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Chiofaro Presents New Ideas for Public Realm Opportunities at Harbor Garage Development [Video]

Video Timeline: (00:00) Harbor Garage Presentation; (29:00) Committee Comments; (35:00) General Public Comments

Challenging the perception that he is “stubborn,” developer Don Chiofaro introduced new “ground up” public realm concepts for the Harbor Garage that would form the foundation of a future development at the property. “Our previous approach has obviously not been successful,” said Chiofaro. In response, he and his team have been “toiling the vineyards” to come up with harbor and Greenway enhancement ideas for the site that might be received with more enthusiasm.

As part of a reinvigorated effort to move forward, the owners are reaching out to local zoning officials and the community regarding the needs and wants for public space and amenities at the garage site. The presentation was made as part of a meeting with the Downtown Waterfront Municipal Harbor Planning Advisory Committee held on September 25, 2013 at Boston Harbor Hotel, Rowes Wharf. Chiofaro was joined by Fred Kramer and Tamara Roy of architectural design firm, ADD, Inc.

One idea: Hot and cold tubs at Harbor Garage (Chiofaro Company, ADD Inc)

There was no talk of heights, condos or office towers. Instead, the presentation was focused on the surrounding area opportunities if the garage stays in place or if it the site is cleared and a new development is started from scratch. From there, Chiofaro intends to design a development that realizes such desires. A key constituency are residents of abutting Harbor Towers that have been (and continue to be) vocal regarding priorities for a potential project.

The conceptual ideas ran the gambit from traditional park-like plazas and cafes to pools, beaches and even hot tubs. The presentation referenced recent Municipal Harbor Plan “charrettes” where potential waterfront features were discussed, including outside dining, interpretive signage, four-season activities, elevated public viewing areas, cultural events, a beach or even a canal that brings Boston Harbor to the Greenway.

The presentation ended with a request for feedback:

  • Should we keep the garage as is or try something new?
  • If trying something new, then what are the public realm priorities?

The Chiofaro Company has a website with more information at

In the video above, the Harbor Garage presentation is followed by committee and general public comments. Please note that some of the comments addressed a previous Rowes Wharf presentation that will be posted separately along with a Harbor Towers presentation. See previous posts on the Harbor Garage.