Hook Lobster presented at Wednesday’s Municipal Harbor Planning meeting as the Boston Redevelopment Authority and its Downtown Waterfront Advisory Committee consider recommendations for zoning along the Greenway corridor. Since a 2008 fire at the property, the family business has been operating out of a small one-story wood framed building on Atlantic Avenue surrounded by surface parking.
Amid speculation about the future of the property, architect David Manfredi read the following statement on behalf of Hook family:
James Hook & Co., located at 15 Northern Avenue is a retail / wholesale lobster business that has been in operation since 1925 and is presently run by the 3rd generation of our family. The company is expecting to maintain a strong presence on the property occupying the first floor of a yet to be determined development project.
We are looking to expand our retail business, incorporating our wholesale operation and open a rustic style restaurant with our famous lobsters, lobster rolls along with other seafood items. Our customers can expect more of a variety of fresh fish, seafood along with prepared foods for the growing residential population.
Tourists can see the operations of a working lobster shop, have a lobster, lobster roll and take a seat indoors or outside overlooking Boston Harbor. Boats may dock at our slip for easy access along the waterway. James Hook & Co. has been a popular destination in Boston for years and we look to continue the excellence our customers have come to expect.
The public presentation included no specific design proposals, but rather a discussion of the constraints and opportunities of the site. Unique to the site is four-sided exposure in a central location connecting the Greenway to the Seaport between the Northern Avenue Bridge and the Moakley Bridge. The Northern Avenue bridge is in the design stages to be replaced in the next five years.
The site is approximately 20,000 square feet. Connecting the Harborwalk pathways around the site was noted as a priority, perhaps under the two bridges. Manfredi characterized it as “under-utilized” in a “landmark” type location with open views on three sides.
Under the BRA-approved Greenway District Planning Study, the Hook Lobster parcel and adjacent 400 Atlantic Avenue (Coast Guard Building) have recommended height limits of 175 feet, consistent with the size of the nearby Rowes Wharf development.
Designers said they expect to have some type of development plan in the next six months. Temporary landscaping measures were requested by some committee members to make the site more attractive during the current interim process.
Please watch the video more information from the public presentation at the December 18, 2013 meeting.