William Tuttle – Deputy Director of Real Estate
Massachusetts Turnpike Authority
State Transportation Building
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4160
Boston, MA 02116
Re: MassPike Parcel 9
On behalf of the North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council, I am writing to strongly urge the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to designate a developer as soon as possible to develop the Parcel 9 site in the North End along the Greenway.
The North End community spent several years and countless hours working with the City of Boston and the MassPike to develop strict guidelines for the uses and design of the Parcel 9 site. Many in our community have attended meetings, planning sessions, and public hearings to provide community input and we feel it is important that the time spent to comment on the planning process be finalized with the selection of the most appropriate project and developer that can build this project in a timely manner.
The guidelines developed by the community in conjunction with the City and State were clear to define the site to be ideal for housing for the neighborhood and most importantly, to limit building heights to 55 feet and a floor-area-ration (FAR) of 4. Two of the four proposals submitted to the MassPike blatantly disregarded these important guidelines – the Gutierrez office scheme and the Boston Museum proposal. Moreover, the community has expressed significant concerns that a museum project would be a use that would attract a significant number of tourists and vehicles, particularly coaches and school buses, conflicting with the goals of the community. We would like services for the local population placed ahead of those that draw tourists.
Eastat’s $40 million proposal is fully financed and of a scale and scope that is suitable for today’s challenged economic climate. And rather than connect extend Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market through Parcel 9, the project should favor a development where services are geared toward the local population. Today, Haymarket serves residents more than tourists and that dynamic should survive the development.
At this juncture, the Eastat rental housing proposal remains the most consistent with the guidelines and beneficial to the North End community. The project is 55 feet tall, has a FAR of 4, and will provide real benefits to the community. Moreover, Eastat has reached out to the community, abutters to the site, and the Haymarket Pushcart Association.
We urge the MassPike to designate a developer as soon as possible in order to move this project forward. The sooner a designation is made, the sooner real improvements can be realized for the Haymarket and the sooner a viable project can be built that conforms to our guidelines and benefit the community.
Stephen Passacantilli, President
North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council