Jockeying continues around the long-debated development project at Parcel 9 along the Greenway currently undergoing regulatory review. The Haymarket Hotel by developer Normandy Partners/Harbinger has been designated by land owner MassDOT and has most recently received support from the North End’s three primary elected officials, State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina.
We are writing to express our strong support for the Haymarket Hotel Project on Central Artery Parcel 9 being developed by Normandy Real Estate Partners and Harbinger Development. The project, consisting of up to 225 hotel rooms and approximately 25,000 square feet of retail, will greatly enhance the area with a well-designed building that will fit in and complement the surrounding neighborhood.
In addition to stipulating previously disclosed accommodations for the Haymarket Pushcart Association, the letter also cites a meeting room in the building for North End / Waterfront community groups (at no charge) and annual financial contributions towards the North End Beautification Program. The latter program valued at $10,000 is to be managed by the existing Beautification Committee in the North End. In addition, a release by the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy announced $25,000 of funding from Normandy/Harbinger toward North End Park improvements related to horticulture and bench swings.
The support by local elected officials comes after a “stop sign” letter from the Massachusetts Historical Commission. The MHC objected to the proposed 103 feet height (versus 55′ zoning) and “adverse effect” from being out of character with the historic Blackstone Block. The developer will have to negotiate with the Commission in order to move forward with its project.
Adding to the objections of the Historical Commission, one member of the Parcel 9 Advisory Committee, Victor Brogna, reacted negatively to the officials support, raising questions about the changes in the developer’s proposal from when it was originally presented as part of a competitive bidding process. [See Questioning the Increased Market Hall Height of Proposed Haymarket Hotel at Parcel 9]
The letter [by elected officials] takes a position opposed to the position I have taken, by supporting the project with the substantial changes made by the developer after having been selected as the successful bidder, changes which the unsuccessful bidder was not given the opportunity to make. The unfairness has apparently been overlooked by the signers of the letter.
Unsuccessful bidder, Philip DeNormandie, also shared his thoughts in an email regarding the recent developments. DeNomandie’s residential and restaurant project with Cresset Group, called Blackstone Market, lost to the Haymarket Hotel bid in a decision by MassDOT. [See Final Two Proposals Presented for Greenway’s Parcel 9 Development Project at Haymarket.]
You can’t fault the parcel nine developers. They are speculators only interested in their bottom line they have no lasting interest in the Blackstone Block or the North End. They have always said they plan to permit the property and then sell it and that’s just what they are doing. It is our loss and their gain I see nothing good coming out of it for the community compared to the alternatives that might have been.
The full letter dated March 17, 2015 from local officials Sen. Petruccelli, Rep. Michlewitz and Councilor LaMattina is shown below.
A public meeting is expected to be scheduled regarding the objections by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and potentially follow up by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. In the meantime, catch up with our coverage of the Parcel 9 development project that goes back six years to 2009.