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Fan Pier is in a public comment period through July 5! Click Here...
As the cement on the Pritzker Fan Pier plan hardens in the minds of City and State regulators, a number of frustrated and puzzled community members continue to wonder why officials continue to capitulate to the demands of the property owners to jam over 3 million square feet of office, hotel and luxury residential onto the most significant tidal parcel remaining in the City of Boston.
Mayor Menino and the BRA have recently pushed for minor revisions to the massive plan, asking planners to "double" the size of a small park at the Fan Pier cove, and adding roughly 100 units of residential to the mix. Within days of these requests, the Pritzker planning team hastily revised their plan. Instead of requiring significant waterfront open space, City officials have argued that open space would be a blight, citing phrases like "prairie" and "Duxbury" to diminish the arguments of greenspace advocates. And planners continue to use semantic arguments like "we are creating an urban waterfront, not a prairie" to quash debate regarding its obligation to control the scale and density of waterside projects.
Meanwhile, the McCourt plan -- which at a minimum is offering planners a visual opportunity to reflect on alternative ideals with increased public access to the waterfront, has been dismissed from the planning discussion almost entirely based on property boundaries, owners and economic development cycles. This plan has been condemned even with regard to helping frame the forthcoming Municipal Harbor Plan (which was chartered by law to reflect the widely heralded Public Realm Plan). Click here to read SAND's recent letter to the BRA regarding the McCourt plan.
As fears that the Pritzker's will walk away from their sandbox continue to stifle dozens of public waterfront planning debates and discussions, BRA planners seamlessly hem the developer's frills into the Municipal Harbor Plan. And while ready to cite the insidious threat of a Pritzker withdrawal, City officials have not proffered a shred of evidence to constituents that the Fan Pier developers will fail financially if the hulking mass is scaled back.
Today, the Boston Globe editorial board again stepped up to the plate to ask readers to consider the emerging waterfront for the benefit of future generations. Without a galvanized public interest today, the waterfront of tomorrow will be owned by the corporations that can afford to lease or rent space on it. Click here to read today's Boston Globe editorial...
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