Thursday, December 20, 2007

Research Labs in Fan Pier

There's an article in the Herald about Fallon talking with biotech firms about building labs in Fan Pier. Becky Dwyer from the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) is quoted as being upset that it will create an "office wasteland", but I don't understand the concern over this particular item. We need to continue to make sure Fort Point is a mixed-use neighborhood in the future with a significant amount of the new development going to retail and residential, but, at least according to the article, the BRA and Fallon aren't talking about increasing the allocation of office space in the development. They're simply deciding to allocate some of the office space for biotech companies. Of all of the ways office space could be used, I think someone like Vertex is much better than most of the other alternatives (like the FBI, for example). Vertex's lab space on Kendall St. in Cambridge is in an interesting building that's recognized by the American Institute of Architects. And it has a restaurant space, open to the public, on the ground floor and a large public space in front where there's music shows in the summer and skating in the winter. That's about as good as you get for office space. If they built something similar in Fan Pier, I think that would be great.

Vertex eyes Fan Pier
By Jay Fitzgerald | Thursday, December 20, 2007

Developer Joseph Fallon is in talks with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and other biotech firms about building research labs within the new $1 billion Fan Pier complex - a move that’s raising concerns among some activists about the future makeup of the South Boston waterfront.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority today is expected to vote on Fallon’s request for some research-lab space to be allowed within the massive Fan Pier project.

Spokesmen for Fallon and city officials would only say that there’s been “some interest” expressed about life-science firms moving into the massive Fan Pier project.

But sources say Vertex, which has more than 1,000 employees, many of them at its headquarters in Cambridge, is one firm in talks with Fallon. The developer broke ground on the first phase of the Fan Pier build-out in September.
Susan Elsbree, a spokeswoman for the BRA, said any labs would be within the 1.5 million square feet of office space already approved for Fan Pier. The development’s other 1.5 million square feet would remain for condos, retail space and a hotel.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Schlow to Open New Restaurant in Seaport

According to the Boston Business Journal, Michael Schlow is opening a restaurant in the Seaport Marriot on Congress St which is set to open later this winter:

Schlow to open new Boston restaurant
Michael Schlow, owner/operator of Radius, Via Matta and Great Bay in Boston, as well as Alta Strada in Wellesley, has signed a consulting agreement with the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel to open a restaurant there. The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel is slated to open in South Boston's Seaport District this January. The restaurant concept and name are currently under development. A name has not been chosen. The restaurant will be located street-side and feature an exhibition kitchen, a chef's communal table, floor to ceiling wine displays, and an outdoor seating area.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fort Point in the News

Our neighborhood has been in the news a lot recently. Here's a collection of articles from the Globe discussing Fort Point. Many thanks to Linda for diligently staying on the lookout for them.

Jimmy's site being reborn on waterfront
Jimmy's Harborside Restaurant, a landmark on the South Boston Waterfront for decades, will be replaced by two mostly glass buildings with two large restaurants and a waterside public plaza.
But it appears that Jimmy's, since 1955 a dining destination for business folks, pols, and tourists that was demolished earlier this year, won't return.
Cresset Development, which recently signed a 75-year lease for the site, filed building plans with the state this week for 69,000 square feet of restaurant and office space at the Northern Avenue location and will separately submit plans to the Boston Redevelopment Authority today.

Boston Waterfront in 2017

The Globe created an interactive map of what our neighborhood and the surrounding area will look like ten years from now: Waterfront 2017.


Fort Point Channel vision clouding over
The man who helped reinvent New York's vibrant Soho and Florida's South Beach had a similar bold vision for Boston's Summer Street neighborhood. But that was a year ago.
Since then, Tony Goldman and investment partner Archon Group have sold seven of the 17 properties that were to be the building blocks of a revitalized 24/7, live-work-play district in the Fort Point Channel area.
And now they have put two more buildings on the market - 316 and 322 Summer St., historic warehouse structures whose renovations were to kick off the transformation of Summer and adjacent side streets.
The city approved the prominent brick buildings for conversion into luxury condos, but the residential market has cooled significantly in the last year.
"We found it very difficult to do that project in an economically feasible way," Goldman said in a telephone interview yesterday. "The construction costs being where they are and the market being where it is, it doesn't pencil out."

Post Office to sell 2 sites, consolidate in S. Boston
The United States Postal Service asked for proposals for redevelopment of the 16-acre site at Dorchester Avenue and Summer Street where its processing and distribution center is located. The Postal Service will also sell 23 acres on A Street and use both proceeds to move to another location in the South Boston industrial neighborhood, it said. It has hired the firm CB Richard Ellis/New England to find a developer for the site on Dorchester Avenue. Redevelopment will also allow expansion of railroad tracks at South Station. (Thomas C. Palmer Jr.)

Waterfront growth accelerates as city OKs South Boston complex
Development on the long-stalled South Boston Waterfront got a kick-start yesterday, as Waterside Place, a 1.1-million-square-foot urban shopping plaza, hotel, and residential complex, won unanimous approval from the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Construction for the vast block of buildings, proposed for the land and air space between the World Trade Center and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, is scheduled to begin early next year.
It would be the second major mixed-use project to get started on the waterfront, following an office building on Fan Pier set to break ground this fall.
The Big Dig's Interstate 90 extension through the Seaport district is complete, and residential buildings and a new hotel nearby are finished. Fan Pier developer Joseph F. Fallon and two other developers of large-scale projects are rapidly planning to get projects underway nearby, after years of empty promises and inaction on the waterfront.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Build the parks first

There's an interesting story in the Globe about what's happened with the parks on the Charles near the Musuem of science that were promised as part of the Big Dig:

Cost-overruns have soaked up a lot of funding and this has forced the project to be greatly scaled back and it's currently at risk of being much use at all.

It's a good reminder that, no matter how firm a promise is made, when budgets run tight, public spaces are always what gets cut. As the development of our own neighborhood unfolds, it's important that the timelines include doing projects like parks and other public amenities before the buildings go in, or there's a good chance they never happen.

For more information about development projects around Fort Point, see FPNA's development resources on our website.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Meeting on the Planned Gillette Renovations

There's a meeting tomorrow at Midway Studios to discuss Gillette's plans for renovating their plant to accommodate more office workers. The renovations are in the section of their facility towards West 2nd street and, among other things, they plan to move their loading dock onto A St.

Informational Session
Monday, November 26th, 2007
6:30 PM
At the Midway Mezzanine
15 Channel Center St.

Please come out and make your voice heard.

