SAND has stated its opposition to a Waterfront baseball stadium, favoring development planning according to the City of Boston Public Realm Plan. For details click here.

Pier IV development plans filed in March 2001 by Stephen Karp (New England Development) at the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the State Office of Environmental Affairs, proposed Pier 4 for a mixed-use project including hotel, residential, office and public space. These plans have been under review for months by City officials and community and waterfront advocacy groups. For more information on Pier 4 plans already under review, click here.

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Bidders making a splash: O'Donnell/Karp propose new Sox park at Pier Four
by Steve Marantz, The Boston Herald

Thursday, December 6, 2001

A local group bidding to buy control of the Red Sox is developing a plan for a new ballpark on the South Boston waterfront with an eye toward gaining the approval of Major League Baseball owners, sources close to the group say.

Developed by concessionaire Joseph O'Donnell and mall builder Stephen Karp, sources said this plan involves Pier Four and an adjacent parcel now used as a parking lot that is part of the Fan Pier site being developed by the Pritzker family of Chicago. Under the plan, O'Donnell and Karp, who hold options to develop Pier Four - site of venerable Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant - would rebuild the aging 4-acre structure into a ballpark configuration when paired with the adjacent parking lot controlled by the Pritzker family.

An additional small parcel part of the Fan Pier proposal would be contributed by the Pritzkers to the ballpark plan, sources said. Fan Pier developers would participate only if a ballpark were deemed to meet the ``public access'' requirement of their $1.2 billion project, sources said.

The plan is not formally included in the O'Donnell/Karp bid, but is being readied in the event the process moves to a second phase and surviving bidders are asked for additional credentials, sources said.

Karp's development chiefs say they are moving ahead on a proposed hotel/commercial/residential project for Pier Four, said Vivien Li of the watchdog Boston Harbor Association, but are not ruling out the possibility of a ballpark plan.

Karp's office and the Boston representatives of the Pritzkers did not return calls yesterday.

Until now, only South Boston landowner Frank McCourt has proposed a new ballpark in his bid to buy the Sox.

McCourt's 25-acre property abuts the Pritzker and Karp sites, and he has shown Southie leaders a plan using San Francisco's new Pac-Bell waterfront park as a model.. The O'Donnell-Karp plan would be fashioned closely after the Pac-Bell park, which is shoehorned into a small waterfront site and provides expansive views of the fabled San Francisco Bay.

The Pier Four plan would have to pass waterfront environmental reviews, but a ballpark of limited height and density might be more readily permitted than other development projects, sources said.

``They already know they have to rebuild the pilings and seawall where the restaurant sits, and some dredging is involved,'' said Li. ``But it's feasible to rebuild to a ballpark configuration.''

O'Donnell and Karp have not advanced the plan to the South Boston community. South Boston political and neighborhood leaders, in tentatively endorsing McCourt's plan, have said that any other proposals closer to residential areas would be opposed.

But the Pier Four site is farther from residential areas than McCourt's property.

McCourt's advisers claim that league owners are attuned to the need for a new ballpark in Boston and will be partial to bidders with a ballpark plan.

``This sale is really about where the Red Sox will play for the next 30 years,'' said Robert Caporale of Game Plan, a sports advisory firm.

Other than McCourt's plan, and that of the Werner-Otten group, which proposes to renovate Fenway Park, no other bidders have put forward a ballpark proposal, Caporale noted. But he acknowledged that O'Donnell and Karp may come forward with a Pier Four plan.

``They're two intelligent guys,'' he said. ``When it gets down to the final strokes that will be the question the major league owners will ask.''

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