Foundation, the Bayswater Street Embankment, and our promise to ease the burden on Logan's neighbors through regionalization, Massport has worked with the community to deliver a real benefit that will endure for generations."
In the final transaction, Massport purchased the ParkEX property and business for $75 million and immediately traded the land to the MHD/Central Artery for the Robie Industrial Parcel, an approximately seven-acre site contiguous to Logan Airport's North Cargo Area. The Robie acquisition allows the airport to recover a portion of valuable airside property lost to Big Dig construction. Massport expects to construct a replacement cargo facility on the Robie Parcel to make up for more than 150,000 square feet of cargo space demolished by the Central Artery in 1999 for new roadway construction.
Additionally, Massport received the permits for ParkEX's 1,377 parking spaces, eventually allowing for the transfer of the spaces from the East Boston neighborhood to Logan International Airport property. Moving the more than 1,300 parking spaces onto the airport is expected to help reduce traffic congestion and related pollution on local East Boston streets.
This purchase simplified a much more complicated three-way land swap agreed to in 1991. That land swap called for Massport to relocate ParkEX on approximately 11-acres in the airport's Southwest Service Area, disrupting a number of existing businesses at Logan.
ParkEX is expected to terminate current operations and vacate their present site in March 2001, which will expedite the transfer of the land to the Central Artery for the construction of the park. In addition, the Central Artery is expected to save more than $3 million in ParkEX relocation costs under the original three-way land swap.