For more information, please contact:
Casey Flynn, Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Article on Barbara Lynch's Congress St. Restaurant Complex

There's an article about Barbara Lynch's new restaurant complex on Congress St. in the Globe.

It's all in the preparation
Barbara Lynch's new restaurant complex in the Fort Point area will put top-of-the-line equipment to use in concepts the chef has fine-tuned for years
By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | November 19, 2007

Chef Barbara Lynch's new restaurants, under construction in a luxury condo project on Congress Street in the emerging Fort Point neighborhood, don't have names yet and won't be taking reservations before next spring.

But the 15,000-square-foot complex will be a place to eat like foodies in this city have never seen before.

The $7.5 million project will include a fine-dining restaurant, a casual restaurant, a bar, private dining rooms, and a retail chocolate shop and bakery, all of which will be supported by dozens of cooks working round-the-clock in spacious cutting-edge kitchens....

The Fort Point area is only starting to take shape as an urban location for living, working, and nightlife, and opening luxury living and dining locales there presents "a risk for both parties," said Edward F. McCabe, president of Cafco, a Boston construction management firm that specializes in restaurants - including Sel de la Terre in Boston and Natick and Sonsie on Newbury Street.

The staff will use a large "prep" kitchen on the ground floor, a half-floor below street level, and four separate "finishing" kitchens. Fine dining for 70 and two private dining rooms that together can seat 45 will be on the upper floor, along with the casual restaurant, which will have counter-style seating.

A small retail shop selling Lynch's made-on-premises chocolates and baked goods will be near the entrance. A 40-seat bar with its own kitchen will be on the lower level.

The lower level is the heart of the "back of house," where groceries are received and vegetables are inventoried and washed. Lamb, beef, and chicken are weighed, butchered, and refrigerated.

... (Read full article)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Landmark District Meeting Tonight

A reminder that the Fort Point Landmark Study Committee is meeting this evening:

Monday, Nov 19, 2007
Boston Exhibition and Convention Center
Room: 201/202

and again in December:

Wednesday, Dec 12, 2007
Boston Exhibition and Convention Center
Room: 201/202

The Committee is working on designating a section of our neighborhood as a Landmark District to recognize and protect a section of our historic neighborhood which contains an unusually coherent and well-preserved collection of 19th and early 20th century buildings. The neighborhood reps on the committee are Valerie Burns, Steve Hollinger, Pratap Talwar and Michele Yeles. For more information, check out their website:

A presentation from their status update meeting is available here:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

FPNA in the Boston Biz Journal

Our own Cam Sawzin was quoted in a recently Boston Business Journal article about the development of the neigborhood (many thanks to Linda for typing this in):

Fort Point Channel residents await their neighborhood
This is Real Estate Roundup by Michelle Hillman

"Residents of the Fort Point Channel are worried that their lively cultural district will turn into a boring, 9-5 environment full of office buildings and little else. The fears are becoming a reality as more property owners consider building office space rather than residential units.

The highly visible Gillette manufacturing facility has been part of the Fort Point scenery for years. But now, it's getting company. The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to move its facility deeper into Fort Point, to a 25-acre parcel near the Greater Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The Postal Services' move from its current Summer Street location will free up 16 acres of prime channel real estate for development.

The FBI is weighing a move to a D Street facility owned by Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. If the FBI decides to move its headquarters to the D Street building, Intercontinental's plans for 585 residential units on the site will go out the window.

Another large and previously approved project, called Channel Center, was acquired earlier this year by Commonwealth Ventures LLC. At the time the Connecticut development firm stated in a published report it would redevelop a portion of the 16-building portfolio into 280,000 SF of office space. Nearby on Summer, Melcher and A streets, the Archon Group LP has made little progress in developing the portfolio of wharf buildings it purchased in 2005 into residential. In fact, the developer has said it is waiting for the market to cooperate before moving ahead with the plan to build 87 units at 316-322 Summer St.

To some residents' dismay, the rejuvenation of the old industrial and warehouse neighborhood hasn't taken hold. Developers instead are allowing market forces to dictate what gets built.

"We just want to make sure, now that the residential market has softened, that we don't find ourselves surrounded by office buildings, "said Cameron Sawzin, a resident and member of the Fort Point Neighborhood Association.

Sawzin said she's by no means anti-development. In fact, she views many of the changes that have occurred -- the addition of restaurants and retail -- as exciting. But she is concerned that the promise to create a 24-7 environment with a mix of uses could be in danger.

"We just want to make sure that the mix that was promised to us is kept the same," said Sawzin.

Sawzin and the Fort Point Neighborhood Association want to protect the historical character of the neighborhood and keep it an artists community, not a place with "50 Cheesecake Factories and The Gap": She's not alone.

"There is a real pressure from market forces to dictate what the outcome is in the Fort Point area", said Steve Hollinger, co-founder of another neighborhood group, the Seaport Alliance for Neighborhood Design.

Hollinger said he fears the Fort Point Channel may never become a dense urban environment as planned. He said the Fort Point Channel has always been seen as a back-office location for Financial District tenants but he said he doesn't believe the market should dictate what gets built, because "what happens in Fort Point ripples and has an effect on the Seaport District. The goal is to have a really lively Seaport, a really lively waterfront. I won't say I'm disappointed, but we definitely could be doing a lot better.""

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Graffiti Removal

As you've probably seen, there was a lot of graffiti added to the neighborhood recently. If you see any that hasn't been cleaned up, report it to the City's "Graffiti Busters" and they'll remove it for free, as long as the building owner agrees to let them. Their website is:

It has the form the building owner or condo association needs to fill out. You can report graffiti by either faxing that form to 617-635-3284 or reporting it via the Mayor's 24-hour Constituent Service form:

Select "South Boston" and "Graffiti", and enter the details of where it's located.

Appeals Board Mtg Tues for P&G/Gillette Renovations

P&G/Gillette is going before the Board of Appeals on Tuesday to try to get approval for their renovations to their plant on A Street. Details:

10:30 A.M.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Room 801
City Hall

A public hearing will be held by the Board of Appeal of the City of Boston in Room 801, City Hall, upon the appeal of The Gillette Company seeking with reference to the premises at 1 Gillette Park, Ward 6 from the terms of the Boston Zoning Code (see Acts of 1956, c, 665) in the following respect:

IPOD Permit Article(s): 27P (27P-9) 27P (27P-11) 27P (27P-12)
Construct a new main entrance/lobby addition, renovate interior.

