Friday, June 27, 2014

Boston Cargo Terminal Project Ready to Cruise

A massive cargo terminal planned for the South Boston waterfront is steaming ahead again after years of delay and a recent downsizing to make the project financially viable. Developer Marine Terminal Operator has secured approvals for its Notice of Project Change for the $220 million, 510,552 square foot Boston Cargo Terminal project in the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood.

Marine Terminal dropped about 50,000 square feet from the three-building complex it wants to build on a 30-acre swath of city-owned Seaport District land that’s under long-term lease to the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The development site is located within the 129-acre Boston Marine Industrial Park.

The new Boston Cargo Terminal project will now include three commercial / warehouse buildings, a 120,000 square foot roof-top greenhouse structure, and 160 on-site parking spaces.

The project will include the construction of new marine industrial space to be configured in three new buildings:

  • Building A - approximately 279,000 sf,
  • Building B - approximately 173,560 sf, and
  • Building C - approximately 58,000 sf

In addition to the new industrial buildings, the project will also include:

  • Construction of a new 4.3-acre bulk cargo handling facility - to be used for an import /export cement distribution operation; 
  • Renovation of a portion of the existing 900 foot North Jetty, and 
  • Construction of a new 400 foot barge berthing space.
  • Public benefits will include the construction of a Harborwalk viewing area.

Arrowstreet is the architect for the $220 million, 510,552 square foot project.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Huge Fenway Center Project Closer to Reality

Boston regulators approved a $4.6 million tax break to spur construction of a new neighborhood near Fenway Park that would straddle the Massachusetts Turnpike and include hundreds of apartments, stores, restaurants, and offices. The tax deal for the $550 million Fenway Center development, negotiated by Mayor Walsh, received unanimous support from the board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The tax break will provide an important stimulus to a project that promises to create 1,800 construction jobs and boost economic growth.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority voted to petition the City Council for approval of a Special Tax Assessment Agreement between the City of Boston and MK Parcel 7 Development, LLC, the developer of the Fenway Center project.

The project has languished for years due to legal and permitting challenges, and the developer has struggled to generate enough funding to move forward.

Fenway Center would be among the most transformative development projects in Boston.

The 1.3 million-square-foot complex will be developed over air rights which span eight lanes of the Massachusetts Turnpike. The finished project will include 550 apartments and commercial space in five buildings between Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street; 1,290 parking spots, open space, and streetscape improvements. Plans also call for a farmers market and a bike-sharing station.

The development was approved by the BRA Board in 2011, but has been delayed due to litigation and rising costs.

Fenway Center is particularly costly and complex because it requires construction of a $45 million deck over the Mass Pike to support its main parking garage and a 27-story tower with offices, apartments and stores.

The project would be the first development to be constructed on air rights over the turnpike since Copley Place was built in the 1980s.

“We are going to cover up the highway and build a new neighborhood out of thin air,” said John Rosenthal, president of developer Meredith Management Corp.

Fenway Center will combine:

  •     Fully funded, energy neutral MBTA Yawkey Commuter Rail Station
  •     1,290 Parking Spaces including 750 shared-use spaces
  •     500 Residential Apartments including 10% on-site affordable units and 5% offsite
  •     170,000 SF of Office Space
  •     Over 90,000 SF of Retail Space
  •     Over 30,000 SF of Parks and Green Spaces
  •     Bicycle Storage and a Bicycle Share Station
  •     Community Space
  •     Daycare Center

The tax relief is structured to help fund construction of the project’s retail spaces, not its apartments. The deal will reduce the project’s taxes over a six-year period during its construction and early years of operation.

After its completion, Fenway Center is expected to generate about $5 million a year in taxes. The developer would also pay the state $226 million to lease the 4.5-acre development site over 99 years.

Currently, the property generates about $152,000 a year.

Click images to enlarge