Community Real Estate

BRA’s Comment Letter on Parcel 9 (Haymarket/Blackstone St)

The full Parcel 9 comment letter by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) can be accessed below:

Click Here to Read the Complete BRA Parcel 9 Comment Letter dated July 30, 2009 (pdf)
Most of the 7-page letter reviews the pros/cons of the four finalists, emphasizing its desire to aggressively pursue a market district on Parcel 9 (and 7). Once the MTA chooses a sole developer, the project will undergo an Article 80 review. The BRA also refers to its ongoing Greenway District Planning Study to ‘activate the Greenway’ parcels.

Cutting to the chase, the BRA’s preference for the Eastat proposal is found under “Summary Comments.” There are several caveats, but the main phrases are:

“…the Estat (sic) proposal would be the most consistent proposal under consideration at this time. … the addition of residential units to the downtown is one way to activate the Greenway year-round and seven days a week.”

The BRA appears intrigued by the Boston Museum proposal, but largely dismisses it as follows:

“The museum model, however, raises many concerns relative to the long-term sustainability of such an enterprise, particularly as the facility is intended to have mainly revolving exhibits and, therefore, may not provide a consistent visitor draw that this site requires.”

Going even further, the BRA takes a shot at the flashy presentation materials hiding the economic reality of such a museum:

“Despite the professional and thoroughly-prepared documentation and submittals, using the estimated capital fundraising goals provided by the Boston Museum, the BRA must also note its concern relative to the organization’s ability to raise these funds in today’s economic climate.”