The State will study the costs and benefits of a public marina in the North End / Waterfront, according to pending legislation introduced by State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz. The specific location for the recreational facility is adjacent to Commercial Street behind Steriti Memorial Skating Rink and the Prince Street Park tennis courts. The property is owned by the State’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and also abuts the expansion campus of the Eliot School at 585 Commercial Street.
“I have heard from residents that would like to have that area activated now that the school is there,” said Rep. Aaron Michlewitz in an interview. Michlewitz represents the Third Suffolk District including the North End / Waterfront. “There are a whole host of opportunities to make it into a friendlier environment for the neighborhood,” he added.
According to the legislation, DCR will spend at least $100,000 to consider the economic, cultural and recreational benefits of creating a public marina at the dock that is currently occupied by a closed pier. The study will also include the feasibility of including a potential water taxi station for the use of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.
The public marina study comes as an amendment to the Transportation Bond Bill that recently passed both the House of Respresentatives and Senate. After a conference committee reconciliation, the bill goes to Governor Deval Patrick’s desk. In addition to Rep. Michelwitz’s support in the House, State Senator Anthony Pettrucelli, representing the district that includes the North End, has confirmed his support for the measure in the Senate.
On a separate track with the City of Boston, Councilor Sal LaMattina is looking to add ferry and water transportation service on Boston Harbor to better link East Boston, North End, Charlestown, Downtown and the Seaport District. Such discussions are substantially further along than the potential North End marina, but the site could eventually be part of a future water transportation network.