If you wish to express an opinion in regards to the above proposal either in favor or in opposition, please detach the lower portion of this announcement or mail to:
Board of Appeal
1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 4th floor
Boston, MA 02118

Please feel free to call the Board of Appeal at 617-635-4775 if there is a
question or concern you might have regarding this matter.

Developers Flipping Buildings and Ignoring BRA's 100 Acres Plan

As reported in the Globe, Tony Goldman and Archon have put 316 Summer St. and 322 Summer St. up for sale and are claiming the new owners would turn the buildings into office space. This is in conflict with the BRA's 100 Acres Master Plan (Final100AcresPlan.pdf). The plan, which went through a l-o-n-g community process and was approved by the BRA this past year, strives to turn Fort Point into a mixed-use, 24/7 neighborhood. Without sufficient residential buildings, this obviously can't happen.

Steve Hollinger, of SAND, has a good commentary on the issue:

FPNA Charter Ratified

The FPNA Charter has been completed and ratified by the Interim Board. The final version is available on our website:

Friday, October 12, 2007

WBNA Letter on Gillette Renovation

Our friends at the West Broadway Neighborhood Association ( have written a letter with their concerns about the Gillette project. It's available on their site:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

P&G / Gillette Renovation

P&G / Gillette are in the process of trying to renovate their facilities to bring office workers to it from downtown. Even though it's in our neighborhood, no one we can find in the neighborhood was notified or given any information about the project, and the neighborhood organizations such as ourselves, FPAC, and SAND were not given notice about the proposal.

This issue was brought up with Councilor Linehan at the 'Conversations with the Councilor’ at Midway Studios. Linehan fielded questions that evening and his office responded the next day to FPNA's email to him:

Our office had met with Gillette and we apologize for not ensuring they reached out to every neighborhood association affected. While Gillette has met with the Lower End Political Action Committee and the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, we heard it loud and clear last night that no one in Fort Point received the same consideration. In response, our office will facilitate a meeting with Gillette to be held in Fort Point to present the proposed renovation. I will be in touch shortly with more information.

We will keep you posted when we hear about the meeting date.

Among the concerns raised were:
-Increased noise from moving the loading dock from Dot Ave to A Street.
-The increase in traffic caused by 300-400 additional car commuters
-Inadequate greenery and greenspace

Channel Center Development meeting 10/24

The new owners of Channel Center are holding a public meeting to give an update on that project:

Community Meeting: Channel Center Update

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Midway Studios, 15 Channel Center Street, South Boston

Agenda: Channel Center Holdings VAF, LLC will give an update on the next phases of the Channel Center Project, which is located in the Fort Point Channel District of South Boston

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Councilor Bill Linehan in Fort Point, Tuesday Night

Come meet Councilor Bill Linehan this Tuesday night:

Conversations with the Councilor
Tuesday, October 9th
6:30 - 7:30 PM
Midway Studios
15 Channel Center St

Come discuss the issues most affecting your neighborhood, your street, your quality of life in District 2. Whether it is public safety, parking, clean streets or other city services, Councilor Linehan would like to hear how he can help you in your neighborhood.

Volunteers needed for Open Studios

Open Studios is in two weeks and FPAC is looking for volunteers to help out. Contact Steph and Kelly if you're able to lend a hand:

The 28th Annual Fort Point Open Studios is fast approaching…
Can you help us staff Open Studios information booths?

Info booth volunteers play a vital role in the success of FPAC Open Studios- they help visitors find their way around Fort Point by giving out maps, brochures, and directions to parking and studios. Volunteers are welcome to work with a friend, and will receive a free Open Studios 2007 tee-shirt for their efforts.

Since 1978, Fort Point artists have opened their studios to the public during the third weekend in October. This event offers the public a rare glimpse into the living and working spaces of artists, while providing a valuable opportunity for artists to show their work. Open studios is a festive occasion for artists and visitors alike- it is a unique, exciting, and vibrant event filled with creative energy.

Come join us and help show off what an amazing community we have!

Volunteer shifts are:
Saturday, October 20th; 10:45am – 2:30pm or 2:30pm – 6:15pm
Sunday, October 21st; 10:45am – 2:30pm or 2:30pm – 6:15pm

If you would like to donate your time, or if you know someone who would, email to get started.

Please do your best to make yourself available, and help make this another successful year.

Thank You!
Steph and Kelly- OS Info Booth Volunteer Coordinators

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Commonwealth Vying for FBI Headquarters in Fort Point

There's an article in the Herald about Commonwealth Ventures making a push to build a new FBI headquarters in Fort Point and hiring former head of the BRA Robert Walsh as a consultant to help make it happen. Commonwealth is a Connecticut-based firm that bought the remaining parcels of the Channel Center development from Beacon Capital.

Builder (FB)eyes Southie: Ex-BRA boss is consultant
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter
Saturday, August 18, 2007

A development team featuring a former Boston Redevelopment
Authority chief has emerged as a top contender to build the FBI a new
Boston headquarters.
Former BRA boss Robert Walsh is working as a consultant on a
proposal by a Connecticut developer to build a new 300,000-square-foot,
high-security FBI fortress in South Boston’s Fort Point section.
Richard Galvin, president of Commonwealth Ventures, confirmed his
interest in the project and his hiring of Walsh, who has spent years in
the private sector in development and construction management.

Full article available at:

Movie Tuesday: Hot Fuzz

The Fort Point Stage 2007 Outdoor Summer Movie Series continues on Tuesday:

directed by Edgar Wright, 2007
starring Simon Pegg and Martin Freeman

Tuesday August 21st, 9 PM
Wormwood St. Park
(at intersection of A St. and Wormwood St.)
free, handicap accessible

For more information, see Fort Point Stage's site:

Explosion at the Gillette Plant

In the afternoon on Friday, a transformer? in front of the Gillette plan exploded. There was a loud bang and a big ploom of smoke. No one appeared to be hurt. Soon afterwards, a crew installed a replacement:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Interim Board Meeting Minutes, 8/6/2007

Minutes of Meeting #3, 8/6/07, Fort Point Neighborhood Alliance “Interim Board”

Jay Higginbottom
Linda Lukas, Secretary / Recorder
Michael Tyrrell
Daniel van Ackere
Drew Volpe, FPNA “Interim Board” Moderator


Review FPNA Draft Charter and Bylaws
Drew Volpe called the meeting to order at 7:17pm at 15 Sleeper Street, #502, Boston, MA, home of Linda Lukas

Each “Interim Board” member stated his/her questions/issues/recommendations regarding changes to the FPNA Charter and Bylaws. Drew read Surish’s email regarding his recommendations. The Articles and Sections are listed below according to the sequence of the Draft Charter and Bylaws, not according to the order of the items during discussion.

