Video: Parcel 9 (Haymarket Hotel) BRA Impact Advisory Group meeting on January 13, 2016

After extended bidding and selection at the State level, a hotel proposal by Harbinger Development /Normandy Real Estate Partners to develop Parcel 9 at Haymarket continues to be in a state of transition as part of the Article 80 Large Project approval process at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. At an Impact Advisory Group meeting last week, BRA Project Manager Christopher Tracy said that the proponent is planning to come back to the BRA in the coming months for a PDA (Planned Development Area) approval. A PDA will enable a re-zoning of the project area at Haymarket and the Blackstone Block along the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Presenting on behalf of Harbinger Development was Eamon O’Marah who said they are considering further iterations on the project’s design in response to a letter by the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s Preservation Officer, shown in full below. The MHC has raised concerns regarding the impact of the 10-story (103 feet high) building on the surrounding Blackstone Block.

The MHC is very concerned that the proposed project’s negative impacts to the historic Blackstone Block can only be mitigated through project re-design with a significantly lower building height and more sympathetic design.

The hotel project has gone through several iterations, including some controversy over the design height that has increased by two floors (from 84 to 103 feet) since it was awarded designation by MassDOT, the State land owner of Parcel 9. Some changes by the developer were attributed to sea level rise and storm surge concerns that required mechanical equipment be moved up to the second floor of the hotel, which would have resulted in the loss of hotel space without the addition of the two hotel floors.

At the meeting, there was also extended discussion regarding the height and design of the Market Hall located facing the North End side of the parcel intended to support the operations of the Haymarket pushcarts. The image below shows the latest changes to the Market Hall proposal, with the original proposal in red.

Revised Market Hall rooftop design, original in red (Image: Harbinger Development)

The MHC letter says the Federal Highway Administration “must develop a plan to involve the public in its consultation for this project. The MHC recommends that you consult with Victor Brogna and Dianne Royle, at a minimum, as they have expressed an interest in the Parcel 9 Project. (See Mr. Brogna’s September 15, 2015 letter here.)

The January 8, 2016 letter from the Mass. Historical Commission is shown below.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Will the Mass. Historical Commission allow the neon Haymarket signage? Not at all in keeping with the history of the area —– just sayin’

    • You’re right, Jamison. Historically, that area was plastered with billboards, signs and painted advertisements. The new building will have to add a lot more signage if it wants to be truly historic.

  2. All I have to say, is the North End is in a BIG mess with all the tall buildings , garages etc. These are the consequences of big developers making big money. They are selfish idiots and you have a mayor who is all in himself and doesn’t care a bout anyone else except to act like a BIG SHOT and doesn’t give a damn of the people in the North End and every else. People, smarten up and get rid of this moron next election,

    Vinny

    • Vinny I have to disagree with you. How does a tall building near haymarket create a “big mess” for the North End? Honestly, how is a building on Blackstone St going to create a “big mess” for the North End? Frankly It will most likely have very little effect on the North End at all. You seem pretty passionate but some more detail would be nice, especially when you start calling the mayor of our city a moron. For the record the mayor has been great to our community.

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