Thursday, March 14, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At Seaport Fort Point Civic Space, Traffic Enforcement & Upcoming Wetlands Ordinance & Cannabis Hearings

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their March 13, 2019 meeting:

South Boston Waterfront (Seaport) Civic Spaces: Councilors Flynn, Flaherty & I called for a hearing to discuss city services and public facilities in the South Boston Waterfront Seaport neighborhood. By 2030, the Seaport and Fort Point area’s residential population will nearly triple from 2012 levels to exceed 20,000 residents, with approximately 13,000 jobs added in the neighborhood. Yet despite the incoming industries, businesses, and restaurants, there is no school, library, community center, fire station, police station, or other similar public facilities in the neighborhood. Civic infrastructure is important for safety, community and civic engagement. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning, Development and Transportation for a hearing.

Boston Trust Act: Councilor Zakim ordered a hearing regarding Enforcement of the Boston Trust Act. The Trust Act was passed in 2014 and prohibits the Boston Police Department from detaining individuals based on their immigration status and directs the BPD to disregard federal immigration detainer requests. The Act was established to make all Bostonians safer by improving trust between law enforcement and Boston’s immigrant communities, so that witnesses or victims of crimes can interact with the BPD without fear of arrest due to their immigration status. Recent news reports indicate that BPD officers worked in concert with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents to arrest Jose Martin Paz Flores on May 10, 2017. At that time Mr. Paz Flores was not authorized to be in the United States. Concerns have been raised as to overall compliance with and enforcement of the Trust Act. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Civil Rights for a hearing.

Traffic Enforcement Unit: Councilor Campbell reported back on the hearing to discuss the possibility of creating a traffic enforcement unit within BPD and exploring the pros and cons of installing traffic enforcement cameras. At the hearing the Boston Police Department and Boston Transportation Department discussed the City’s current enforcement efforts and plans, stating that BPD is already at minimum coverage geographically, so there are not extra officers able to focus on traffic enforcement. BTD Commissioner Fiandaca stated that the Mayor and department are discussing moving forward with cameras to catch those blocking the box and passing a stopped school bus, but not for speed limit enforcement. The matter remains in the Committee on Public Safety and Criminal Justice.

Appointments: The Mayor made the following appointments:
Zoning Commission:

  • Reappointment of Michael DiMella as a member for a term ending November 1, 2020
  • Reappointment of Michael Nichols as a member for a term ending October 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Annaise Foureau as a member for a term ending May 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Jill Hatton as a member for a term ending May 1, 2021
  • Reappointment of Joanne Keith as a member for a term ending October 1, 2021
  • Appointment of Giordana Mecagni as a Member of the Archives and Records Advisory Commission for a term expiring January 3, 2022
  • Reappointment of Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan as a Member of the Boston Public Health Commission's Board of Health for a term expiring January 15, 2020
  • Appointment of Phillomin Laptiste as a Member of the Boston Public Health Commission for a term expiring January 15, 2022

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch
  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, March 20th
  • Monday, March 18th at 11:30am: Hearing on Wetlands Ordinance (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, March 19th at 10:00am: Hearing on Cannabis Industry Equity Ordinance (Government Operations)
  • Tuesday, March 19th at 2:00pm: Hearing on Investor and Commercial Properties Transfer Fee (Government Operations)

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically. 

Fort Point Landmarks March 2019 Meeting

The FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION will hold a public hearing on:

Thursday, March14, 2019
6:00 PM
Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room (5th Floor)
After 5:30 pm, enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square entrance on Congress Street 
(across from Faneuil Hall).

Subject of the hearing will be applications for Certificates of Design Approval on the agenda below, review of architectural violations and such business as may come before the commission, in accordance with Ch. 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended.

I. Design Review


APP # FPC 19.875 FPC       44 Thomson Place 

Applicant: Andrew Tobias, Trader Joe's

Proposed Work: Install Signage

APP # FPC 19.843 FPC       22 Boston Wharf Road
Applicant: Hazel Wood Hopkins
Proposed Work: Install Citizens Bank Signage and Branding

APP # FPC 19.860 FPC       25 Thomson Place 
Applicant: Paul Gibbs
Proposed Work: At front façade, install signage, menu board and new entry.

APP # FPC 19.876 FPC       355 Congress Street 
Applicant: Ernani Guimaraes 
Proposed Work: At rear façade, add additional flight of stairs to existing fire escape.