Issue: Changing Alliance to Association
Suggestion by Suresh: change Fort Point Neighborhood Alliance to Fort Point Neighborhood Association. After much discussion, Mike made a motion that because this is an important decision, the decision of changing from “Alliance” to “Association” be tabled so that each of the 11 members of the “Interim Board” have a vote in favor of or against the change. Dan van Ackere seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 2. General Membership, 2.01 Members, second paragraph, should non-resident property owner, business owner, public corporation or institute be represented by no more than three voting individuals?
“All of the above Members are to be considered voting Members. Each non-resident property owner, business owner, public corporation, or institution shall have one vote, with the limitation that each such property, business, corporation, or institution may not be represented by more than three voting individuals.”
After a short discussion, Jay made a motion to change Article 2. General Membership, 2.01 Members, second paragraph to read: “All of the above Members are to be considered voting Members. Each non-resident property owner, business owner, public corporation or institution is a voting Member, and therefore each shall have one vote.” Dan van Ackere seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 2. General Membership, 2.01 Members, third paragraph, should “honorary Members” be defined?
“The Membership may designate from time to time non-voting honorary Members. These persons shall be designated as described in Article 3.01, and shall have none of the rights or responsibilities of the regular Membership.”
After a brief discussion, it was decided to leave as is. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 2. General Membership, 2.02 Boundaries, should the geographic boundaries, as defined in Article 2, be expanded to include other areas?
“The geographic boundaries of the FPNA are: Starting at the corner of West Second Street at Dorchester Avenue; running north along the Fort Point Channel Harborwalk/Trail to Fan Pier, crossing east along the harbor front to Fan Pier Cove, then turning south, following the West Service or “Haul” Road back to the West Second Street overpass.”
After a short discussion, it was decided to keep the language as is. Dan van Ackere offered to create a map that will become an Appendix of the FPNA Charter and Bylaws. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 2. General Membership, 2.04 General Membership Annual Meetings, should the month, date and time of Annual Meetings be in the FPNA Chapter Bylaws?
“The Annual meeting of the Members shall be held at 7:30pm on (T.B.D.) in each year at a place to be announced.”
After a short discussion, Dan van Ackere made a motion to change Article 2. General Membership, 2.04 General Membership Annual Meetings to read: “The Annual meeting of the Members shall be held each year on a date, time and place to be determined by the Executive Board.” Drew seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 2. General Membership, 2.07. General Membership Quorum, should we define “Members”, state the number of “Members”, and state the number of Executive Board members as a majority?
“At any meeting of the Members, five Members, including a majority of the Executive Board, shall constitute a valid quorum.”
After a brief discussion, Dan van Ackere made a motion to change Article 2. General Membership, 2.07. General Membership Quorum to read: “At any meeting of the General Membership, at least five (5) Community Members, and a majority of the Executive Board, or five (5) Executive Board Members, for a minimum of ten (10) Members total, shall constitute a valid quorum.” Mike seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 4 Executive Board, 4.01 Executive Board Number, should the terms of the nine (9) Executive Board members be “staggered”?
“There shall be nine (9) Members of the Executive Board. The board Members shall be elected annually for terms of one year...” After a length discussion of several options for “staggering” the terms of the 9 Board members (for example, 4 or 5 have a 1 year term and 4 or 5 have 2 year terms), Mike made a motion that because FPNA is a young organization, and in the interests of continuity on an annual basis, keep Article 4.0 as written. Jay seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 4 Executive Board, 4.01 Executive Board Member, should “one building complex” be clarified?
“There shall be nine (9) Members of the Executive board. The Board Members shall be elected annually for terms of one year. No more than two Board Members shall be elected from any one building complex within the boundaries of the FPNA district.” After a short discussion, it was decided to change “complex” to “address”. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 4 Executive Board, 4.09. Executive Board Suspension or Removal, if the majority of the 9-member Executive Board is five (5), should 2/3 majority actually be stated as 3/4 majority?
“An Executive Board Member may be suspended or removed with cause by vote of a 2/3 majority of the Executive board then in office. An Executive Board Member may be removed with cause only after reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard; provided, however, that three successive absences from meetings of the Executive board, without an explanation therefore to an officer of the FPNA in advance of any such meeting, shall be deemed to be cause for removal, for which notice and opportunity for hearing shall not be required.” After a brief discussion, it was decided to keep the “2/3 majority” as is.

Issue: In Article 5, Officers and Agents of the Executive Board, 5.0, 1. Officer Number and Qualification, should “agent” be defined? “The officers of the Fort Point Neighborhood Alliance shall be, but are not limited to, a President, Treasurer, Vice President and Secretary, but may hire or appoint agents as necessary. An agent, may be, but need not be, a Member of the Executive Board or a Member.” …and Article 5, 5.08: Agents “With the agreement of a majority of the Executive Board, agents may be hired to assist in the performance of the business of the FPNA when such assistance is required.” After a brief discussion, it was decided to add after “agent” in both Articles: “i.e., contractors or vendors” for clarification. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: In 5. Officers and Agents of the Executive Board, 5.09 Officer Suspension or Removal, define “cause” in the suspension or removal of an officer?
Regarding 5. Officers and Agents of the Executive Board. 5.09 Officer Suspension or Removal “An officer may be suspended or removed with cause by vote of a majority of the Executive Board then in office at any special meeting called for such purpose or at any regular meeting. An officer may be removed with cause only after reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard.” After a brief discussion, it was decided to keep as is. Vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 5. Officers and Agents of the Executive Board, 5.11 Officer Vacancies, is it appropriate to clarify the maximum time in which the Executive Board elects a successor to fill an officer position that is vacated?
“If the office of any officer becomes vacant except for the President, the Executive Board may elect a successor. The President is replaced as outlined in Section 5.05 of these Bylaws. Each successor shall hold office for the unexpired term until his successor is elected and qualified, or until he sooner dies, resigns, is removed or becomes disqualified.” After a short discussion, Drew made a motion to change the first sentence of “5. Officers and Agents of the Executive Board 5.11. Officer Vacancies” to read: “If the office of any officer becomes vacant except for the President, the Executive board shall elect a successor within a period of no more than six (6) weeks.” The second paragraph stands as is. Mike seconded the motion. Vote was unanimous.

