Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Atlantic Wharf Wants Changes To Our Public Spaces: Comment Deadline April 7th

updated 04/05/23 with FPNA presentation (under resources) at the bottom.
updated 03/20/23: Added link to presentation below along with links to MassDEP and the BPDA website.

MassDEP in conjunction with the BPDA are holding a meeting tonight regarding proposed changes to our public spaces at Atlantic Wharf as mandated under the MA Public Waterfront Act (Chapter 91) and need your feedback. The meeting was held:

Monday, March 13, 2023
Atlantic Wharf Fort Point room or online

Comment Deadline: April 7th 
Submit comments to with the subject line “Atlantic Wharf"

Boston Properties, Atlantic Wharf's owner, is proposing changes to their special public destination facility or interior public spaces part of their Chapter 91 license #11419 requirements. The major changes are to:

  • relocate the Fort Point Room from its existing 2nd floor space to existing ground-floor space fronting Congress Street, combining a space previously used as a restaurant (Boloco) with space operated by the Boston Society of Architects (BSA space)
  • convert the existing Fort Point Room to commercial office uses
  • discontinue the use of the existing 2nd floor exterior deck

Boston residents and abutting neighbors are encouraged to attend Monday night to discover more about the changes above and all changes under consideration:

  • Will the new proposed space meet the needs of the public and abutting neighbors?
  • Will the ground floor be activated in a way that adds value and enhances the existing standards/experience?
  • How will the public interact with the spaces and what will be the public experience?

  • How will privatizing the Fort Point room and deck provide public benefits & support programming?
  • How will the loss of 2,630 square feet of interior public space be reinstated or recaptured? This does not include the loss of 3,270 sf from the 2nd floor terrace. 

  • What will happen to the 2nd floor non-profit office space? 
  • Why is the civic cultural concierge being replaced by a digital information screen?
click on image for better viewing

There is a lot to consider in determining whether the proposed changes benefit the public more or less than before, especially when regarding this special destination facility of public accommodation.

In addition to the 2nd floor Fort Point room and the 2nd floor non-profit office, the original ground floor approved in 2006 included:

  • A "Town Square," of approximately 6,300 square feet of skylit civic gathering space within the atrium area of the Graphic Arts and Tufts Buildings, with programming and promotion to be provided by the Proponent (to remain in the current size & condition)
  • A Multi-Media Performance Area, approximately 3,800 square feet, providing a destination location for visitors and city residents to learn about Boston's history, culture, diversity and future (BSA space being replaced by a multi-media room?)
  • A waterfront restaurant and cafe/performance venue, part of the Fort Point Channel "RestaurantRow," providing flexible space for alternative uses and populations at different times of the day (being replaced by a multimedia meeting room)
  • A "Channel Concierge," providing information, maps, ticketing, and details on current events (being replaced by a digital information panel)
  • A Community Art Gallery (to remain in the current size & condition)

The comment deadline is April 7,2023. Comments should be submitted to: with the subject line “Atlantic Wharf”.

Atlantic Wharf (formerly known as Russia Wharf) underwent redevelopment in 2005 for the properties at 530 Atlantic Ave. and 270-286 Congress St.  The site planning started with the BPDA (then BRA) and the Fort Point Downtown Municipal Plan and as stated above is subject to the MA Public Waterfront Act, commonly referred to as Chapter 91, administered by MassDEP. MassDEP required a SPDF or special public destination facility to offset the impacts of the redevelopment and to provide exceptional public spaces, programming and public benefits. 

originally published 03/10/23

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.