Thursday, November 14, 2019

15 Necco (formerly GE) Life Sciences Project Enters Community Review

The Boston Planning & Development Agency is hosting two public meetings to solicit feedback on the proposed new development at 15 Necco Street. GE and MassDevelopment sold the two historic Necco buildings and parcel to National Development and Alexandria Real Estate Equities earlier this year. 

The Proponent proposes the construction of a new, 12-story, approximately 316,000 square-foot, multi-tenant office/life sciences/research and development building with active ground floor uses, such as retail and restaurant spaces within the southern portion of the Project Site (15 Necco Street). Because of the Project Site's proximity to public transit and nearby public parking facilities, the new building is not proposed to include any underground parking.  Depicted below is the new building design.

The first meeting is the Impact Advisory Group meeting on November 21st at 6 pm on the first floor of 300 A Street. The public is also welcome to attend.

The  Public meeting will be held on December 2nd at 6 pm on the first floor of 300 A Street. 





On Tuesday, November 5th, 2019, ARE-MA No. 74, LLC, which is a joint venture between affiliates of Alexandria Real Estate Equities ("ARE") and National Development, and ARE-MA No. 72, LLC, an affiliate of ARE (collectively, the "Proponent"), filed a Notice of Project Change ("NPC") with the Boston Planning & Development Agency ("BPDA") for 5 and 15 Necco Street, which comprise an approximately 2.7-acre site in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston and for which the General Electric Company (GE) Headquarters Project was previously slated for construction. 

Concurrently with this NPC, the Proponent also filed a proposed Amended and Restated Development Plan for 5 and 15 Necco Street, South Boston, Massachusetts, within Planned Development Area No. 69, South Boston/The 100 Acres and a proposed Fifth Amendment to the Master Plan for Planned Development Area No. 69, South Boston/The 100 Acres. The previously approved project was contemplated to include GE occupancy in both 5 Necco Street and the new office building at 15 Necco Street. GE will now occupy office space only at 5 Necco Street. 

Seaport Strategic Transit Plan Third Public Meeting

The Boston Planning & Development Agency and the City of Boston invite you to the third Public Meeting on the South Boston Seaport Strategic Transit Plan on: 
Monday, 12/09/2019 
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

BSA Space, Fort Point Room (2nd Floor)

290 Congress Street

The South Boston Seaport Strategic Transit Plan will prioritize specific recommendations to improve the operations, capacity, and connectivity of the transit network (MBTA buses, Red and Silver Line stations, shuttles, ferries, etc.) serving Boston’s Seaport District, Fort Point and nearby transit connections.

Open House - 5:30 to 6:00 PM


Overview of the proposed transit strategies & evaluation methodology to improve transit.

Presentation - 6:00 to 7:00 PM


Presentation of the proposed transit strategies & evaluation methodology in more detail.Other topics include study overview, progress since the October meeting, updates on modeling, & next steps.

Open House Continued/Feedback Opportunity - 7:00 PM


Opportunity to ask questions & provide feedback on the proposed transit strategies & evaluation methodology.

Background:  View previous presentations & documents


Contact

James Fitzgerald

James.Fitzgerald@Boston.gov

617.918.4327

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

FPNA Gathering: 6.5 Acre Channelside, Your Top 5 Issues & Neighborhood News

You are invited to a
Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Gathering

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
6 pm to 8 pm
Capital One Café
57 Seaport Blvd


featuring

Related Beal
with KPF Architects

244 - 284 A Street 
6.5 acres Channelside

(former Gillette Parking Lot)

with 

Neighborhood Top 5
A Discussion of Key Issues In Fort Point & Seaport

&

Neighborhood News


Special Thanks to Capital One Café for their hospitality 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Fort Point Landmarks November 2019 Meeting

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

Thursday, November 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.  DESIGN REVIEW HEARING


APP # 20.477 FPC  370 Congress Street
Applicant: Jess Hanson; Star Sign Co 
Proposed Work: At the Thompson Street and Congress Street elevations, replace four existing pole banners, relocate one pole banner, and install one new banner with associated armature; At the southwest corner replace two wall plaques; At the Congress Street entrance replace halo-lite channel letter sign and install vinyl decals on entry doors.