Issue: In Article 7. Execution of Papers, 7.01. Authorization, should “majority” be added for clarification to read “…must be approved by the Executive Board majority”?
“All deeds, leases, transfers, contracts, bonds, notes, drafts and other obligations made, accepted or endorsed by the Association shall be signed by the President and the Treasurer. Checks for amounts of $500.00 or less may be signed by either the President or the Treasurer. Checks for amounts greater than $500.00 must be signed by any two officers, and must be approved by the Executive Board.” After a brief discussion, it was decided to keep as is.

Issue: In Article 8 Personal Liability”, add an Article stating that the FPNA Executive Board will secure Directors and Officer Liability insurance each year?
After a short discussion, Drew made a motion to add to “Article 8. Personal Liability”: a new Section 8.02 to read: “Each year, the Executive Board will secure Directors and Officer Liability insurance to cover each Board Member and Officer from personal liability, debt or obligation during their tenure on the Executive Board.” Mike seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Issue: Is Section 10: FPNA Parliamentary Procedure Section (approximately four (4) pages) too complicated?
The short discussion centered on whether the Parliamentary Procedures are too complicated and lengthy and in fact, appropriate for FPNA. Mike offered to do research regarding if and how other neighborhood associations use Parliamentary Procedures and/or Roberts Rules. Drew made a motion to table this discussion until Mike reports on the results of his research. Jay seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Remaining issues to discuss:

Issue: Regarding the filing of an application for FPNA as a 501(C)(3) organization with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, filing an application and submitting FPNA Charter and Bylaws with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to legally establish FPNA, and opening a FPNA Bank Account.

Issue: Article 9 - the amendment process.

Issue: Proxy voting

It was agreed that the next meeting will be on Wednesday, August 15, at 7pm at Linda Lukas’ loft at 15 Sleeper Street, #502, Boston.

It was agreed that the 8/15/07 Meeting Agenda is:
Continue ratifying the FPNA Draft Charter and Bylaws.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm.

Linda K. Lukas Secretary/Recorder


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Movie Tonight: Sweet Smell of Success

The Fort Point Stage 2007 Outdoor Summer Movie Series continues tonight:

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS directed by Alexander Mackendrick, 1957
starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis
"Its pleasures are almost obscenely abundant." -- A. O. Scott, The New York Times

(at intersection of A St. and Wormwood St.)
Free, handicap accessible
Bring your own chairs and refreshments.

For more details see:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Seaport Meters to Follow Boston Schedule

As many Fort Pointers have found out the hard way, the meters on Massport-controlled streets in the Seaport (Seaport Blvd, Congress as it gets towards the service road, D Street, ...) are on their own schedule which is different from Boston's and operates 7 days a week, including Sundays and holidays.

Starting September 1st, they will follow the same schedule as meters in Boston:

The new policy states that meters shall be effective from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and that there shall be no charge for parking at Massport spaces with meters on Sundays; legal holidays as determined by the City of Boston; and days on which the Mayor of the City of Boston declares free parking at City-operated meters, usually on the Saturdays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

Full details in Massport's Press Release.

Interim Board Meeting Minutes

The Interim Founding Board has been meeting to work on the charter and making FPNA an "official" organization. They met last Tuesday; meeting minutes follow:

Minutes of meeting 7/31/07 of Fort Point Neighborhood Alliance “Interim Board”

Linda Lukas, Suresh Madhu, Dan Osterman, Jim Souza, Michael Tyrrell, Drew Volpe, Daniel van Ackere

Jay Higginbottom, Bill Meister, Cam Sawzin


a) Review charter
b) Elect “Interim Board” Moderator
c) Schedule next meeting w/ agenda

Meeting commenced at 7:15pm at 15 Sleeper Street, #502, Boston, MA, home of Linda Lukas.
Suresh offered to take the minutes. Siobhan O’Connor cannot continue as an Interim Board member to a family illness and job demands.
The minutes of 7/16/07 meeting were read and approved.

Per the minutes of 7/16/07, it was agreed that the minutes of each meeting will be sent to the full mailing list. Suresh offered to consolidate the mailing lists, since Drew has a list on yahoo groups, and there is another on the FPNA mailserv.

Regarding the use of the term “Interim Board”, Linda reported that she called the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, as noted in the minutes of 7/16/07, and an attorney advised that no one within the Attorney General’s office can give legal advice.

Therefore, even though the FPNA “Interim Board” will exist for only a couple of months until a Board of Directors is elected, it was agreed that a legal opinion is appropriate and the “Interim Board” will seek the advice of a private practice attorney. Drew and Mike will contact people they know who are affiliated with neighborhood associations (Broadway and Old Dover) and will report at the next meeting.

Drew Volpe was voted as FPNA “Interim Board” Moderator. Drew will moderate all meetings and serve in this leadership role until the Board of Directors is elected. Linda Lukas was asked to serve as “Secretary/Recorder” in taking and publishing minutes of meetings and all correspondence.

There was extensive discussion about FPNA “Interim Board” members meeting with neighborhood condominium boards to advise of FPNA activities and solicit input/feedback prior to the election of the FPNA Board of Directors. It was decided that FPNA “Interim Board” members can meet with neighborhood condominium boards, but the meetings cannot slow the process of ratifying the FPNA Charter and Bylaws and setting a date for the election of the Board of Directors.

Mike and Linda offered to meet with neighborhood condominium association boards, and will bring to the next “Interim Board” meeting a list of condominium associations and a time line for contacting each. They will report to the “Interim Board” the feedback that they receive from these meetings.

It was agreed that the next meeting will be on Monday, August 6th, 7pm at Linda Lukas’ loft at 15 Sleeper Street, #502, Boston. It was agreed that the 8/6/07 Meeting Agenda is: Ratify the FPNA Draft Charter and Bylaws, which are available on

Meeting was adjourned at 8:45pm.


Suresh Madhu

Monday, July 23, 2007

Movie Tomorrow Night: The Queen (2006)

Fort Point Stage, 2007 Outdoor Summer Movie Series

directed by Stephen Frears, 2006

(at intersection of A St. and Wormwood St.)
free, handicap accessible


After the death of Princess Diana, HM Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren) struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted. Mirren was awarded both the Oscar and the BAFTA award as Best Actress for her stunning portrayal of The Queen. (IMDB)

For complete info on The Queen:

See you at the movies!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Altered Design for Russia Warf

The Globe is running an article about an altered design Boston Properties has put forward for Russia Warf, Developer takes 2d shot at Russia Warf.

The new design (the version on the right) has eliminated the awkward, diagonal columns at the bottom and is, in general, a more straightforward design. However, imho, it's still a huge, modern wall of glass that's is a poor fit for Boston, especially that location where it clashes with the historic buildings that sit in front of it and across the channel from it.

