Boston-based developer Beacon Capital Partners has filed a Project Notification Form (PNF) for an office complex on Midway Street in the Fort Point neighborhood of South Boston. The project is proposed in a mixed-use industrial area abutting Gillette Corporation's manufacturing facility and surrounded by light industry, art studios, small businesses, residences and restaurants. The project site is also near a thriving West Broadway small business district and in the heart of the Fort Point arts neighborhood.

The Midway project proposes 1.75 million square feet, including:

The project is 2-3 blocks from South Boston's Broadway MBTA station. The site is currently limited to a zoning height of 80-feet.

Beacon Capital Partners has proposed that 125,000 square feet of the 1.7 million square foot project be reserved for artist live/work studios. The terms of this arrangement have not been specified, nor has Beacon specified its role in the sale or lease to the Fort Point arts community. Prior to Beacon's purchase of Midway Street, Fort Point artists and arts organizations had been actively planning and raising capital for the aquisition of Midway properties from the existing owner as a permanent anchor for the creative community. Since its purchase of Midway properties, Beacon Capital has been in ongoing dialogs with the Fort Point Cultural Coalition (FPCC) regarding the inclusion of artist live/work space. [note: Beacon Capital's PNF filed yesterday does not match the 250,000 square foot minimum amount of studio space estimated by arts organizations and consultants needed to make the FPCC's project viable.]

Beacon Capital's proposal does not specify how the company will fulfill its 1/3rd housing requirement (550,000+ square feet), required of all South Boston waterfront projects by an executive order of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. In a meeting with SAND earlier this month, the developer asserted that it has persuaded the Boston Redevelopment Authority to allow the company to include prior and future residential projects in order to fulfill its housing requirement. The Boston Redevelopment Authority has not yet confirmed this unprecedented position.

According to the developer, the project is not subject to State review under Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) regulations.

SAND members are reviewing Beacon's PNF to assess local and regional impacts, filing written comments (now in a public comment period through March 9, 2001). A SAND representative has been delegated by State Representative Jack Hart to the BRA Impact Advisory Group (IAG) for this project at City Hall.

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