Community Real Estate

BRA Scenario Shows Large Developments On North End Side of Greenway

In a public meeting at City Hall, the Boston Redevelopment Authority presented scenarios for substantial North End development along the Greenway, filling in most of Cross Street including structures well over the established 55 foot height limit. The slides were released as part of its Greenway District Planning Study. (Click here for a PDF file of the full slide package from GDPS #5.)

This meeting addressed development in and around the North End parks, Dewey Square and Chinatown. The Wharf District scenarios were reviewed at a prior meeting (see “Harbor Garage Dominates Greenway Meeting”)

There were two scenarios presented for the North End side of the parks. Below, I am showing the slide for Scenario #2 which has the most “opportunities” for development. It is interesting to note that on the BRA’s slides, the list of “Pros” is lengthy while the “Cons” are nonexistent (I guess they are just perfect designers!). The red circles are supposed to link the corner points of building heights to show how the buildings will “connect.” Proposed development is highlighted in the shaded structures.


Notice on the above slide the new building that is 110 feet high on Parcel 11B where the parking lot is now located on Cross Street. This is well above the 55 foot height limit that has, more than any other single zoning rule, maintained the North End’s neighborhood character. Once again, it looks like the neighborhood will have to defend that integrity.

The “massing of buildings” continues all the way down Cross Street from Mother Anna’s, past the former Martignetti’s down to Pace/Maria’s and further to where the former Pushcart was located.

Below is a bird’s eye view of the entire Greenway District with the new “opportunities for development” shaded in grey, adding 13% new square feet of buildings.


On the above slide, notice the 2 extra towers on the Harbor Garage site. It is also interesting to note the large development, on the right, where the Government Center Garge Redevelopment is located. The Market District (other side of North End parks) also seems to be a focus point for plenty of development, in addition to Parcel 9.

Click here to go to the BRA’s website where all the slides from the public meetings are located.

BRA’s Next Steps:
>Review public input on development scenarios to date.
>Further analyze program and use.
>Incorporate cumulative findings into economic analysis.
>Begin draft guidelines.

There were originally supposed to be only 5 or 6 public meetings, but the subject matter is so far-reaching and complex, that the BRA has yet to determine how many more meetings there will be before issuing their guidelines.

Comments on both North End scenarios (see the slides) can be submitted via email to the BRA contacts: Peter Gori ( and Lauren Shurtleff (

See also:
Where is the Greenway District Planning Study Going?
Harbor Garage Dominates Greenway Meeting
Greenway Team Shows Development Scenarios

4 Replies to “BRA Scenario Shows Large Developments On North End Side of Greenway

  1. These gui8delines will definitely reduce the character of our North End neighborhood.
    Matt is there a meeting we can attend for comment?

  2. Matt:

    There is a person at the BRA who is a "North End Guy". His name is John Fiumara (spelling?) and I think he is over Peter Gori. Anne Devlin T and I had a long conversation with him on the street corner on Hanover a month or so ago. Peter Gori tried to convince the neighborhood that a >55ft design for the Boston Museum was a good thing and that nothing else along the greenway in the Northend would exceed the limits. Yeah right! Trust me when I say that the people from Fulton & Commercial St will fight any and all attempts to build on "their" parking lot. Should be interesting. And >55 ft will never happen. People have tried to use the steeple on the Old North Church as a precedent for exceeding the limit. Not going to happen.


  3. What I am most concerned about is any stripping of character. Looking at these configurations, I feel they seem to threaten a lot of the establishments on Marshall and Union Streets. Just an example. Trend these days is glass, glass, glass. I would love to see an effort to augment, not crush, charm along the Greenway.

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