After 4+ years of consideration, State officials have finally designated a winning proposal for Central Artery Parcel 9 on the Greenway. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has selected the Haymarket Square Hotel project by Normandy Real Estate Partners and Jones Lang LaSalle. The Perkins + Will designed development will include an 8-story, 180-room hotel, a one story market hall with retail space and a restaurant. Parcel 9 is the triangular plot of land created by the Big Dig adjacent to Haymarket and the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, bounded by Blackstone, North and Hanover Streets. Blackstone Street will also get some attention with $2 million of promised infrastructure improvements, including regrading, stalls, trash and storage to support the Haymarket pushcarts.
The selection of the hotel project may come as a surprise because the MassDOT Parcel 7 and 9 RFP Advisory Committee and the Haymarket Pushcart Association both supported the competing bid for Blackstone Market, proposed by Cresset Group and DeNormandie Cos. It includes a 9 story apartment building for 70 rental housing units, 3 restaurants with a first floor retail market and green roof. North End elected officials also supported Blackstone Market, including State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and City Councilor Salvatore LaMattina.
After the 3rd RFP round of public meetings and comments, one advisory committee member and longtime North End resident, Victor Brogna, broke with the rest of the committee to strongly oppose the “Liberty Wharf restaurant-centric” aspect of the Blackstone Market to support the Haymarket Square Hotel. Brogna was joined by other North Enders, including Gerry Riccio, owner of several longtime North End cafes and restaurants including Caffe Vittoria and Gennaro’s 5 North Square.
Competition between the two final bidders has been intense and not without controversy. MassDOT issued an unusual request for the bidders to disclose “side deals” with the Haymarket Pushcart Association. At the final public meeting, pushcart representatives said the Normandy/JLL 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 also denied by HPA representatives at the meeting.
- See this previous post for comment letters and views on both sides: Lines Being Drawn on Greenway’s Parcel 9 Development Project at Haymarket.
- See the final project proposals and presentations: Final Two Proposals Presented for Greenway’s Parcel 9 Development Project at Haymarket [Video]
The MassDOT press release announcing the decision is shown below:
MassDOT Designates Developer for Central Artery Parcel 9
Normandy Real Estate Partners Chosen to Develop Key Parcel
Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey today announced that MassDOT has selected Normandy Real Estate Partners as the developer of Central Artery Parcel 9, located on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway at North and Hanover streets in Boston’s emerging Market District.
Normandy’s proposed development calls for a 180-room, mid-market hotel and a first-floor food market to complement the adjacent weekly Haymarket Pushcart Association produce market. Portions of the building will be founded on Central Artery tunnel structures.
“After a thorough evaluation, we believe this proposal offers the best overall benefit to the residents and businesses of Boston, the Market District and the Commonwealth,” Davey said. “Along with the creation of the Boston Public Market nearby and the existing Haymarket pushcarts, this development will create a new and exciting Market District.”
Acting with the Governor’s Public Market Commission, MassDOT has designated the Boston Public Market Association as the lessee for the ground floor of the adjacent Parcel 7 building that also houses a garage and Central Artery ventilation building. The Public Market will focus on the sale of Massachusetts grown, landed, and produced produce, fish, and other food products.
Davey complemented the BRA and an Advisory Committee of area residents and professionals for their work during the process. “We thank them for their diligence and patience,” he said. “This was a tough decision, with more than one interesting proposal. We respect the community’s opinions and believe the work they put into this process will result in a better outcome for all.”
In addition to the economic and tourism benefits the hotel will lend to the area, the Normandy proposal will result in more than $2 million in improvements to Blackstone Street in support of the Haymarket Pushcart Association (HPA) operation, including regrading the street to simplify vendor setup, installation of water and power for use by vendors, introduction of a system of retractable vendor stall covers, creation of a fire lane through the market – all while minimizing changes to existing HPA layouts and operating patterns. In addition, the proposal will provide interior space for trash compaction, pushcart storage, HPA office space, and vendor rest rooms.
“These benefits will help ensure the continued viability of this treasured Boston institution for years to come,” said Davey. “None of this would have been possible without the active engagement of the BRA, the Pushcart Association, and the Advisory Committee. We look forward to continuing to work with them to shape this development through the permitting process and to realize the vision of a multi-faceted Market District focused on offering quality food to Boston area residents in a lively, active setting.”
In addition to the benefits to the Pushcart Association and the Market District, the proposed 99-year lease to be negotiated with Normandy will result in rent to MassDOT with a present value of between $7.3 and $8.5 million, to be dedicated to transportation uses.
Normandy’s designation is the culmination of an extensive proposal and selection process. The criteria used in making the decision included: the proposed land use and project design; community benefits; community and City input; and the developer’s financial proposal, capacity, and experience.
Normandy’s proposed development is now subject to negotiation and execution of a development agreement and lease with MassDOT, as well as standard City and state permitting.
For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.