It is no surprise that the Boston Planning and Development Agency approved the WS Development Seaport Square proposal on Thursday night. Anyone following along with the process could see the writing on the wall. So it came as now surprise to see this press release in our inbox. You can read all about below. A whole new world is in the works for the Southie Waterfront.
The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved seven development projects representing a combined investment of $1.85 billion at the November 16 meeting. The approved projects will yield 1,539 jobs supporting construction activity and 6,183 permanent jobs.
Included in Thursday’s approvals is Seaport Square, currently Boston’s largest development project. Over the past year, BPDA staff has worked closely with the community and the developer to ensure that the project will continue to create a South Boston Waterfront that is a vibrant, thriving neighborhood and provides public benefits and amenities that will serve the community for generations to come.
Seaport Square to transform South Boston Waterfront, bringing housing, office space, performing arts facilities and public open space
Live: 700 housing units, 1.5 acre community park, 85 on-site affordable homes, three civic spaces, three performing arts venues, $7.5 million arts endowment, $1 million for Martin’s Park, two playgrounds
Work: 9,000 permanent jobs; over 100 shops, cafes, and restaurants; innovation office spaces, 10-year extension of District Hall
Connect: $25 million in transportation improvements, one and a half miles of bicycle infrastructure, LEED Gold Neighborhood, five GoBoston 2030 mobility hubs, $2 million for Northern Avenue bridge, $2.5 million for MBTA operating subsidy
Project Size: 1,486,910 square feet
The Seaport Square Notice of Project Change (NPC) will continue the transformation of the South Boston Waterfront, bringing 700 housing units, 9,000 permanent jobs, an increase in open public space and a renewed commitment to cultural and civic spaces. All affordable residential units will be located on the project site.
Originally approved in 2010, the NPC increases overall project-wide pedestrian open space by 20 percent over previous project approvals, creating nearly 7.5 acres of pedestrian open space within the 23-acre project site. The project will invest over $25 million in public infrastructure upgrades including a new Silver Line headhouse, 1.5 miles of protected bicycle lanes and cycle tracks, reconstruction of Seaport Boulevard, and numerous other roadway and public realm improvements.
The project responds to the need for performing arts facilities in Boston, and will create the Seaport Performing Arts Center (SeaPAC) comprised of a flexible 500-seat performing arts venue and a 100-seat venue, as well as a 150-seat Fort Point Community Theater (FPCT) that can be used by smaller local performing arts organizations for performances of many types. In addition, a $7.5M endowment will be created to provide operating support for the project’s 750-seat performing arts venues and over 12,000 square feet of new civic spaces.
The approval expands the neighborhood park space on the “L-Blocks” to 1.5 acres – 20 percent larger than previous project approvals required – and eliminates a vehicular street running through the park originally proposed in 2008. This new Harbor Square park will provide a signature open space serving area residents and will be designed by world-renowned landscape architect James Corner Field Operations. Seaport Common will be expanded to almost 1 acre – larger than required by previous project approvals – to create a signature park leading to the water.
$2.5 million will be provided as an operating subsidy for water transportation service or improved Silver Line service to waterfront ease traffic congestion. $400,000 will be dedicated for studies and design of additional transportation improvements in the South Boston Waterfront District.
Recognizing the importance of climate change adaptability and resiliency, many of the future Seaport Square buildings, as well as Harbor Square park, will be constructed with ground floors almost three feet above the 500-year flood elevation.