Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Public" meeting for 311 Summer St.

There's a meeting on Thursday to discuss the development of 311 Summer St. Apologies for the short notice; the FPNA and other neighborhood groups were not informed and it was not in the city's official monthly listing of hearings concerning South Boston. Someone in SAND happened to be reading South Boston Online and see this announcement:

The Boston Redevlopment Authority will host a public meeting regarding 311 Summer St., Fort Point District, Thursday, March 29, 6 p.m.

The proponent filed a Small Project Review Application proposing to rehabilitate the exterior facade of the existing building, construct a one-story, stepped back office penthouse level, and renovate the interior to provide a new world wide headquarters for ADD Inc, which is an architectural and design firm. A mixture of other office, retail/service, restaurant and accessory uses are proposed for the lower levels. For more information contact Kristin Kara, at 617-918-4263 or email: Kristin.kara.bra@cityofboston.gov.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Candidate's Night, March 25th, 4pm

Candidates for the City Council special election will be in Fort Point later this month to meet with residents and answer questions:

We are very pleased to announce that Fort Point will be having a Candidates Night for the Boston City Council special election slated for April 17th. The venue will be the Firehouse Museum at 344 Congress Street at 4pm on Sunday, March 25th. Matthew Thall, who works with the Fort Point Cultural Coalition, has graciously agreed to be our forum moderator.
Since first being contacted all of the candidates have worked to open their schedule for us to make this a great neighborhood event. Come and hear what these eight candidates running for the District Two open seat for the Boston City Council have to say about your concerns. Running to represent the area comprised of Bay Village, Chinatown, the Leather District, South Boston/Fort Point, the South End and parts of Downtown Boston and Northern Dorchester are (in alphabetical order):

Mary Cooney
Brian Curran
Robert Ferrara
William Linehan
Robert O'Shea
Edward Flynn
Brian R. Mahoney
Susan Passoni

There will be time formatted for the candidates to speak for themselves; for the candidates to take questions previously submitted to the moderator; and lastly to take questions from the audience.

Bill Meister, Mike Tyrell, Dan Osterman and Cam Sawzin
Fort Point Candidates Night Committee

Fort Point Added to BRA's Groundwater Overlay District

BRA votes to expand Groundwater Overlay District

by Chris Orchard

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Board voted Thursday to expand the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District (GCOD) to parts of the North End and the Fort Point Channel and to the Bullfinch Triangle. The expansion must now be approved by the Zoning Commission, which is expected to vote on the matter March 28.

As a result of the expanded Overlay District, most of Downtown Boston, including the South End, Back Bay, Fenway, Bay Village and Chinatown, is now protected by special zoning that was created to protect groundwater levels under Boston’s landfill....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Beacon Sells Rest of Channel Center at Loss


Beacon sells Channel Center piece at loss

Alan Leventhal's Midas touch didn't work on one property in Boston.

The Boston real estate executive and his firm Beacon Capital Partners LLC, which has made a bundle buying and selling big commercial properties such as the John Hancock Tower, unloaded a loser yesterday for $19 million less than it paid for it.

Beacon sold the mostly undeveloped portion of Channel Center -- two rows of old industrial buildings in the Fort Point Channel area -- to Commonwealth Ventures LLC of Southport, Conn., for $21.5 million. Beacon Capital had purchased the property about seven years ago for $40.5 million.

Beacon Capital executives declined to comment yesterday on the company's financial record with Channel Center.

Channel Center is a 16-building portfolio of the old Boston Wharf Co. buildings that Beacon acquired in 2000. Beacon redeveloped about 30 percent of the property in what it once projected as a $360 million project. But the renaissance of this industrial area has been slower in coming than Beacon Capital executives expected, and the fund they bought it in was coming to the end of its life, so they put Channel Center on the market.

Beacon Capital had planned a largely residential project for the location, previously called Midway; it did redevelop some buildings and built one new one, turning part of the complex over to an artists' nonprofit group.

One large space was envisioned as a performance theater and recently was leased by Longwood Events Corp., which puts on private parties. That space is called Artistry.

Commonwealth Ventures plans to immediately redevelop one of the two rows of Channel Center buildings, along A Street near Gillette Co. , into 280,000 square feet of office space, with retail shops on the first floor....

Monday, March 05, 2007

Fort Point Article from Patriot Ledger


Hub’s Fort Point the center of Mass. loft living

By The Patriot Ledger staff

BOSTON - From Easthampton to Lowell, to the urban streets of Boston’s South End and Dorchester’s Lower Mills, developers in a number of Bay State communities have converted disused industrial properties into residential complexes.

But loft-lovers know the epicenter of the movement in Massachusetts is South Boston’s Fort Point area.

The warehouses and old factory buildings that once lined the South Boston side of the Fort Point channel have long been home to New England’s largest artists colony.

Now, those artists are finding they have some company as developers create new high-end condos aimed at urban professionals who want a Manhattan-style living experience in Boston. The location is ideal for people who work downtown, as most of the neighborhood is in walking distance of the financial district, parking is still relatively easy to find and it’s close to the Red Line and Interstate 93.

Some of the most prominent projects to open in recent years include the Channel Center off A Street and the Court Square Press redevelopment off Dorchester Avenue near the Broadway T stop.

The Channel Center is a 14-building complex on seven acres that was once a set of Boston Wharf Co. structures that Beacon Capital Partners bought in 2000. Most of the space has been converted for residential use, and many of the units sell for more than $1 million.

The Court Square Press represents a more affordable alternative, although its units still fetch considerably higher prices than similarly sized properties in the neighborhood. Pappas Enterprises developed 130 luxury condos in the 210,000-square-foot building in 2003, and prices have ranged from under $400,000 to more than $1 million. But the 100-year-old structure is now dwarfed by its newer sibling, a much larger loft-style complex that’s currently under construction next door known as the MacAllen Building.

Copyright 2007 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

BRA to Allow Flashing Signs in Seaport District

According to a recent Globe article, "BRA seeks change, in a flash", the BRA is seeking to allowing lighted, flashing signs in parts of Boston, including near the Convention Center.

Saying it wants colorful electronic marquees to create an atmosphere like Times Square in New York, the Boston Redevelopment Authority is planning to amend the city's zoning code to permit electronic signs that make "bold use of graphics" and create a sense of "animation and motion" and "images that engage the public."
The new rules would apply in the Theater District, the South Boston waterfront near the convention center, and Lansdowne Street near Fenway Park, areas that draw tourists and are considered ripe for nightlife development.
City planners said they are allowing the signs in areas seen as up- and-coming entertainment districts, like the blocks around the South Boston convention center, where nightlife has not caught up with the spate of new hotels and other development, and near Fenway Park, where the city, state, and the Boston Red Sox have been laying plans for transportation and neighborhood improvements to bring the zone to a new level.

The BRA will vote on the proposal on March 7th and the Zoning Board will hold a hearing and vote on the 28th.