As someone who walks right by that block every morning on the way to the T, I hope the designers come to their senses and make it relate to low, historic buildings around it. If you have thoughts, please post a comment.

Bill to give developers municipal powers

Shirley Kressel from the Alliance of Boston Neighborhoods writes about a bill currently in the state senate to allow cities to designate "Local Improvement Zone" and give real estate developers sweeping powers in those districts to act like a government
IANAL and may be misunderstanding it, but as I read it, if a developer, or a group of developers, buys 80% of a district, they could apply to be a "Local Improvement Zone" and be given many of the powers the city government has including issueing tax-free bonds, creating and enforcing by-laws, and even assessing neighbors to pay for infrastructure. In other words, if you own a home, developers could buy up the land around it, declare it a Local Improvement Zone, and then send you a bill to pay for the infrastructure improvements they want to do. You would not be able to appeal to the city or have any vote in the process; it would be controlled entirely by a "prudential committee" setup by the developers.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mtg on 368 Congress St. Project, Monday, 6:30

The BRA is hosting a meeting to discuss Berkeley's 368 Congress St. project:

Monday, July 9th

55 Thomson Place, First Floor

The public comment period ends Monday, July 23rd. Send your comments to the Jay Rourke of the BRA:

Jay Rourke
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
9th Fl, Boston, MA 02201

PHONE: 617.918.4317

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Construction starting work on A Street buildings

Commonwealth Ventures is set to begin construction in July of the row of buildings on A Street (10, 20, and 30 Channel Center St). Demolition work is scheduled for July through November, with the rehab and construction following until the Spring of 2008. The building at 241 A St. and those past 15 Channel Center (aka Midway) are not part of this phase.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Movie Tuesday Night: On the Waterfront

Tuesday night the Fort Point Stage continues with On the Waterfront:

Fort Point Stage, 2007 Outdoor Summer Movie Series
directed by Elia Kazan, 1954
free admission, handicap accessible

SPECIAL SHORT FILM: At 9 PM sharp we'll show "Scared Shiftless", a hilariously frightening short film by local director Cory Tomascoff (in attendance). This gem premiered recently at the ICA !


For more details, see:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wormwood Park Fundraiser

Susan Orlean and John Gillespie would like to invite the neighborhood to a fundraiser for the Wormwood Park:

Let's Help Wormwood Park!
Please come to a fundraiser for our bit of green in Fort Point
Thursday, July 12th, 7 pm - 8:30 pm
21 Wormwood Street, Apt. 314

I don't want to post her email address here, but if you're interested in attending or would like to make a donation, send me email ( and I will send you the details.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer Movie Tomorrow Night: Adaption

The Summer Movie Series kicks off with a special event tomorrow night.

Fort Point Stage presents opening night of our Summer Movie Series:
A Fort Point Farewell
to Susan Orlean and John Gillespie
Tuesday June 12th at 8 PM (this one is INDOORS)

35 Channel Center Street

Free, Handicap Accessible

Full details available on:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pictures of the water main burst

Rob Sama posted some photos of the water main burst:

More photos available on his blog.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Linehan wins

Congratulations to Bill Linehan who won the election over Susan Passoni. It was a close race, decided by only 551 votes. Linehan got three quarters of the votes from South Boston, a little more than half of Chinatown and the Bay Village. More details here:
Linehan wins District 2 council race

Monday, May 14, 2007

Archon sells 281 and 321 Summer

Normandy Real Estate Partners has bought a pair of buildings in Boston totaling 257,700 square feet for about $73 million. The two structures, 281 and 321 Summer Street, are office and retail buildings in the South Boston Waterfront District of Boston.

281 Summer Street dates from 1910, and underwent a renovation completed last month. The renovation included combining 281 Summer Street with an adjacent building, along with the creation of a new formal lobby and elevators. 321 Summer Street was originally built in 1911 and was renovated in 2001....

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Vote on Tuesday

The election for District 2 City Councilor is this Tuesday, May 15th. Remember to get out and vote. No matter which candidate you like, it's important to show politicians that Fort Point cares about local politics and gets to the polls.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Redesign of Congress and Summer Streets

Fort Port Arts Community, Inc. (FPAC) and Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND) host the Boston Redevelopment Authority for a community meeting regarding the redesign of Congress and Summer Streets:

The Crossroads Initiative
Thursday, May 17
6:30 PM
Midway Studios
15 Channel Center St.
Fort Point, South Boston

The Crossroads Initiative proposes improvements to design, pedestrian access, sustainability and the incorporation of public art.


For information contact Peter Gori, BRA Project Manager at 617 918-4451, or visit

Monday, April 30, 2007

Reminder: Artistry Mtg Mon night

As mentioned previously:

Discussion of Impact of Artistry
Monday, April 30th at 6:30 PM
Midway (15 Channel Center St.)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fort Point Walkthrough

Members of FPNA did a walkthrough of the neighborhood with Amanda Simon of the Mayor's office and two representatives from the police department. Topics included:

-Better lighting under the Summer Street bridge
-More frequently cleaning of A street and its sidewalks. Under the bridge will be steam-cleaned.
-Bigger tickets ($50?) for non-residents parking in resident spaces; current fine is not a deterrent.
-Tow cars parked in handicapped zones.
-Lights from the Gillette plant shine into residents' windows. They should be changed to point down onto Gillette's property rather than horizontal.
-The Post office maintenance facility and BCEC have bright lights on all night and these also shine directly into resident’s windows. Some sort of landscape or fence buffer could mitigate this problem.
-The USPS parking and maintenance facility fence is badly maintained and there is trash everywhere. The post office will be contacted again to further clean the parking lot.
-There were 4 abandoned cars that will be towed from behind Channel Center. The area back there will be cleaned up as well.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

51 Sleeper St sold to Brickman Associates

Brickman Associates has nabbed 51 Sleeper St. from the Mayo Group for $45 million in an off-market transaction.

"The property is under agreement to Brickman and is scheduled to close in early May," said Ronan Ryan, chief operating officer at the Mayo Group in Roxbury.

Meet Susan Passoni this Saturday, 5-6:30 PM

Susan Passoni who is running for City Councilor in our district is going to be in Fort Point in an informal session. Refreshments will be served. Your voice is important for making the right neighborhood changes and making sure city hall hears us, so listen to what the candidates have to say and get out out and vote.

