Real Estate

North End Waterfront Development … What Could Have Been

The above photo was a concept for Commercial Wharf or Lewis Wharf? in a late 1960s publication by the Boston Society of Architects. The image of a “Miami-style” project was found and shared by local artist and North End resident, Nathan Swain. He says, “let’s be thankful they never got a chance to build this,” a sentiment likely shared by most residents at and around the North End waterfront. Below is a current photo showing Commercial Wharf to the right with a development added in recent years at the relatively low-profile, yet storied, Yacht Haven.

5 Replies to “North End Waterfront Development … What Could Have Been

  1. And? Boston City Hall and Government Center got approved in that time period. Does anyone like city hall or GC? I don’t like this because there is no new parking in the development. It’s 3 new towers with no parking. There’s a new tower proposed in North Station with about 38 stories. How is that getting approved? The North End will always have 50 ft. height restriction and will be left behind.

    1. Parking is an antiquated issue that presumes living in the city and working beyond the reach of public transportation. The city is obviously trying to develop a live/work dynamic where individuals rely on public transportation and car share programs like Zip Car, and largely work in the city or in nearby Cambridge, the Seaport, or other locations in the metro area. Less parking means fewer cars, which means less traffic congestion, pollution, and other benefits.

      I think this is responsible development and will continue to help local businesses thrive with foot traffic-based sales. If everyone had a car, do you think local markets like Going Bananas would continue to be able to sell its products for a 50% bonus compared to a Stop & Shop in Allston? or a liquor store charging a 30% surcharge on a bottle of wine? How many people in NYC actually own a car? In Manhattan it’s between 15-25% of household own a car. The North End has a similar population density . Many kids grow up in NYC and never learn how to drive because there is simply no need for it. Boston wants that and is doing the right things to achieve the goal.

    2. Left behind? That is exactly what residents like about the north end. This is also what maintains the value of the north end. How does building 38, 60, or 100 story behemoths benefit the neighborhood.
      The value and character of the North end are tied to the fact that it is a compact area where little more can be built. Why would we want to expand in this fashion and see the value of everything collapse once interest rates begin rising again?

  2. The building in the model looks like Lewis Wharf. This is the ugliest design for a waterfront community that I have ever seen. Thank goodness this was never built!

    1. Dan, I agree with you. It does look like Lewis Wharf, and Phillip DiNormandi has been trying for years to build something at the end of our wharf. No luck yet, and I hope he doesn’t get the chance to do that.

      A Lewis Wharf very happy with the way it is now resident..

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