Last week, it was announced that a major investor in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood had put several of its properties up for sale.

This was seen as a sign of weakness in the market.

Which it very well could be.

However, many positive things are happening in that neighborhood, as well as in the Seaport District, which is next to it.

What ends up being built and/or renovated, for what purposes, and when, is open to discussion.

That the neighborhood will one day soon be vibrant and re-energized, is a given.

The Times published an article, recently, discussing developers’ plans for the neighborhood.

The area’s roughly 1,000 acres of waterfront property across the Fort Point Channel from Boston’s financial district served as rail yards for Boston’s working port until about 1955, when heavy industry there dried up.

After that, the land was used mostly for parking lots, which have passed through the hands of prominent businessmen including Nicholas Pritzker, the chairman of the Hyatt Development Corporation; Frank H. McCourt Jr., the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation.

[But now,] A confluence of factors has created a more favorable environment for developers.

Since 2000, more than 8 million square feet has been developed in the area, and an additional 20 million is under construction, approved or proposed, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city’s planning and economic development agency.

These include:

Seaport Square – John Hynes through his Gale International has proposed this multi-use complext to be built on a 24-acre parcel behind Fan Pier.

Gale’s plan envisions 6.5 million square feet of office, residential, retail and park space, including a school, cultural center and shops. If approved by the redevelopment authority, construction on the $3 billion project could start in the fall of 2008. (Er, better not let the Mayor hear about that school!!!).

Fan Pier – Joe Fallon commenced construction on the first building in this massive mixed-use project in September, 2007. First up, an 18-story office tower. Later, offices, residences, open space, and parking will be spread over 23-acres, at an estimate cost of $3 billion.

Waterside Place – Next to Seaport Square, this is an 11-acre parcel across from the convention center. The Drew Company of Boston has permission to develop a mixed-use retail, hotel and condominium complex totaling more than 1.2 million square feet.

Pier 4 – New England Development eventually plans to build a one-million-square-foot mixed-use project on 9.5 acres along Pier 4. The site abuts Fan Pier and is owned by the Athanas family, which has had a restaurant there, Anthony’s Pier 4, for four decades.

Harborside Piera new development by Cresset Development that will feature retail and outdoor dining facilities, including a new Jimmy’s Harborside restaurant.

From Empty Lots to Bustling Waterfront – By Amy Cortese

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Updated: 2018

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