II. Administrative Review

APP # 19.874 FPC           355 Congress Street:  
Repair existing fire escape at the rear of the structure in kind.

APP # 19.882 FPC           370 Congress Street:  
At rear, side and front façade, repoint and replace brick in kind. Repair cracks in brick masonry on rear and side elevations.

APP # 19.865 FPC           21 Wormwood Street:  
Install two new exterior windows at penthouse level, not original to the structure.

III Ratification of 2/14/19 Public Hearing Minutes

IV Staff Updates

Projected Adjournment: 8:00 pm

FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION
David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy 
Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy


originally published 3.08.19

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Call For Fort Point Channel Activation


The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and the Fort Point Channel Operations Board are accepting applications for the 2019 Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Grant Program. The application is linked here

Now in its eighth year, the program provides financial resources for capital improvements and public programming within and along the Fort Point Channel, as envisioned in the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan. The plan was established in 2002 through a collaborative effort between the BPDA, City of Boston, landowners, nonprofit and cultural leaders, and residents to encourage new cultural activities and year-round programming in Fort Point.

Approximately $50,000 is available to organizations for the 2019 grant cycle. The competitive grant seeks creative proposals for water-based programming in and around Fort Point that will benefit the general public, including such things as new water-based infrastructure, public events, art installations, and educational opportunities.

To be eligible, an organization must be tax-exempt or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a tax-exempt nonprofit. For-profit organizations may be eligible for funding at the discretion of the Fort Point Channel Operations Board if the project constitutes a not-for-profit, public project.

Applications are due on April 12, 2019 at 5 p.m. Funding for the grants stems from the Chapter 91 Waterways Regulations License for Atlantic Wharf, a project developed by Boston Properties.

Monday, March 11, 2019

CommonWealth Pier (Seaport World Trade Center) To Be Revitalized

Pembroke, an international real estate business associated with Fidelity Investments, is proposing to revitalize Commonwealth Pier known for over three decades as the Seaport World Trade Center (SWTC). 

Pembroke introduced the Commonwealth Pier Revitalization Project first at FPNA's Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Meeting on February 26, 2019. The proposed revitalization of SWTC will modernize and re-position the existing historic building and Pier for expanded use as a place for work, retail, events and active public waterfront experiences within the city's Seaport District. The project will enhance its current uses by replacing the existing exhibition hall with new public realm spaces and improvements and expanded ground-floor retail space, as well as creating new flexible and innovative office space and first-class event spaces. Fidelity Investments will occupy the office space.



Commonwealth Pier is owned by Massport and situated within a designated port area (DPA). The project will undergo the City's Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Article 80 Large Project Review as well as the MassDEP Waterway Act Chapter 91 licensing process. 

View Commonwealth Pier Revitalization Project Notification & Environmental Notification Form. The document combines the BPDA's Article 80 project notification and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) environmental notification. 

Upcoming public meetings are:

Impact Advisory Meeting*
Monday March 11, 2019
6 pm - 7:30 pm
Cityview Ballroom, SWTC
*open to the public to listen

Public Community Meeting
Wednesday March 12, 2019
6 pm - 7:30 pm
Cityview Ballroom, SWTC
200 Seaport Blvd

MEPA Environmental Notification Comment Deadline: March 12, 2019
Analyst Purvi Patel
Email: Purvi.Patel@state.ma.us

BPDA Article 80 Comment Deadline: March 18, 2019
Project Manager: Aisling Kerr
Email: Aisling.Kerr@Boston.gov

In addition to MEPA's environmental review, there is also a Waterfront Development Plan required as part of Massport's Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The preliminary Commonwealth Pier Waterfront Development Plan can be found here.  

Draft Waterfront Development Plan Comment Deadline: March 22, 2019
Lisa Wieland, Port Director, Massport
Ben Lynch, Waterways Program Director, DEP

The Waterfront Development Plan is a precursor to the proponent's Chapter 91 application. What is Chapter 91? Check out the People's Guide to the Public Waterway Act (Chapter 91) created by CLF.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At CPA, Artist Work & Live Work Spaces, Shared Mobility, Nightlife Safety & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their February 28 and March 6, 2019 meetings:

Community Preservation Fund: We voted (10-0, Councilors Baker, Ciommo & McCarthy absent) to approve the appropriation of $34.9M from the Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019 Community Preservation Fund revenues for 56 projects recommended by the City of Boston Community Preservation Committee ("CPC"). Between the first round of grants and now this second round, every neighborhood in Boston has received funding from the CPC. See the list of all projects.

