Sunday, September 28, 2008

Barking Crab Proposes Upscale New Digs

Barking Crab throws Gale plan a curve
Boston Business Journal - by Michelle Hillman

The owners of The Barking Crab Restaurant are proposing a remake of the clam shack — a move that could complicate a neighboring plan by Gale International, developers of the massive project known as Seaport Square.

Gale International, with its partner, Boston Residential Group, wants to build a six-story residential and retail building within feet of the site now occupied by the Barking Crab. They have offered to let the Barking Crab move into the proposed building.

“We reached out to the Crab several times and are going to continue to do so,” said Curtis Kemeny, president of Boston Residential Group.

The Barking Crab owners declined that offer — and now are proposing their own six-storey building with residential, retail and possibly office uses. They outlined it in a letter of intent filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Globe Article on Steve Hollinger's Show

Steve Hollinger's "What Left" show got a great writeup in the Globe (see below). It's currently at the Chase Gallery and runs through Saturday.

'Left' to his own devices
As an inventor and a sculptor, Steve Hollinger is constantly experimenting to feed his curiosity

Steve Hollinger's studio in Fort Point Channel is filled with strange treasures. There's a two-headed bird with three eyes and two beaks, stowed in a glass jar. There are antique hypodermic needles, a crocodile skull, magic lanterns, and an old aluminum prosthetic leg, polished to gleam. On one shelf, there's a 3-inch-tall house that Hollinger made out of spider webs, still intact after four years.

A soft-spoken, bearded man who pads barefoot through the light-infused space, Hollinger is more than a collector of odd items. He's an inventor and artist whose unusual sculptures - many of them kinetic and powered by solar cells - are on view in the solo exhibit "What's Left" at Chase Gallery through Sept. 27.

As an artist, Hollinger, 45, conducts experiments for his own delectation. "You're surprised by the outcome," he says. "I make an experiment, tapping into a certain feeling, and see if this thing captures or houses that certain feeling."

At Chase Gallery, many of those experiments hinge on life's fragility. "Heart #4" is an astonishing assemblage of glass tubes and vessels with blue liquid pumping through them, powered by the sun. "Skeleton Leaf Boxes" consists of translucent boxes that are indeed made out of delicate leaf skeletons, and "Born on the Drop of Truckee" is a living-room tableau in an old wooden explosives box, with a solar-powered mini TV brightly broadcasting images of atomic-bomb tests.

Read full article on the Globe's site.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Drink to Open This Month

The first of Barbara Lynch's projects, Drink, is slated to open later this month. It's going to be in first floor of the FP3 building at 348 Congress St. (map).


SEPTEMBER 12, 2008, BOSTON, MA… Drink, James Beard Award-winning Chef Barbara Lynch’s first venture in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, is slated to open at the end of this month. A bar entirely focused upon the craft of the cocktail, Drink will be overseen by current No.9 Park Bar Manager John Gertsen.

Blending time-honored techniques and the classic cocktails of the prohibition era with modern innovation and the very best artisanal ingredients, John Gertsen and his team will strive to offer each guest an unparalleled cocktail experience. A seasonal menu of canap├ęs, created by Chef Barbara Lynch and Executive Chef Colin Lynch (no relation) will be available to accompany the cocktails.
“I’ve always wanted to open a bar, so this has been a really fun project to work on with John Gertsen,” said Barbara Lynch. “It’s an exciting time to be opening in Fort Point; there is so much change happening in this neighborhood. We are looking forward to being a part of this community and helping it grow while preserving the qualities that make it Fort Point.”

Front and center at Drink will be the cocktail, with a focus on the classics and communal cocktails. Every spirit will be hand selected and blended with house made syrups, fresh herbs, and freshly squeezed fruit juices. The ice program, the result of years of John’s research on the important role of ice in creating a perfect cocktail, will feature ice from two primary sources: a Kold Draft machine and crystal clear, fifty pound blocks of ice. From these two sources, bartenders will be able to offer ice in several formats, tailored to suit every type of cocktail.
Cheryl and Jeffrey Katz, of C&J Katz, designed the interior of Drink with the goal of preserving the elements that would give the space its rough-elegant industrial feel, an aesthetic reflective of the Fort Point neighborhood. To achieve this, the granite foundation boulders, exposed brick walls, and wood ceiling beams were left intact and inspired the remaining design. Another integral part of the design mission was the notion of community. Designed with gatherings in mind, the bar zig-zags through the room creating six corners for guest to sit around and three “bays” for bartenders.

Drink will be located on the basement level of FP3, Berkeley Investments’ Fort Point neighborhood residential project and will be opening at the end of September. For more information, please contact Sarah Hearn at

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Heliport Meetings Canceled

The Heliport meetings scheduled for September 17th and September 24th are cancelled.

Mayor Menino and Senator Hart are developing a new approach to improving helicopter access in Boston including working with Governor Patrick and the officials at the Massachusetts Port Authority to review operations and procedures necessary at improving efficiencies at the Logan Airport heliport.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Music Posters Exhibit - Opening 9/17

POSTGIG - A Compilation of Music Posters

A one week exhibit including original posters by: Modern Dog, Aesthetic Apparatus, Patent Pending, The Small Stakes, Seripop, Hammerpress, The Decoder Ring and many more. Curated by Clifford Stoltze, the show complements the recent launch of his book 1000 Music Graphics. For more details, see the FPAC Exhibit Page.

Special opening hosted by FPAC on Wednesday, September 17th, 6-8pm with appetizers and an open bar, catered by The Channel Cafe.

Brickman Selling 313 and 330 Congress St.
Boston Business Journal

Brickman Associates is selling two office buildings totaling 106,028 square feet and has hired Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP to market the properties.

The buildings are located in Boston’s Fort Point Channel neighborhood at 313 and 330 Congress St. Brickman, a New York investment company, purchased the properties for $22.7 million in April of 2006 through the Brickman Real Estate Fund II LP. The seller at the time was New Congress Associates LLC, an affiliate of Edwards Day Property Investments.

The Boston office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler is listing the properties for sale without an asking price; the sale includes “attractive, in-place financing,” according to a press release from HFF.

The buildings at 313 and 330 Congress St. are six-story, brick-and-beam office buildings with 70,217 square feet and 35,811 square feet respectively. The properties are located across the street from each other and were originally built in the 1890s. The buildings are currently 98.1 percent leased to tenants that include National Mentor Holdings Inc., Neoscape Inc. and Commercial Construction.

Attn: Parents - Baby Morning at Channel Cafe

The Channel Cafe has started have Mother-Baby Mornings on Fridays where "you can come with baby and all the gear and know you spread out and make noise, and it's OK!". Ana has started an egroup for it:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Liquor License for 241 A St. - Your Opinion Needed

The licensing board hearing on the liquor license for 241 A St/40 Channel Center St. (aka Devlin's) was this past week and the board is going to make a decision over the next week or so. Devlin's is seeking a 2 AM full liquor license. Many residents have expressed concern about the late closely time and feel 11:30 or 12 AM is more appropriate (bars get a 30 min grace so 11:30 actually means people can drink until 12).

I urge everyone to send thoughts to the board. They do read the letters and it definitely makes a difference. And they don't have to be formal or long; couple of sentences saying what you'd like the board to do and why is fine. Letters can be faxed to them at: 617-635- 4742

If you don't have access to a fax machine, you can email me your letter this weekend and I'll make sure they get it:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Northern Ave Tender House to Be Demolished

Half of Northern Avenue Bridge tender’s house set for demolition
By Scott Van Voorhis | Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it an important piece of city history or a rundown shack on a crumbling pier in Boston Harbor?

That’s the debate as City Hall moves ahead with plans to demolish part of the “tender’s house” next to the rusting, old Northern Avenue Bridge on Fort Point Channel.

The boarded up and rambling structure served for nearly a century as a home for the keepers of the rotating swingbridge - who had to be available, night and day, to let ships through.

Now city officials, saying the structure has become dangerously unsound after some pilings collapsed, are moving ahead with plans to demolish about half of it and mothball the other. Plans are also being drafted to renovate the bridge and raise it up so it no longer has to rotate to let ships through.

The decision to spare part of the bridge tender’s house comes amid an outcry by some residents in the Fort Point neighborhood.

“This is one of the last vestiges of the working waterfront,” said Michael Tyrrell of the Fort Point Neighborhood Assocation.

In a key step, the Boston Landmarks Commission voted Tuesday to approve the partial demolition, but with a string of conditions. City officials will have to ensure the structure is throroughly photographed and documented before demolition begins, likely early next week, among other things.

Where some see an unsightly shack, supporters of the tender’s house see a link to a time when the harbor was full of ships and the waterfront was teeming with sailors and fishermen, not luxury condos.

But the tender’s house in recent years fell into disrepair. The modern-day bridge keepers - recently a source of controversy after being photographed by the Herald grilling and watching TV while on the clock - now operate out of an air-conditioned trailer on the bridge’s deck.

“This is demolition by neglect,” said Valerie Burns, a Fort Pont resident.

However, city officials say they also care about the quirky tender’s house and are scrambling to save all they can of it. The partial demolition will cost about $100,000. The impending demolition was first reported by Banker & Tradesman.

“Personallly, I would like to err on the side of caution than to tear something down that can’t easily be replaced,” said Robert Rottenbucher, the city’s chief engineer.

Monday, September 01, 2008

BBJ: More Artists to Loose Spaces to Goldman and Archon

Paint brush: Artists stand to lose Fort Point space
Boston Business Journal - by Michelle Hillman Boston Business Journal

Seventy Boston artists and 20 small businesses are in danger of losing commercial studio space in the most recent clear-out of tenants by Goldman Properties and the Archon Group LP.

The artists’ leases at 319 A St. and 337 Summer St. in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood will expire in November. Despite letters from residents and pleas from community groups, the artists will be the latest wave of tenants forced to flee the arts enclave unless a deal is worked out to extend the leases.

Goldman Properties did not respond to calls for comment. Archon ­— the real estate arm of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ­— also did not respond to inquiries.

About 90 artists have moved out of the neighborhood since Archon/Goldman purchased a 17-building warehouse portfolio from Boston Wharf Co. three years ago. A year later, Goldman/Archon relocated tenants out of 316-322 Summer St. because they planned to redevelop the buildings into residential space. Those buildings were subsequently sold and remain vacant today.

Michelle Hillman can be reached at