WS Development clearly really, really wants the Boston Planning and Development Agency to vote in favor of their plan to redevelop 23 acres on the South Boston Waterfront known as Seaport Square.
On Wednesday, it was announced that WS Development would add four additional community benefits to add to the proposal. They include a $7.5 million endowment to support performing arts, $2 million for the design and reconstruction of the Old Northern Avenue Bridge , $1 million to support the maintenance of Martin’s Park and there is a commitment to affordable housing in the new project.
To refresh your memory, WS Development proposed a new plan for the mammoth project which includes 10 blocks of development with 10 new buildings of mixed office and residential buildings and hotels and more than 100 new storefronts. Part of the plan also includes a “grand” staircase to bring pedestrians down from Summer Street onto a tree lined wooden walkway – Harbor Way – that travels a third of a mile to the water and will be open to pedestrians and bicycles only. A one-acre Harbor Square, an open space between buildings facing Seaport Boulevard is also included in the plans.
There has been some scrutiny about this proposal ranging from not enough green space included, to size of theaters and ownership of public parks, and access to public facilities.
In addition to this new $10.5 million of benefits, the developer has already offered more than $27.5 million transportation infrastructure upgrades including bike lanes, Silver Line improvements, and road reconstruction. WS Development also promised green space, a performing arts center and a community theater.
The BPDA will vote on this project on Thursday night. We shall see. ‘