585 Commercial Street – Formerly occupied by Roche Bobois Furniture and most recently the national headquarters for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. (NEWF photo)

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.

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14 COMMENTS

    • why is it a waste of space? it was built before the north end was trendy and the waterfront was up and coming..people use it dont they? for years a genersation lost out on not having a skating rink.. its not always about the property but maybe the people

    • gosh, haters gonna hate. i wonder how many of those 15 thumbs downers (so far) have skated there in the last five years. i am not against skating rinks. i just think that parcel of land would be better left open for all to enjoy year round.

  1. 585 needs to be torn now and turned into parkland. The North End needs to demand this. The property was taken from us by the Feds and we need to take it back.

  2. Seriously 585 was NEVER PARKLAND except maybe when the Pilgrims landed. Before the Feds used it, there was COMMERCIAL use. same old BS.
    Here is a thought…NEWRA and the rest of the people who insist this is parkland should have a fund raiser and raise the $15 million to buy the property and another $25 to $50 million to turn it into a park and maintain it cause neither the city or the state has the $$$$.

  3. This piece of Property would be a Dream Come True for me, but I could never afford it.

    I would NOT go up in height, put a Rooftop Pool, which
    could be enclosed & used during the Winter Months.

    Make it a 55 and over Condos, with everyone having
    that great view of Charlestown, keep the Parking Lot for
    the Condo Owners & Rent the rest of the spaces.

    I would also install the Best Sound Proof Windows and
    put in an elevator,if one already doesn’t exist.

    This type of Project requires me Hitting a Power Ball,
    becaiuse it is definitely out of my League to be able to
    afford such a Project.

  4. I hope it gets re-developed. This building is an eyesore. Almost any newer building replacing it would be a welcome change.

  5. I THINK THIS BUILDING IS FAR BETTER LOOKING

    THAN THE MERCANTILE BUILDING AND I DON’T

    FEEL AS THOUGH IT IS AN EYE SORE. I THINK

    OF IT AS A MODERN LOOKING DESIGN BUILDING.

    TO EACH HIS OWN, THAT IS MY OPINION.

  6. A party in discussions to buy that building told me that their realtor informed them that it was no longer for sale & slated for hotel development. I’ve also heard that this building was being discussed as a potential short-term solution for the Eliot School during renovations.

  7. A continuation of a park there makes sense. As it is, you have the tennis courts, then this ugly 585 building, ice rink, park, pool ,etc. Keep the parks alive!!

  8. Whoever owns this property should clear away the snow soon after a storm so that the harbor walk can continue. This part of the walk was never cleared this year.

  9. they should tear it down make it the entrance way to a retired naval air craft carrier so NORTH END residents can park their cars on a floating parking garage for FREE!!!

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