With cranes in the air and City Hall’s declaration that “Boston’s Back,” it is not surprising to hear rumblings about new and revived development projects in the North End / Waterfront area.
A perennial candidate receiving a boost on the chatter front is 585 Commercial Street between the public tennis courts next to the N. Washington St. Bridge and the State-owned (MassDOT) Steriti Skating Rink. Potential prospects for the vacant property were recently reported by the Zoning, Licensing and Construction Committee of the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association.
Surveyors have been seen in the area taking measurements for some type of plans. A new project could significantly expand beyond the footprint and height of the current 3-story building which is significantly under the North End’s general 55 foot zoning limit.
The existing offices at 585 Commercial St. are largely vacant now that the Mitt Romney presidential campaign has literally left the building. The last permanent ground floor tenant was a retail showroom for Roche Bobois Furniture.
Consistent with its previous views regarding 585 Commercial, the NEWRA committee report identifies concerns that a development at this location has “potential for adversely affecting park land and park uses” …. because of it “being within the stretch of waterfront that is otherwise state and city parks, recreational activities and ballfields.”
The property also includes the private parking lot next to the tennis courts, made famous by Tenacity-gate. Development plans in the past have called for expanding a new building over the parking lot.