Eastat's Proposed Haymarket Square
Eastat’s Proposed Haymarket Square

Despite widespread support for a new development at Parcel 9 along the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the State’s transportation agency has terminated what has already been a multi-year designation process. Four proposals were in the final proposal round to build on the triangular-shaped lot near Haymarket on Blackstone Street.

The news was distributed in an emailed statement by MassDOT indicating a “fresh look” was required. It also implied the garage lot of Parcel 7 would be included in future planning for what the Boston Redevelopment Authority is calling the “Market District,” across from the North End on the other side of the Greenway.

While the North End neighborhood groups did not specifically favor one of the specific proposals, they showed a rare display of unity through a joint letter encouraging officials to move forward with the designation.

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All four proposals included a ground market that would incorporate today’s Haymarket pushcarts in a year-round indoor/outdoor format, along with the necessary facility to clean up the area. The bidders diverged in the uses for the upper floors. The Boston Museum proposed a civic and cultural concept, but had trouble raising pre-funding. Eastat Realty, once a favorite in the process, had proposed rental apartment housing of an affordable nature. Gutierrez Co. and DeNormandie proposed variations of an office building with the latter connecting a glass canopy over Blackstone Street to existing properties on the other side of the block.

New MassDOT Secretary, Jeff Mullan, gave some indication last month that he was throwing cold water on the project saying he wanted to study the financial viability to avoid another Filene’s hole. After his statement, 3 of the 4 bidders put out statements claiming significant funding support with Eastat’s proposal showing full funding.

Another wrench was thrown in by the Pushcart Association that represents the existing Haymarket vendors. They switched their support from Eastat to the grander DeNormandie proposal shortly before the last MassDOT meeting.

From here, the prospects for any near-term development look dim. The Boston Redevelopment Authority has installed trash compactors on the property with cement padding to help the existing Haymarket vendors. MassDOT’s statement said they will work with the various constituents to “take a fresh look at how the redevelopment of Parcels 9 and 7 can meet the goals of the Commonwealth, the city’s vision for the Market District and neighbors, while also bringing in revenue to MassDOT.”

The BRA is expected to shortly disclose its draft guidelines for the Greenway districts, including the Market District.

Related posts:
Parcel 9 Delay Indicates a Possible Shift
Haymarket Vendors Back DeNormandie for Parcel 9
No Decision on Parcel 9 – The Plot Thickens
Haymarket Cleanup Plan Video
North End Groups Send Joint Letter on Parcel 9

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