From the Office of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today in his annual speech to the Boston Chamber of Commerce announced a new vision for the Boston’s waterfronts, outlining the first Municipal Harbor Plan in 20 years – a plan which 20 years ago paved the way for transformative projects such as the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Harbor cleanup. Building upon the success of South Boston’s waterfront, Mayor Menino announced that the City would now continue its efforts in fulfilling the development potential of the East Boston waterfront, establishing an East Boston Development District and announcing plans for a new East Boston Marine Terminal.
“Our waterfronts – all of them – have enchanted Bostonians since the city’s earliest days. This new Municipal Harbor Plan is about how we can continue to reinvest in our harbor and waterfronts so they continue to thrive for the next generation,” Mayor Menino said. “We pushed past false starts and economic uncertainty in the South Boston waterfront, and today that area is home to a thriving Innovation District. Now, as the economic climate continues to improve, we are focusing our resources on East Boston with plans to jump-start development there.”
East Boston Waterfront Development District
Mayor Menino announced that he will establish an East Boston Waterfront Development District, allowing the City to use various tools to jumpstart development.
- District Improvement Financing will allow the city to invest up front in infrastructure and recoup the cost later through tax revenue
- There are 9 currently pending projects that in total represent more than $500 million and approximately
- 2.5 million square feet of new space
- 1,800 housing units
- 1,400 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs
- There are 5 large parcels that remain full of untapped potential along the waterfront
Enhancing Water Transit
As part of the Municipal Harbor Plan, Mayor Menino will focus on improving access to water transportation between all of Boston’s waterfront districts so commuters can travel between Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods.
- The City will finance a new East Boston Marine Terminal at Maverick Square in an effort to make water transportation a more accessible and convenient option
- $1 million in annual support for harbor transportation backed by a small additional Cruise Passenger fee
“The city stands ready to invest to create jobs and new opportunity in East Boston. But we need our partners to dig deep, too. Together, we’ll make sure people standing downtown, looking across the harbor at East Boston, no longer see just potential, but progress,” Mayor Menino said.
Creating a World Class Port at Black Falcon Terminal
Mayor Menino also proposed improvements for the Black Falcon Terminal located in South Boston. The terminal has been busier than ever in recent years, welcoming more than 300,000 visitors to the City of Boston annually. The Mayor pledged to work with Massport to make Black Falcon a world class cruise terminal and a worthy entryway to the City of Boston.
Boston’s economy grew faster than any metro area in the country last year.
Mayor Menino’s speech highlighted some of the impressive progress the City of Boston has experienced.
- Boston’s job growth of 2.1 percent is outpacing the State’s and almost doubling the nation’s
- There is $2.4 billion dollars worth of total development currently underway in Boston
- Boston added 1.2 million square feet of office occupancy over the first three quarters of the year
- In the third quarter of 2011 Boston has seen over 1,000 new housing units start construction – the most since 2006
- Hotel revenues are up 5.3 percent compared to last year
- Boston is home to the largest privately-financed construction project in the country – the future home of Vertex
- Plans for Dudley Square revitalization continue to move forward, with more than $115 million in investments and a groundbreaking in the spring
- The City launched the successful New Balance Hubway bike share system and this year reached 50 miles of installed bike lanes