APP # 20.524 FPC  250 Summer Street
Applicant: Dan Desroches, Slnergy lnvestments
Proposed Work: At the Harborwalk and alley-facing elevations, install flood barrier systems at seven (7) doorways and seven (7) windows.

II. Administrative Review/Approval

APP # 20.524 SE  250 Summer Street: 
At the Harborwalk and rear alley elevations, repoint 3’b above grade; paint and replace sealant at seven (7) windows; remove asphalt paving at six (6) door thresholds at the rear elevation and replace with concrete.

III  Ratification of 10/10/2019 Public Hearing Minutes

IV. Staff Updates

V. Projected Adjournment: 6:45 PM


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


originally published 11.6.19

Thursday, November 07, 2019

P&G Gillette Launches Assessment of World Shaving Headquarters

A good neighbor and major Fort Point property owner, P&G Gillette, notified the Fort Point Neighborhood Association  (FPNA) shortly after informing their own employees that P&G is conducting an assessment related to their Massachusetts operations.   The assessment  they explained is the first step in executing a plan to invest in new, world class, high tech production facilities, a cutting-edge innovation center and modern office space.   The assessment will explore how best structure P&G Grooming operations across their Fort Point (34 acre) and Andover (150 acre) sites to bring their new vision to life - and will consider what's best for the business, employees, and the community.

Under any scenario, the company plans to maintain a meaningful presence in South Boston. "We are proud of our Boston heritage and want to continue to benefit from, and enable, the strong business and innovation ecosystem that exists in Boston today."

"We do believe that with the right planning and partnership with local leaders, this exploration could yield some advantages for the city, the state and the neighborhood.    We will also honor our commitments related to climate ready planning - and we plan to continue our longstanding charitable giving program to support the many incredible nonprofit organizations that are making our community a better place to live and work."

Monday, November 04, 2019

Tuesday Is Election Day Let’s GOTV

Tomorrow Tuesday, November 5, 2019 is the Boston Municipal Election for City Council. On the ballot in our district are: District City Councilor Ed Flynn and eight City Councilors-At-Large vying for your vote to fill four At-Large seats. 

When: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
7 am – 8 pm
Where: Condon School (200 D Street)
What: Boston Municipal Election of City Council


District 2:  Ed Flynn*






At-Large City Councilors (vote for up to 4 of 8)

Michael Flaherty*: Born and raised in Boston, Michael Flaherty developed a passion for public service from his father, a State Representative. First elected to City Council in 2000-2008, he served as President for 5 years. Re-elected in 2013 as a Councilor-At-Large, Michael fights to improve Bostonians’ quality of life. Michael lives in South Boston and is running for re-election. Read more about Michael.

Althea Garrison*:  Althea Garrison was sworn in as an At-Large member of the Boston City Council on January 9, 2019, filling the seat vacated by Ayanna Pressley. A resident of Dorchester, she fights every day for the cares and concerns of all Bostonians. Althea is a registered Independent.

Annissa Essaibi-George*: Annissa-Essaibi George is a former Boston Public Schools teacher, a mother of 4 students in BPS, a small business owner, a proud daughter of immigrants, and a lifelong Boston resident. Annissa was elected as an At-Large Boston City Councilor in November 2015 and sworn in on January 4, 2016. Annissa resides in Dorchester and is running for re-election. Read more about Annissa

David Halbert: David Halbert has spent a lifetime putting his values into action serving others, working to improve his community, and heeding the call of civic duty. He has worked for two Boston city councilors and former governor Deval Patrick and helped community organizations like East Boston Main Streets. David resides in Dorchester/Mattapan. Read more about David.

Julia Mejia: Driven by a lifelong pursuit of justice and equity, Julia Mejia has created countless opportunities for others to step into their power and advocate for positive change. That is why she believes It’s time for City government leadership include new faces from different walks of life…striving for a voice in our institutions of power. Julia resides in Dorchester. Read more about Julia

Erin Murphy: Erin Murphy is a 5th generation Bostonian, but a first-time candidate for office. She is a veteran BPS teacher and proud graduate of Emerge, the state's premier political organization that recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network for women who want to run for office. Erin resides in Dorchester. Read more about Erin.

Alejandra St. Guillen: Born and raised in Mission Hill, Alejandra has dedicated her lived and professional experience to the people of Boston. As a parent, wife, and seasoned public advocate, she understands firsthand the opportunities for prosperity and mobility, as well as the obstacles that often deny these opportunities to many. Alejandra resides in West Roxbury. Read more about Alejandra.

Michelle Wu*: Michelle Wu has been a voice for Boston’s future through inclusion, innovation, and transparency. First elected to the Boston City Council in November 2013 at the age of 28, Wu is the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Council, and the first woman of color to serve as Council President. Michelle resides in Roslindale and is running for re-election. Read more about Michelle

* incumbents

Want to hear the City Councilors-At-Large in debate? WBUR, UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies and The Boston Globe hosted a live debate featuring the eight candidates for the four at-large Boston City Council seats on October 22, 2019.

Non-Binding Ballot Question (citywide)

Do you support the renaming/changing of the name of Dudley Square to Nubian Square?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Boston City Council Looks At Local Wetlands Ordinance & Grants

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Here are some highlights from the October 30, 2019 meeting:

Local Wetlands Protection: Councilors Flaherty, O’Malley & I reported back on yesterday’s working session on the Local Wetlands Protection ordinance. After receiving a line-edited version of proposed amendments from the Administration, we are making progress with resolving points of discussion that center around jurisdiction, timeframe, and whether to shrink proposed buffer zones around natural resource areas. We expect to make amendments and present a version for a vote by the end of the year.


GRANT: 

  • $4,342,674 FY19 Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Grant, awarded by the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development to be administered by the Department of Neighborhood Development to fund abatement, inspection, risk assessment, temporary location and interim control of lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately owned, single-family and multi-family housing units that are occupied by low-income families. (Assigned to the Housing & Community Development Committee)
  • $400,000 Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations of Communities (PARC) Grant, awarded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Division of Conservation Services to be administered by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to fund Phase III of the renovation of Harambee Park in Dorchester. (Assigned to the Environment, Sustainability & Parks Committee)
  • $300,000 Go Boston 2030 grant, awarded by the Barr Foundation to be administered by the Transportation Department to fund transparent communication, tracking and evaluation of the progress of implementing the projects identified in Go Boston 2030. (Assigned to the Planning, Development & Transportation Committee)
  • $99,811 FY19 BJA Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grant, awarded by the United States Department of Justice to be administered by the Police Department to fund a cross-system collaboration to improve responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses (MI) or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse (CMISA) who come into contact with the justice system. (Passed)
  • $50,000 Harvard-Allston Public Realm Flexible Fund, awarded by the Boston Redevelopment Authority to be administered by the Arts and Culture Department to fund a consultant to identify both creative place-making and place-keeping opportunities in keeping with the unique and varied present-day character of the dynamic Allston-Brighton neighborhood. (Passed)
  • $40,000 FY2020 Jail/Arrest Diversion Grant, awarded by the MA Department of Mental Health to be administered by the Police Department to fund crisis intervention training. (Passed)
  • $4,520 FY17 Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, awarded by the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development to be administered by the Department of Neighborhood Development to fund planning and implementing programs to move Boston from a city where multiple programs serve youth and young adults at risk and experiencing homelessness, to a city with a coordinated, resourced and data-informed system with common vision and goals aimed at preventing and ending youth homelessness. The original award of $4,920,000.00 was increased by $4,520.00 when the contract was finalized by HUD. (Passed)

UPCOMING HEARINGS (In the City Council Chamber unless otherwise noted. Watch online too.)