Meet Susan Passoni
Saturday May 5, 5PM-6:30
Atrium of 300 Summer Street

Sunday, April 15, 2007

1 in 3 Fort Pointers makes $100k+

According to this iteractive map from the Globe, 30% of people who live in 02210 had adjusted gross incomes of $100k or more for 2004, which is the same as the Back Bay and close to Beacon Hill (39%).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Links for 311 Summer St Project

Kristen Kara from the BRA sent a helpful set of links for the 311 Summer St development project:

Below is the link to where the four documents pertaining to the proposed 311 Summer Street rehabilitation and penthouse addition are located on the BRA's website:

This link will bring to a Planning Initiatives page entitled "Fort Point District Planning". Once you are here, scroll to

  1. 311 Summer Street Small Project Review Application With Exhibits
  2. 311 Summer Street PDA Fact Sheet - 311 Summer
  3. 311 Summer Street PDA Development Plan With Exhibits
  4. 311 Summer Street Community Meeting Presentation

Artistry Meeting, April 30th

Jim Apteker of Longwood Events is trying to smooth things over with the neighborhood and is going to start a community process to attempt to gain support for his "Artistry" events facility inside Midway Studios. The first meeting is:

Discussion of Impact of Artistry
Monday, April 30th at 6:30 PM

Midway (15 Channel Center St.)

Artistry, as you may know, is his facility on Channel Center Street where he hopes to hold 300-1,500 person events such as weddings, corporate functions, and the like. He held one in December for the magazine Boston Common ( which was a huge disturbance to the neighborhood: loud music kept residents of Midway Studios up late into the night, security and cars blocked the street, and drunk revelers were seen urinating in the street.

This winter, he had applied for a full, 2 AM liquor license which was not granted because of community uproar.

There have been a number of meetings regarding Artistry and the consensus of the neighborhood at each has been fairly consistent: while residents aren't opposed to events facilities in general (Artists for Humanity frequently has functions without incident) and having a business take a lease at Midway Studios is a good thing for that project, his location and physical space is a poor fit for what he's trying to do, and the scale and nature of the events (3-5 a week with hundreds of people at each function) is terrible fit with that part of the neighborhood.

Meet the Candidates Night

The "Meet the Candidates" event last Sunday at the Fire Museum was well-attended and had a good, lively discussion among the candidates on issues such as artist displacement concerns, BRA processes, parking, and other important matters affecting the neighborhood.
Significantly, this was Fort Point's first-ever City Council forum. Volunteers from across the neighborhood made it work.

The City Council District 2 preliminary election is coming up on April 17th, with the final on May 15th. Make sure you get out and vote!

BRA Waterside Place Meeting, April 24th, 6PM

The BRA is hosting a meeting to discuss the Waterside place project, which will be connected to the BCEC. Details below.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host a public meeting regarding Waterside Place

Project Proponent: Core Development Group LLC, a partnership of The Drew Company and Vornado Realty Trust

Tuesday, April 24th @ 6:00 PM
St. Vincent’s Lower Church Hall

363 E Street, South Boston

The Proponent filed a Draft Project Impact Report proposing to construct a mixed use project comprising of a 640,000 square foot destination retail center, approximately 209 residential units, approximately 300 hotel rooms, a Visitor Center and a 2,350 space parking garage.

For questions and comments contact:
MAIL: Mark McGowan
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square, 9th Fl, Boston, MA 02201
FAX: 617.742.7783
PHONE: 617.918.4275

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:

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.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Boston Convention Center Now Allowing "Boat Shows"

The Boston Business Journal has an article about the effects of the BCEC allowing exposition shows: Bayside by the Wayside.

Originally, when the Convention Center was created, Boat Shows and other events which draw significant numbers of ticket-buying patrons were strictly forbidden. This was to limit the traffic and noise impact on South Boston, as conference goers usually don't drive in.

Last year, Romney signed a bill which changed this and now the BCEC is allowed to have these kinds of shows. The neighborhood was sent a notice about this and it slipped under our radar. If someone finds more details on the bill, please follow this up with a comment or email the FPNA at:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Car Stolen from Medallion Way

A reminder that Fort Point, while relatively safe, is an urban neighborhood and crime does happen. Paul and Stephanie who live in Midway report that last Tuesday night, their car was stolen from along the Post Office fence / Medallion Way. It was later found, abandoned and banged up.

If you any suspicious activity in that area or anywhere else in the neighborhood, please report it to the police.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

new cafe/boutique

Representatives from Kramsay, LLC d/b/a Achilles
at 281 Summer Street will attend a community
meeting on Monday, February 28th at 6:30 PM at
Midway. Kramsay has applied for an all alcohol
license and is on the agenda for the licensing
board hearing on March 7th (City Hall, Room 809A at 10 AM).

The applicant’s business, located on the first
floor of 281 Summer Street, will be a high end
retail boutique with named local designers and
local artwork and a small café that will serve food and alcoholic beverages.

Please help get the word out to other Fort Point
residents about the meeting on the 28th.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Mooninite in Fort Point

No doubt you've heard of the recent marketing campaign which triggered a bomb scare. In case you missed it, one of the first Moonitite's appeared on the Summer Street bridge:

Monday, January 22, 2007

Flour Bakery Open For Business!

This weekend Flour Bakery officially opened for business. For those of you who missed their open house or haven't been to their location in the South End, it's a bakery run by Joanne Chang which makes amazing scones, muffins, cookies, cakes, etc. They also have great soups and sandwiches. Head over and welcome the newest addition to Fort Point:

flour bakery

12 Farnsworth St.


mon - fri 7am to 7pm
saturday 8am to 6pm, sundays starting june
(closed major holidays)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Show Me the Money! Thurs, 1/25, 7:30pm, 369 Congress

Next Thursday night, ABN ( is giving their "Show Me the Money" on the BRA and how development projects in Boston are financed and work.

369 Congress St.
(above Seaport Hardware, half a block from A St.)
Thursday, January 25th
7:30 PM

More details of what's in the talk here:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


It should be known that the beloved "Midway Cafe" , as is has been dubbed, is in jeopardy. This space has served as a meeting place for Midway residents and the neighborhood to gather and discuss important topics that effect us all.

Today's reality is that the "Cafe Space", as verbally described to prospective renters at Midway Studios is in danger of going the same route as the similarly described "Theater Space" and become a venue for private interest, not necessarily related to the local arts scene or neighborhood convenience.

We at Midway studios would like to see the Midway Cafe preserved as a true cafe space, preferable owned and run by local artists similar to the Chanel Cafe and open for neighborhood programming and small arts related activities such as gallery openings and coffee and small music venues.