Municipal Participation of the Widest Eligible Range: We voted to adopt a resolution that Councilors Zakim, Janey & I offered urging passage of the Massachusetts House Bill known as the EMPOWER Act, sponsored by Representatives Andy Vargas and Dylan Fernandes. The proposed legislation would allow cities or towns to extend the right to vote in municipal elections to citizens at 16-years of age, when youth can drive, work without restrictions, and pay taxes. Research shows that voting at an earlier age leads to more dedicated voting than starting at 18 years of age. In jurisdictions where there is a lower voting age, the data shows that the 16- and 17-year old first-time voters consistently turn out to vote at higher rates than 18- and 19-year-old first-time voters.

Artist Workspace and Live-Work Spaces: Councilors Essaibi-George, O’Malley & Janey refiled a hearing to discuss strategies for creating more affordable work space for artists, given ongoing displacement of artists who are struggling to find affordable housing and workspace. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Arts, Culture & Special Events for a hearing.

Safety in Nightlife Settings: Councilor Essaibi-George called for a hearing to analyze the safety of patrons, especially women, in Boston’s bars, clubs, and other nightlife venues, following the recent kidnapping of Olivia Ambrose and murder of Jassy Correia after the two women were socializing in Boston establishments. She stated that women have the right to be safe while enjoying nightlife in our city, and that the goal was to convene the Boston Licensing Board, Police, business owners, and others to discuss a more proactive approach to safety. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Public Safety & Criminal Justice for a hearing.

Shared mobility businesses: Councilors Flaherty and O’Malley reported back on the hearing on the Mayor’s proposed ordinance to set regulations for shared mobility companies, including electric scooters. The ordinance would create a license for companies to operate in Boston, as well as a Small Vehicle Sharing Business Advisory Committee to help the Boston Transportation Commissioner establish regulations. The ordinance does not outline specific rules, but lays out categories for the Commissioner to issue rules later, including safety, speed limits, accessibility, and the number of licenses that will be available. The matter will remain in committee for further action.

MBTA Local Assessment: Councilor Garrison called for a hearing on withholding city funding to the MBTA Local Assistance Fund until service levels are better. This matter dovetails with the order that Councilor Essaibi-George and I filed last month on Boston’s $85M annual local assessment payment to the MBTA. We will bundle the dockets together and hold a joint hearing. The matter was assigned to the Planning, Development & Transportation Committee for a hearing.

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch Live

  • Our next City Council meeting will be on Wednesday, March 13
  • Tuesday, March 12, 11am: Hearing on Boston Public Health Commission (Healthy Women, Families and Communities)
  • Tuesday, March 12, 3pm: Hearing on the creation of a traffic enforcement unit. Docket #0143 (Public Safety and Criminal Justice)

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

FPNA February Gathering Features GE, Seaport World Trade Center & Neighborhood News


Join FPNA
for 
A Fort Point Seaport 
Neighborhood Gathering 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
6 pm - 8 pm
Capital One Café
2nd floor, 57 Seaport Blvd.

featuring
Commonwealth Pier (Seaport World Trade Center)
Reactivation Project 
200 Seaport Boulevard
View Project Notification Filing

&
GE: An Update To The Neighborhood
Peter Cavanaugh, Ecosystem Transformation Leader
Jim McGaugh, Executive Director & Counsel, Government Affairs

with
 Neighborhood Updates & Discussion


Special thanks to Capital One Café for hosting.

originally posted 2.18.19

Boston City Council Looks At Election Reform, After Hours Construction, MBTA Better Buses & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. The Boston City Council considered the following items and more at their February 13, 2019 meeting:

Elections Reform: The Council voted on two of the three proposals that Councilor Campbell had filed at the last Council meeting:
  • Length of Council Terms: The Council voted 11-2 (Councilor Zakim and I opposed) to advance a home-rule petition that would double the length of the Council terms, from 2 years to 4 years. Several Councilors had stated at the working session on Monday and on the Council floor today that having a longer term would strengthen the Council as a counterweight to the Mayor’s office, and it would save the City money by eliminating the need to run a citywide election in the non-Mayoral odd year. Councilor Zakim and I voted against this proposal because of concerns that it would raise the barriers for new candidates to challenge incumbents. Absent campaign finance reform, this would double the amount of time and number of years that incumbents could build up warchests and make it more difficult for a first-time candidate to raise the resources for a credible campaign. Many of the instances where new candidates successfully challenged incumbents have occurred in the non-Mayoral years, so we would effectively halve the opportunities for new candidates to join the Council (in fact, it has been 22 years since an incumbent Councilor was unseated in a Mayoral-year election; the four examples of challengers winning seats in the last 20 years have all happened in the off-years, which would be eliminated under this proposal). Finally, I believe that having a two-year term makes Councilors more accountable to constituents and pushes us to be the most nimble level of government. Certainly there are projects that require more than two years, but there are also many projects that move along more quickly because of that accountability. The proposal will need approval by the Mayor and state legislature to be implemented.
  • Running for Multiple Municipal Offices: The Council voted 12-1 (I opposed) to prohibit candidates from running for two municipal offices at the same time. The most recent example of this was when Councilor Yancey in 2013 ran simultaneously for Mayor and for re-election to the Council. Proponents believe that this will force candidates to make a choice about which office to pursue seriously. I voted for this when the Council passed this docket in April 2016, but believe that in this political moment, we should take every step to encourage more people to run, not restrict ballot access. This proposal will also need Mayoral and state legislative approval to be implemented.
  • At-Large Vacancy: We did not take a vote on this docket, which would change the rules to fill an At-Large vacancy from the current 5th place finisher taking the seat to a special election process similar to the way that vacant District Council seats are filled. Councilor Baker stood to say that he would have voted against this, because although he filed this docket in 2016, he would not want to disrespect Councilor Garrison today and how she earned her seat. The matter remains in committee.

Early Voting: The Council voted to pass a home-rule petition filed by Councilors Zakim, Janey & Campbell to implement early voting for municipal elections. Currently, the state law only requires and allows early voting for state elections, and Boston has seen early voting drive up turnout due to convenience and flexibility. The docket will require state approval to be implemented.

Corporate Tax Break Transparency: I filed an ordinance to increase corporate tax break transparency for incentives granted by the City. Residents should be able to easily access information about which companies are benefiting from corporate tax breaks in order to understand how much of a return Boston is getting on its investment. Massachusetts received the lowest score from Pew Foundation in 2017 for its evaluation of tax breaks, and Boston’s Tax Increment Financing Program received a score of zero in transparency from Good Jobs First, while other cities, such as New York and Austin, are providing their citizens with transparent databases that hold businesses accountable. Businesses receiving tax breaks should have to share basic information on the benefits they will provide the city, including number of jobs created with wages and benefits information. The matter was assigned to the Government Operations Committee for a hearing.

After-Hours Construction: Councilor Flynn called for a hearing to discuss construction and development issues outside standard permitted hours of 7am-6pm, including early morning, late evening, weekends and holidays. Particularly in the South End, community leaders have questioned the frequency of permits granted for after-hours and weekend construction for emergency and extraordinary circumstances. Residents in South Boston and Chinatown have highlighted concerns regarding security and safety in all phases of development at construction sites, damages to neighboring properties, the need for adherence to approved plans, and suitable rodent control. The current penalty for demolition, erection, alteration, or repair of any building outside of permitted hours without special approval is $300 for each offense. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Planning, Development & Transportation for a hearing.

Voter Registration Information to all New Tenants: Councilor Zakim and I filed a hearing order to discuss providing voter registration information to all new tenants in Boston. Massachusetts allows eligible citizens to register to vote in person at a number of public facilities including city and town halls, via mail-in registration form, or online if the Registry of Motor Vehicles has their signature on file. 64% of Bostonians are currently renting their homes and apartments, and a number of municipalities around the country, including Seattle, Washington, and most recently St. Paul, Minnesota, have implemented ordinances requiring that landlords provide voter registration information to all new tenants upon the signing of a lease. The matter was assigned to the Committee on Civil Rights for a hearing.
MBTA Better Bus Project: I called for a hearing regarding the MBTA Better Bus Project, including the recently released 47 cost-neutral proposals to update and modernize existing routes. The Better Bus Project includes several components: continuous change, analysis, proposed near-term changes, multi-year investment strategy, and the Bus Network Redesign. These proposals are meant to lay the foundation for a bus network with more frequent, reliable service to provide better connectivity in Greater Boston. The City of Boston has a big role to play in working to advance the MBTA’s proposals, and I suggested today that the we could bundle this hearing order with the one previously filed by Councilor Essaibi-George and me on the City’s annual local assessment payment to the MBTA. Councilor Essaibi-George also noted that it would be important to add BPS bus transportation to the MBTA bus conversation. The matter was assigned to the Planning, Development and Transportation Committee for a hearing.

Appointments: The Mayor made the following appointments to the Zoning Board of Appeals:
  • Nadine Fallon as an alternate member until July 2021
  • Bruce Bickerstaff as a member until July 2021
  • Mark Fortune as a member until July 2021
  • Joseph Ruggiero as a new member until July 2021
  • Christine Araujo as a member until July 2021

For complete notes on Boston City Council meetings, visit MichelleForBoston.com or sign up to receive these notes automatically. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

MBTA Better Bus Project Coming To Roads Near You

Join the MBTA for a  Better Bus Project Open House and Community Meeting on:


Monday, February 25, 2019
anytime 6 pm to 8 pm
Tynan School 
650 E. Fourth St.
(accessible from bus routes 7, 9 and 11)

There are some proposed changes to the number 4 bus, the number 9 bus, and the Silver Line Route #2. Visit betterbus.mbta.com to view the proposals. The proposals include a description of each proposed change by route number, a map of the change, and the data supporting the change along with the trade offs. You can also sign up for project email alerts.



The MBTA will also have information on their Automated Fare Collection 2.0 and of a course, an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed fare increase. 

Can't make it to the meeting? Share your feedback at mbta.com/BBPfeedback.

Originally published 2.11.19

Friday, February 15, 2019

Trader Joe's Is Coming To Fort Point

updated 2/15/19 : Fort Point Channel Landmark District Commission approved Trader Joe's proposal for changes to the exterior of 44 Thomson Place.

It appears that the rumors of a Trader Joe's coming to Fort Point may be true.  Trader Joe's is on the tonight's agenda at Fort Point Channel Landmark District Commission. The location is 44 Thomson Place.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Parking Restrictions on A Street Effective Tomorrow

Road excavation work to extend an intermediate gas main down A Street is expected to start Friday, February 15, 2019. This work is a resumption of what had began last summer and was halted by the National Grid strike.  

A parking ban will in effect weekdays during the hours of 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.  Today no parking signs were posted at the corner of Binford Street & A Street to Wormwood Street.

The work route will continue down A Street to Melcher St and then turn on to Necco Street. The no parking permit is effective through March 8, 2019.

If you park on A Street or Melcher Street, keep an eye out for parking restrictions by block as the work progresses.

Fort Point Landmarks February 2019 Meeting Updated

The FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION will hold a public hearing on:

Thursday, February 14, 2019
6:00 PM
Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room (5th Floor)
After 5:30 pm, enter and exit City Hall at the Dock Square entrance on Congress Street 
(across from Faneuil Hall).

Subject of the hearing will be applications for Certificates of Design Approval on the agenda below, review of architectural violations and such business as may come before the commission, in accordance with Ch. 772 of the Acts of 1975, as amended.

I. Violations

303 Congress Street: Ratification of unapproved temporary banner signage

II. Design Review

APP # 19.479 FPC 63 Melcher Street
Applicant: Matt Frazier JSIP, 63 Melcher LLC
Proposed Work: Request for an extension of the temporary banners.

APP # 19.760 FPC 348 Congress
Applicant: Robert Tuttle Ne Neon Sign Co
Proposed Work: At front façade, relocate previously approved blade sign adjacent to front entrance (Previously Heard on 10/11/2018).

APP #  19.70 FPC 44 Thomson Place
Applicant: Andrew Tobias; Trader Joe's
Proposed Work: Reopen historic windows, relocate entrances, awnings. Install historic signage.

III. Administrative Review/Approval
APP # 19.769 FPC 250 Summer Street (adjacent)
Proposed Work: Modify the existing telecommunication antenna that was previously approved by Commission.

III. RATIFICATION OF 12/13/2018 PUBLIC HEARING MINUTES 

IV. Staff Updates

V. PROJECTED ADJOURNMENT: 7:0O

FORT POINT CHANNEL LANDMARK DISTRICT COMMISSION
David Berarducci, Susan Goganian, John Karoff, Lynn Smiledge, Vacancy 
Alternates: Thomas Rodde, Vacancy


originally published 01/30/19

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

GE Innovation Point February 2019 Construction Update

GE Innovation Point is transforming as reconstruction continues along the Harborwalk as the weather permits, windows continue to be installed, lots of steel, roof work and expect to see the metal skin of the green pedestrian bridge removed along with other structural improvements. 

·         Pedestrian traffic has been relocated onto the first phase of the Harborwalk sidewalk.  The balance of the Harborwalk reconstruction, Phase 2, from the trailers to Necco Ct. is continuing as weather permits.  Overlook deck framing is complete, deck construction will continue as weather permits.  The Phase 2 harborwalk concrete sidewalk will be placed as weather conditions permit.  Temporary access to the dock is maintained daily.  Landscaping and certain plantings will be completed in the early spring of 2019 to meet planting season requirements. 

·         Temporary heating units have been installed and are providing heat through temporary ducts from both the west face and the east face of the buildings.  These units will remain in operation throughout the winter months.  Certain portions of the building are being wrapped or tented to allow masonry, concrete, and other construction to continue.  The openings in the building are being closed up on a permanent basis as work progresses.

·         Structural steel erection for the west building high roof, mechanical screen supports and 6th floor is complete.  Concrete has been placed on the 6th floor.  The concrete high roof deck slab will be placed on the west building during February, after which placement of the permanent roofing will commence.

·         Structural steel erection for the east building will complete in February.  The east building steel has been tied into the glass enclosure structure between the buildings.  The low roof steel and deck are in place, the high roof steel structure and mechanical screen supports above the low roof are being erected.   With completion of the low roof the new concrete block stair shaft masonry work in the northwest corner of the building is underway and will complete this month.  The northwest corner of the concrete decks on the 2nd through 5th floors of the east building are being prepared for concrete now that the stair shaft is above the low roof.   Preparations for placement of the low roof concrete deck are underway and will complete this month.  The placement of permanent roofing on the east building will commence once the concrete decks are placed. 

·         The crane continues to support the erection of the structural steel.  The current crawler crane will be removed from the site mid-February.  Mobile cranes will be used as additional equipment and materials need to be hoisted into the building.

·         Cutting and repointing of the exterior masonry façades is one of the activities that is temperature sensitive.   Cutting and repointing is continuing in the area that has been tented and heated between the buildings.  Washing of the masonry facades has been postponed until temperatures permit completion of this work. 

·         The construction of the new large openings in the south and west faces of the first floor of the west building and on the south face of the east building continues.   Once the opening is made, steel framing is placed supporting the existing masonry wall, then the masonry is reconstructed around the steel frame.  The work on the large openings will continue. 

·         Window installation is continuing in both buildings.  Caulking and sealing around the new windows as well as placement of window trim is in progress and will continue. 

·         Rough-in of interior walls and interior masonry restoration is underway in the west building.  Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection rough-in is continuing on the first 4 floors of the west building.  This will expand onto the 5th floor once the permanent roof is in place.  Rough in of the ductwork and piping risers in the west building core is complete.

·         Rough-in of interior walls and interior masonry restoration is underway in the east building.  The mezzanine level partitions are constructed with building infrastructure installation underway.  Electrical, mechanical and plumbing rough-in is continuing in the first 3 floors of the east building.  Rough in of the ductwork and piping risers is nearing completion in the core of the east building.  The passenger and freight elevator installation will begin in late February.

·         The new column for the Necco Ct. bridge has been placed.  The base of the column will be encased in concrete to protect it from vehicles.   Scaffolding erection on both sides of the Necco Ct. bridge to the full height of the bridge is underway and will complete in mid-February.   Removal of the existing metal panel skin will be performed first with structural improvements to the bridge steel following the removal.  Fabrication of structural steel, curtainwall and metal panels for the bridge reconstruction is underway.  Abatement of lead-based paint from structural members inside the bridge will continue in order to prepare the surfaces for welding.  GE and its contractors will continue to coordinate the work in Necco Ct. with Synergy. 

·         The final transformer has been placed in the transformer yard by Eversource.  The main electrical gear has been placed inside the main electrical room inside the building and is being prepared to receive permanent power.  Once all electrical gear testing and inspections are complete, Eversource will energize the permanent power to the building. 


·         National Grid will provide a permanent gas service connection to the buildings from Necco St.  This will require trenching in Necco St.  Tie-in is currently forecast to be performed this Spring pending final schedule from National Grid.

GE Innovation Point Construction updates occur about monthly in frequency or when there are major transitions in the construction process. Visit GE Reports to sign up for updates and to find the latest information or contact GE at innovation.point@ge.com.