  • Our next Council Meeting will be on Wednesday, November 6th 

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

Fort Point District 100 Acres Open Space Community Workshop

Updated 10.28.19: Over 100 people attended the BPDA 's first 100 Acres Open Space Public Planning event held in conjunction with Sasaki. 
In case you missed it, you may view the presentation here. You won't be able to drop gumballs or coins to indicate your open space preferences; however, you can share your opinion by taking the Fort Point 100 Acres Open Space survey available now until midnight Tuesday, November 5th. 




The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) invites you to join the Fort Point District 100 Acres Open Space Community Workshop.

The Fort Point District 100 Acres Open Space public engagement and concept design process will serve as a guide for future development of open spaces in the area. 

Date: Saturday October 26, 2019
When: 10 AM - 12:30 PM*
Where: Artists For Humanity 100 W 2nd Street Boston, MA 02127
Contact: 
Joe Christo Senior Resilience & Waterfront Planner 
617.918.4447 

*An overview presentation will begin at 10 am followed by the community workshop activities.

Current goals of the project include: 

• Provide a vision and programmatic plan for future development of parks and open space that are accessible and available to all. 
• Ensure a diverse and balanced mix of parks uses based on community input and user needs.
• Develop a system of open space areas that relate to each other, the surrounding built context and the historic Fort Point Channel District. 
• Design landscapes that are adaptive and resilient to climate change impacts including sea level rise, storm surge, heat island, and stormwater, and contribute to neighborhood flood protection. 
• Establish meaningful connections to the Fort Point Channel watersheet and  surrounding open space, streets and linear connections, including Harborwalk and the South Bay Harbor Trail.


Originally published 10.11.19

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fort Point Seaport Gathering: Life Sciences, Seaport Winter & Hot Topics

Fort Point Seaport Neighborhood Gathering

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
6 pm to 8 pm
Capital One Café
57 Seaport Blvd

featuring

National Development & Alexandria Real Estate
with David Manfredi, Elkus Manfredi Architects
New Life Sciences Building
15 Necco Street

(former GE Headquarters)

&

Seaport Square
Beer Garden to Winter Skating & Warming Tent
Yanni Tsipis, WS Development


plus
Neighborhood Hot Topics


Special Thanks to Capital One Cafe for hosting the neighborhood

Boston City Council Looks At BDPA, ZBA, Grants, Vacant Properties & More

City Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu publishes notes from Boston City Council meetings. Here are some highlights from the October 2, October 9 and October 23, 2019 meetings:
APPOINTMENTS:

  • Zoning Board of Appeals: Ann Beha and Timothy Burke, until July 2021
  • Back Bay Architectural Commission: James Berkman and Kathleen Connor until December 2021; Meredith Christensen, 2022; John Christiansen and Jerome Cooper King until December 2023; Zsuzsanna Gasper and Ethel Macleod until December 2024;
  • Boston Landmarks Commission: Joseph Castro and Bradford Walker until June 2020; John Freeman, Susan Goganian, and Christopher Hart until June 2021
  • Board of Review: Raymond E. Boly effective October 3, 2019

GRANTS:
  • $236,400 FY20 Local Cultural Council Program grant, awarded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to be administered by Arts and Culture to fund Boston Cultural Council subgrants (assigned to the Committee on Arts, Culture & Special Events)
  • $570,000 Climate Ready Boston grant, awarded by the Barr Foundation to be administered by the Environment Department to fund staff and consultant expenses for project planning and implementation. (Environment, Sustainability & Parks committee)
VOTES:
$260,000 in the form of a grant awarded by the Boston Redevelopment Authority d/b/a the Boston Planning and Development Agency, pursuant to the Winthrop Square Cooperation Agreement, One Post Office Square Cooperation Agreement and the 15-19 Congress Street Cooperation Agreement. The purpose of the grants is to facilitate planning and design for the Seaport to North Station Rapid Bus Corridor. The Seaport to North Station Rapid Bus Corridor was identified in the Go Boston 2030 as a key future rapid bus corridor, submits a report recommending the order ought to pass.

