Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Notes from 241 A St. Meeting

Thanks to Cam for writing up some meeting notes from the community meeting for 241 A St. aka 40 Channel Center St. and Mike T for taking a picture of the building in question.

The meeting with Spalding Tougias and Superior dining Group at Midway was informative and their plans for 40 Channel Center were generally well-received by the community. The firm specializes in commercial, cultural, retail, multi-family and mixed-use projects, which is a great fit for Fort Point. Spaulding developed Midway and has had experience in the Fort Point area. Tom Devlin of Superior dining group co-owns Devlins with Pat O'Sullivan who also owns Porter Bellies in Brighton. Superior Dining Group is planning to occupy a portion of the first floor and the entire street-level space. A law firm, Chu, Ring & Hazel LLP, will also occupy 4,000 square feet in the building.

As with any new presence in our neighborhood, there are concerns about parking, noise at night and trash disposal. Cheryl Spalding and Tom Devlin assured the community they will continually work to mitigate impacts on abutters. Valerie Burns brought up the good point that different abutters will have different issues, and care should be taken to be equitable in dividing these impacts to avoid conflicts. The exhaust for the restaurant will be through the roof and no noticeable structures will be added.

The “saddle bag” buildings in the original Beacon plan will not be constructed, and the trash will be enclosed on the Sales office street side, brought across to the sales office for removal periodically. There will be further discussions about the placing of loading docks.

The restaurant will have two entrances, and a landscaped outdoor eating venue with plans for installation art as well. The outdoor venue will close at 10. The meal prices will be very moderate and affordable, probably reflecting the price points of their other restaurants, Orleans in Somerville, and the Warren Tavern in Charlestown.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meeting for Children's Wharf Park, 2/7

On Thursday February 7th at 6PM, The Boston Children's Museum is hosting the first of three meetings in a process to develop an enhanced design and programmatic framework for Children's Wharf Park, an existing park/open space located on the Fort Point Channel adjacent to The Boston Children's Museum. Copley Wolff Design Group, design consultants for The Boston Children's Museum, will lead a discussion to elicit park ideas, concepts, and themes from the community.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Convention center looking at adding auditorum

Southie hall may expand
High demand seen for auditorium

By Scott Van Voorhis | Friday, January 25, 2008 |

The Hub could gain a showcase auditorium for fast-growing biotech companies and major political events as part of an expansion of the city's new convention center.

An auditorium that could seat thousands is under consideration if a decision is made to expand the new, $800 million Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, said Dean Stratouly, a member of the state board that oversees the hall.

An auditorium is in demand among the life sciences, high-tech and financial firms that have been flocking to the new center since it opened, Stratouly said. Such a venue would also be available for major political events as well, from presidential debates to mayoral addresses, James Rooney, chief executive of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.

... (read full article)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mtg Tues for 241 A Street

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The Fort Point Cultural Coalition (FPCC), Spaulding Tougias Architectes, and Superior Dining have formed a partnership and are attempting to develop 241 A St. (to be 40 Channel Center St). They're hosting an introductory community meeting on Tuesday to discuss the project:

Introductory Meeting for 241 A st.

January 22nd6pm
Midway Studios (15 Channel Center St.)

"The building is envisioned as a space for local firms (we have priced it and been marketing to mostly local design firms), a home for STA who has been in the neighborhood for 14 years, a restaurant on the first floor and a subsidized/reduced rent on the lower level for a direct arts use. We have also started some conversations about public art. At this point, as you can imagine there are a lot of unknowns and the planning is now beginning in earnest, but it seemed to make sense to start talking as soon as possible."

FPCC was founded in 1999 to "preserve, promote and expand the cultural community of Fort Point, by securing permanent, affordable space for neighborhood artists and arts organizations." The most tangible results of their work is Midway Studios at 15 Channel Center, which provides 89 live/work studios for artists. The project has a been a huge success, allowing a number of artists to remain in Fort Point and others to move into the neighborhood. There was concern over their choice of tenant for the large theater space. Neighbors were in an uproar when Longwood Events signed a lease for Artistry, a 1,200-person wedding and corporate events business. However, because of the community's concern, Longwood's owner, Jim Apteker, was never able to get a liquor license for the venue and backed out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mtg Thurs for 368 Summer St. Building Demolition

Berkeley Investments is holding a community meeting to discuss their development on 368 Summer St. Of concern is their planned demolition of a building built in 1901 to house boilers. The Boston Landmarks Commission delayed demolition of the boiler room for 90 days at City Hall on Jan 8th.

Please come out and make your voice heard:

Thursday January 17th, 2008
6:30 PM
Children's Museum, Boston Dewey Room
(enter from 308 Congress)

Article on FBI Eyeing Fort Point

There's an article in the Globe about the FBI looking to build on the Post Office's land between A Street and the convention center. There have been rumors about this project since at least last spring and it looks like it's getting more serious:
FBI May Seek Move to S Boston

The last paragraph of the article shows a clear lack of understanding of the project or the neighborhood as it talks about the fact that it could "help accelerate development of a neighborhood". A 270,000 square foot, highly-secure office building is likely to do nothing but discourage further development towards a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood. What developer is going to want to put together a project next to something like this: