Sunday, September 27, 2009

Film Shoot on Congress Tomorrow

On Monday (9/28), 20th Century Fox is filming on Congress St. for a movie with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaaz called "Untitled Wichita Project". The shoot will take place on Congress St. around the Fire Museum and also inside the museum itself. It will start at 6 AM and continue until as late as 9 PM. At times, until 3 PM, traffic will be stopped intermittently. If you have issues with noise or other problems, contact the location manager, Jonathan Persky: 310.923.4557.

Russia Wharf Developer Under Fire for Removing Promised Public Space

Boston Properties recasting Russia Wharf plan amid outcry

Boston Business Journal - by Michelle Hillman

Boston Properties, under fire for allegedly reneging on a promise to produce ample public space at its Russia Wharf development, is back at the drawing board after a state agency said it wants more public amenities on the project’s ground floor.

The Boston Harbor Association has accused Boston Properties of abandoning its pledge to provide free public-performance space on the first floor of its Russia Wharf development, a story first reported by the Boston Business Journal earlier this week.

Earlier this year, after receiving approvals to build a much taller building in exchange for free, public amenities, Boston Properties filed a request with the DEP to instead locate a restaurant on the first floor. Critics said the developer is trying to cut off public access to the waterfront and save money.

DEP grants licenses to developers under Chapter 91 regulations which protect and promote public access to the waterfront.

Russia Wharf, which is under construction, was allowed to exceed height regulations that cap development along the waterfront at 155 feet.

Read full article:

Temporary Retail Buildings Proposed for Fan Pier

Fan Pier builder thinks temporary

Boston Business Journal - by Michelle Hillman

Fan Pier developer Joseph Fallon has petitioned a state agency to allow him to erect two temporary buildings while he waits to build out the 3 million-square-foot-project in earnest.

Fallon is asking the Department of Environmental Protection to let him build two structures similar to modular facilities that would house retail, restaurants, public restrooms and a water transportation ticketing office. The buildings would be between 22,000 square feet and 45,000 square feet and would sit on the water’s edge in the place of two permanent buildings slated for parcels overlooking a marina. The parcels are approved for residential, hotel or office uses.

The entire 21-acre site is approved for eight buildings including office, research, residential, retail and hotel space.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BRA Mtg for: Dirigo Spice, 141 West 2nd St.

BRA Notice of Project Change

The Boston Redevelopment Authority will host a public meeting regarding the project for 141 West Second St, “Dirigo Spice”.

September 30th
Lithuanian Club
368 West Broadway Street, South Boston

Project Proponent: Tom FitzGerald
Project Description: The project is undergoing Small Project Review pursuant
to Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code. Tom Fitzgerald (the “Proponent”) is requesting
to add an additional story to the already permitted three (3) story project, construct
a 60x60 common roof deck and include additional parking (the “Proposed NPC”).
Close of Comment Period: Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Jay Rourke
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square, 9th Floor, Boston, Ma 02201
phone: 617.918.4317
fax: 617.742.7783

Mayoral Election Tuesday - Vote!

Reminder: The mayoral election is this Tuesday. Make sure you get to the polls; it's an important election and also important for politicians to see that Fort Point votes!

Mayoral Election
September 22nd, 2009
7 AM - 8 PM

The polling place for most (all?) of Fort Point is the Condon School at 200 D Street (map).'s overview of the election:

The candidates' official sites:

Kevin McCrea -

Sam Yoon -

Michael Flaherty -

Thomas Menino -

Fox has short interviews with each candidate:

Russia Wharf Developer Goes Back on Public Space Agreement

Boston Properties, developer of Russia Wharf, has gone back on promises for a 'town square' and public performance spaces. From the Boston Business Journal:

The Boston Harbor Association alleges that Russia Wharf’s owners, Boston Properties Inc., is going back on its promise to locate free public performance space on the first floor in favor of putting a restaurant there instead, said Vivien Li, executive director of the association. According to the BHA, Boston Properties was granted the right to build a taller building in exchange for public space on the ground floor.

The Boston Harbor Association wrote a letter to the state Department of Environmental Protection in April commenting on changes Boston Properties requested. The changes have to be approved by DEP since the agency grant licenses for waterways development under Chapter 91.

Li has been in discussions with Boston Properties for the past six months about the changes. In her letter, Li wrote that Boston Properties asked to reduce the size of a ground floor “Town Square” by 200 square feet to 6,100 square feet, has moved a “Multi-Media Presentation Area” of 3,800 square feet from the first to second floor. Li said the areas will not be visible from the street and therefore relatively hidden from the public. Also, Boston Properties has added a 2,800-square-foot outdoor terrace as part of the Multi-Media Presentation Area which will make year-round lectures and screenings difficult.

Li said she only wants Boston Properties to hold up its end of the bargain. She said the developer received approved to exceed height regulations and built between 100 feet and 150 taller in exchange for providing the public spaces. Boston Properties did not respond to requests for comment.

“We’re just saying, ‘Do what you agreed to do,’ ” said Li.

“What should have been a free, robust public space is now being chopped up,” Li added.

There was no mention of the flap during the “topping off” ceremony held on Tuesday. The ceremony commemorates when the last beam of structural steel is set in place.

Russia Wharf is a the 854,000-square-foot project on the edge of Boston’s Financial District, the Rose Kennedy Greenway and the Fort Point Channel. The ceremony was attended by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston Properties Inc.

The $500 million, 31-story mixed-use project includes 60,000 square feet for retail space as well as 5,000 square feet for artist-work space and 65 new units of housing, according to a press release from Menino’s office. Russia Wharf is preleased to Wellington Management and is one of the few office buildings under development in Boston. Wellington Management Co. LLP is leasing approximately 450,000 of the 750,000 square feet of office space in the building and will bring 1,500 employees to the neighborhood.

“This project will be a tremendous addition to our downtown waterfront, bringing new residential, office, retail and artist work space to the area,” Menino said in a statement. “Even in this economic climate, Boston still has projects that are moving forward.

Construction began early last year. CBT Architects was hired to oversaw the design for the historic rehabilitation of the 19th century buildings. The project is expected to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification and will be complete in 2011.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mayoral Debate Tonight, 7 PM WBZ

You can watch on TV or their website:

More info on the candidates and the debate: