Who would ever imagine shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars in a sandbox?
But that was the scene Thursday when Gov. Charlie Baker and a group of the city’s top developers gathered behind a trough of sand with gleaming, silver-engraved ceremonial shovels to kick off a massive $597M project in the booming Seaport.
“Has anyone ever done a groundbreaking indoors before,” Baker asked the audience of local officials and business leaders gathered in a suite at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport.
The event was billed as a groundbreaking for 10 World Trade, “a premier life science and office development” originally planned to be built in 2020 but delayed due to COVID.
In truth, the Boston Seaport condo groundbreaking had already occurred.
Behind Baker, and past developer John Hynes III, outside the windows and below the crowded conference room’s 3rd-floor balcony, the machines and workers were busy on the ground where eventually there will be a more than 500,000-square-foot lab and office building.
Soon to be situated where not much more than parking used to be at 10 World Trade Center Ave., Watertown based architectural firm Sasaki’s unique building design will take form with flared sides, a glass exterior, and no internal columns.
The design will allow for public access to its bottom floor, which will include 40-foot arched ceilings and 24-hour eateries, and maximize use of interior space, according to 10 World Trade project executive John Hynes IV.
The top floor of the Boston Seaport structure will also include a 15,000-square-foot, state of the art fitness center and a 300-meter running track.
The building will be surrounded by over 2-acres of sustainable landscaped, publicly viewable greenspace, with a new planned pedestrian bridge.
Hynes III shared the history of the site with the audience, noting that the population of the city had suffered due to various market changes. He noted his grandfather, mayor during the 50s, had tried to stop that decline.
Hynes III said that he hoped the project would bring more people to the city, continuing his grandfather’s work.
“There is some real value in believing that you are building on the work of those who came before you,” Baker told Hynes III and Hynes IV.
After the public speaking, the gathered officials took to the open air balcony to dip their ceremonial shovels into a trough of sand.
Behind them, as green vested construction workers moved about the building’s jobsite, a pair of cranes hoisted a ‘10 World Trade’ flag into the wind.
The officials tossed the sand into the air for pictures and the wind picked it up, blowing it back into the faces of the governor and developers.