NEW MATTERS:

Abolish the BPDA: I officially filed my report with the Council, “Fixing Boston’s Broken Development Process: Why & How to Abolish the BPDA.” The report comes after almost a year of research, constituent cases, and meetings in my capacity as Chair of the Council’s Committee on Planning, Development & Transportation--recognizing the fact that many of the city’s most urgent challenges are being exacerbated by the current system of development based on special approvals and exceptions. Our complicated process comes from a lack of citywide planning that means Boston is missing out on addressing all our issues holistically, such as affordability, equity, traffic, and climate vulnerability. The document examines the history of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, its legacy today as the Boston Planning & Development Agency, examples from other cities about planning, transparency, accountability, civic engagement, and equity, and action steps for the City and the City Council. Councilor Baker rose to state that he believed the problems with the agency were under Mayor Menino’s administration, and that under Mayor Walsh there have been good planning and reforms in his experience. Councilor Ciommo stated that he had not read the report, but found it disingenuous to criticize the staff at the BPDA and not consult closely with all District Councilors on the report, since they are heavily involved with development. After our first community listening session in the South End on Monday, we will be in East Boston next Tuesday, October 15th, and in other neighborhoods very soon. You can read the report and sign up for email updates on future listening sessions at abolishthebpda.com.

ZBA: Councilor Edwards introduced a Home-Rule Petition to change the statute governing the Zoning Board of Appeal. The language would amend the state law designating the nominations process for ZBA members and the requirements of the board. Specifically, it would add designated seats to represent renters, persons knowledgeable in civil rights and fair housing, experts in environmental protection and other stakeholders not currently represented on the ZBA. The language would also require timely notification, the ability to access zoning services and records of decisions electronically and at Boston City Hall, and a regular report on variances by neighborhood and zoning district to inform future zoning by clearly indicating where actual development practices and the zoning code differ substantially. The matter was assigned to the Government Operation Committee for a hearing. 

Vacant Properties: Councilors O'Malley and Campbell reported back on the joint hearing regarding Vacant Properties held in the Committee on City and Neighborhood Services, Veterans Affairs & Military Families; and the Committee on Housing & Community Development. The displacement of neighborhood anchor small businesses, replaced by empty storefronts, is linked to the overall lack of affordable commercial space, and other cities have been exploring incentives to fill space such as fees levied on long-term vacant properties. The matter will remain in Committee for further discussion.

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Revised 99 A Street Life Sciences Proposal Public Meeting

The Boston Planning & Development Agency is hosting a public meeting on 99 A Street: A Revised Life Sciences Proposal, which includes Coppersmiths and two former P&G Gillette research buildings. The community meeting will take place:

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
6:30 pm to 8 pm
Condon School
200 D Street (behind the Laboure Center)

Life Sciences buildings are popping up all over. In September, WS Development proposed to change the residential building planned for Block N (391 Congress St) to Life Sciences. Earlier this year, WS Development announced Life Sciences tenant Foundation Medicine at Block P (400 Summer St.) pushing the performing art center to Block L. Tishman Spyer purchased 105 W 1st office building (former RCN building) with the intent to host Life Sciences. National Development with Alexandria Real Estate purchased the former GE Innovation Point headquarters building site for Life Sciences. National Development and Alexandria Real Estate will be presenting at the October 29th FPNA Neighborhood Gathering taking place from 6 pm to 8 pm at Capital One Cafe (57 Seaport Blvd). Related Beal, who purchased former Gillette Channelside parking lot, is proposing a Life Sciences building on the site near the corner of A Street & Binford Street. Related Beal also is developing a Life Sciences building at the Marine Industrial Park. Vertex Pharmaceuticals moved to the Seaport in 2014.

Come Wednesday night to discover the revised Life Sciences development at 99 A Street. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

BCEC Expansion Proposal Information Session Tuesday

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), Senator Nick Collins and Representative David Biele will host a discussion at the Condon School regarding a proposed expansion of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) on:

Tuesday, October 15
6 pm - 8 pm
Condon School
200 D. Street



MCCA officials will be presenting and available to answer questions.i