Video: Two final presentations for the Greenway / Central Artery Parcel 9 at public meeting hosted by property owner Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) on March 20, 2013 at Mariner’s House in Boston’s North End. Presenting are (1) Blackstone Market by Cresset Group / DeNormandie Cos. and (2) Haymarket Square by Normandy Partners / Jones Lang LaSalle.
Video timeline index:
- 00:00 Introduction by MassDOT’s Municipal Liasion John Romano
- 05:15 Blackstone Market – Cresset Group / DeNormandie Cos. Presentation
- 25:30 RFP Advisory Committee Q&A on Blackstone Market
- 52:20 Local Elected Officials Endorsement of Blackstone Market from State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina – presented by Councilor LaMattina senior aide, Stephen Passacantilli
- 54:50 Public Q&A on Blackstone Market
- 58:00 Haymarket Square – Normandy Partners & Jones Lang LaSalle
- 1:17:20 RFP Advisory Committee Q&A on Haymarket Square
- 1:30:10 Public Q&A on Haymarket Square
- 2:02:00 MassDOT Issues – Statement in response to question of representations made to proponents during the RFP process
It was standing room only at Wednesday’s public meeting regarding the development of Greenway / Central Artery Parcel 9. The State’s transportation authority, MassDOT, is close to designating a developer. This meeting, captured in the above video, was the last public session before an official designation. Facing off at the meeting were the final two bidders for the current vacant, triangular-shaped lot adjacent to Haymarket along Blackstone Street.
- Blackstone Market (Cresset Group & DeNormandie Cos.) – 70 rental housing units, 9 stories high, at North Street with up to 3 restaurants on second floor, community room, a first floor retail market and a green roof. Designed by Utile Inc. Blackstone Market Proposal Addendum 3 (large pdf)
- Haymarket Square (Normandy Partners & Jones Lang LaSalle) – 180-room hotel, 8 stories high, with a public winter garden, market hall, retail space, pushcart operation space, community room and restaurant. Designed by Perkins + Hill. Haymarket Square Hotel Proposal Addendum 3 (large pdf)
Most of the discussion surrounded the two different concepts, one with apartments (Blackstone Market) and the other with hotel rooms (Haymarket Square).
In the latest submission, both proposals were revised to include public feedback. Although there were supporters and detractors on both sides, the Blackstone Market garnered the most public support at the meeting including a proclamation by local elected officials, State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina as presented by Councilor LaMattina senior aide, Stephen Passacantilli. (See 52:20 in the video)
The influential Haymarket Pushcart Association that operates Thursdays through Saturdays in the area reiterated their strong preference for the Blackstone Market proposal citing a better fit with their own operations.
For downtown neighborhood residents, a notable new addition to both proposals is to have a large community room. The Haymarket Pushcarts also receive some space in both concepts for operations, trash and an office.
If there were any changed minds at the meeting, some North End residents were pleased with seeing only 40 restaurant seats at the Haymarket Square proposal versus 400 estimated as part of the Blackstone Market proposal. For the latter, Cresset Group is well-known for its restaurant-centric Liberty Wharf development, that it recently sold. The North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA) representative on the Advisory Committee noted the smaller scale of the Haymarket Square proposal. He also expressed concern that the large restaurant destination at Blackstone Market would bring more intoxicated visitors to the saturated North End streets.
There were some fireworks at the end of the meeting (2:02:00 in the video). Representatives of the Haymarket Pushcart Association said that the Haymarket Square Hotel group told them of a preliminary designation by MassDOT that was not publicly disclosed. This was denied by MassDOT at the meeting and said to be a misunderstanding by Normandy/JLL who fired back that the HPA had a side deal with the Blackstone Market proponent. This was denied by HPA representatives at the meeting.
A public comment period is open through April 4, 2013. Comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.