The residents of Midway Studios are working in many avenues to try and achieve this however we are having a very difficult time getting real support from the owners. Currently without real action it is looking to me like this space will be rolled into the Artistry lease for the rest of the first floor for large for private for profit venues (weddings, corporate events) and could eventually be sold as permanent space to this effect. We at Midway find the prospect of this happening (especially given the mission of the owners) very disappointing.

If you are also concerned please contact the owners of the space and let them know your concerns. The owners are Fort Point Development Collaborative, A partnership of FPCC and Keen Development,, FPDC was established in April 2003 to foster the creation of the arts by developing permanent, affordable artist live/work space and cultural facilities in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood.

If you have a chance to visit the space please ponder the concept of it filled with strangers in black ties and dresses without regard or understanding of the neighborhood, versus filled with smells of coffee, nice lighting, some Greg Brown in the background and your neighbors and their artwork.

Thank you
Jay Higginbottom
Midway Studios Unit 316

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Mailing List

I've setup a mailing list for our public list, so people can manage their own subscriptions. If you'd like to join, you can sign up here:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gillette moving headquarters from Pru to Fort Point

Gillette is moving all of its office works from the Pru to their facility on A street and is going to spend $250m on the new facilities. No word yet if this involves new buildings or simply changes to their existing structures.


Gillette to move headquarters to S. Boston, upgrade facility
By Jenn Abelson, Globe Staff | January 11, 2007 Procter & Gamble Co. said yesterday that Gillette will vacate its Prudential Tower corporate headquarters and consolidate at the shaving firm's South Boston factory, where P&G plans to invest an additional $35 to $50 million to upgrade the facility.The Cincinnati consumer products conglomerate, which bought Gillette in 2005 for $54 billion, also said it will eliminate the Gillette global-business unit, which included blades and razors, Braun, and Duracell, as a separate division. Instead, P&G will combine the unit with its existing beauty and health, and household care businesses, joining brands such as Olay skin care and Tide detergent.
Employees now located in the Back Bay will finish moving to South Boston when the Prudential lease expires in 2009. P&G said it plans to spend up to $50 million -- in addition to $200 million previously disclosed in 2005 -- to upgrade and expand office space, lobby and meeting areas, training rooms, a cafeteria, and an employee fitness center.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jimmy Kelly passes away

Boston City Councilor James Kelly dies at 66 of cancer
By Mark Pratt, Associated Press Writer | January 9, 2007

BOSTON --City Councilman James M. Kelly, a former sheet metal worker who made a name for himself fighting court-ordered school busing in the 1970s and remained a fixture in Boston politics for more than two decades, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, his son said. He was 66.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Results of Community Meeting on Liquor Licenses

At the meeting tonight, the neighborhood was informed by Amanda Simon from the mayor's office that both Jim Apteker (for "Artistry" at 15 Channel Center) and Carl Christian (for "Warehouse" at 331 A St.) have withdrawn their applications for liquor licenses. They can (and probably will) re-submit at some point in the future. FPNA will post more info as soon as we have it.

Barbara Lynch came and presented her plans for her new restaurant venture in Congress St. She also talked about her commitment to the neighborhood and to being a good neighbor. There was a discussion of different aspects of the restaurant, but no serious objections were raised. I didn't see anyone who was opposed to it and most were very enthusiastic about her joining Fort Point and wished her the best.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Artistry Agrees to Postpone Liquor License Application

At the community meeting this afternoon, representatives from Artistry (who are interested in a liquor license for private events at Midway Studios) got an earful. Residents from Channel Center buildings and throughout the neighborhood sent a loud and clear message that Fort Point does not approve of what Artistry was planning. They agree to postpone their liquor license application.

There's a news item on our site giving more background on the liquor license applications:

Make your voice heard! Come out Monday night or send us your opinions ( and we'll deliver them to the Licensing Board and the Mayor's Office.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Important Landmarking Meeting January 17th

The recently-appointed Fort Point Channel Study Committee and Boston Landmarks Commission Staff are hosting a meeting to talk about the proposed landmark district for Fort Point and its significance, and to listen to what qualities in the district you would like to see preserved.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
at the Midway Cafe
15 Channel Center Street
Fort Point, South Boston

Tonight: ABN Talk on the BRA and Property Taxes

The Alliance of Boston Neighborhoods (ABN) is giving their Show Me the Money presentation tonight at
7:00 pm in the South End at the Tubman House/United South End Settlement, 566 Columbus Ave (near Mass Ave). The talk will discuss how development in Boston is funded and works, focusing on the BRA, property tax structure, and the budget.

More information is available on their website:

liquor license and neighborhood impact

Recently several members of the neighborhood groups, SAND, FPAC, FPNA have expressed internal concern over the large number of new liquor licenses in the pipeline at Fort Point, and the possible impact on the neighborhood.
Amanda Simon, neighborhood liason for the Mayor's office has set up a meeting on Monday Jan 8th at 6:00 at Midway studios (15 Channel Center Street).

We all welcome evening activity to the area. but should be concerned that new uses are compatible with the character of the district. The recent party at Midway given for Boston Common magazine is a wake up call for everyone who lives here. This meeting is designed to create a constructive dialogue and new venues. liquor licenses will not be granted to those applying until concerns are addressed. Artistry, The new event venue at Midway, could be a valuable addition to the community if managed with consideration for residential abutters.

Below is part of a recent Boston Globe article:

"28 Degrees restaurant owners eye Southie location"

The men behind 28 Degrees, the hip South End lounge/restaurant that opened last year, are eyeing a new restaurant in South Bostonís Fort Point Channel area. The owners, who include Carl Christian, Bill Emery and Mark Bombara, are considering the name Warehouse for the 275-seat space in an A Street warehouse building. Emery wouldn't elaborate on his plans, but he has a Jan. 10 Licensing Board hearing in hopes of securing one of Bostonís 25 new all-alcohol licenses. The restaurant would have seating, a bar and kitchen on the ground floor and seating on the second floor, according to their application."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Liquor Licenses

There are at least three proposals for liquor licenses in Fort Point which will come up at the next Licensing Board hearing on January 10th: Potbellies Restaurant on A Street, Barbara Lynch's place on Congress St., and one by the owners of 28 Degrees which will be on A Street.

Residents of the neighborhood received no notice of the proposals. FPNA is in the process of reaching out to the owners to discuss the impact. If you can make it, come to the hearing on the 10th. If not, we will post a report.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Welcome to the FPNA blog! This is for posting anything concerning the FPNA or Fort Point.