SAND has submitted the following comment letter during a public comment period in response to Massport's recent filing of an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) and Project Notification Form (PNF) for the proposed development of its Parcel F property. [An ENF is a State Environmental Office document required for approval of large development proposals and a PNF is essentially the same document required for consideration and approval by the City of Boston/BRA.]
Parcel F is the property directly across from Fish Pier, bounded by New Northern Ave. and the Marine Industrial Park. This parcel is already partially completed (the Seaport Hotel), nearing completion (the Fidelity office tower to the east of the hotel) and under way (with two proposed hotel/office towers including a small residential component).
Parcel F is within the 30-acre Commonwealth Flats area, part of a larger plan by Massport, also recently submitted for state and city approvals. To read SAND's comment letter on the larger plan for Commonwealth Flats area, click here.
For a bit more recent history of this ENF, click here...
Mr. Bob Durand, Secretary
Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
100 Cambridge Street
attn.: Ms Laura Rome, MEPA Unit
EOEA # 1182, Parcel F-1 Office Building, DEIR
Dear Secretary Durand,
SAND supports the permitting of the Parce F-1 Office Building with several reservations. Most of our concerns relate its function within the context of Commonwealth Flats and the South Boston Waterfront. Please refer to those more general comments, submitted separately, as they may inform this specific project. As to this building specifically we only have a few comments at this level of design, and are generally hopeful that this may prove a worthy addition to the neighborhood and serve many valuable purposes.
We are concerned that the current design shows a shear wall descending to the street level on D Street. With the enormous width of the street and its alignment there appears a tremendous potential for excessive winds at street level to be produced. We urge the creation of a more human scaled street wall along D Street, and elsewhere.
We would like to see additional building entries provided, whether to retail and restaurants, or to the building lobby. Additional entrances generally support a greater level of pedestrian activity, enlivening the district. We hope that the large retail bays now provided on the first floor will have the ability to be subdivided into smaller shops when the need arises.
SAND also supports mixed use buildings, and we would prefer to see some provision, or potential for future incorporation to a meaningful degree, of additional, noncommercial uses in the upper floors.
These relatively minor amendments would make this structure better for the neighborhood and better for Massport. They should be discussed and adopted by the proponent in future filings as they update other sections to more fully describe the development and its impacts. SAND remains available to discuss these points and other matters with you, at your convenience.
Jon Seward, on behalf of
Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design
Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.