Mr. Mark McGowan, Sr. Project Manager
The Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

Dear Mr. McGowan,

SAND strongly supports the Amendment to the Development Plan for the Planned Development Area No. 53 regarding proposed changes to Beacon Capital Partners’ Channel Center project. If approved, the amendment would allow for residential and retail uses on Channel Center properties formerly approved exclusively for office space.

1. Residential Growth. Beacon Capital's desire to produce additional housing is consistent with both SAND's long-range vision of Fort Point and the BRA’s South Boston Waterfront Public Realm Plan. Housing opponents and a number of BRA planning constraints (most recently including the newly proposed I-Cubed legislation) have continually de-incentivized residential construction in favor of office space and hotels. For this reason, Beacon's proposed amendment is especially significant.

2. Success of existing Channel Center project. With Fort Point Place, Channel Center and Midway Studios, Beacon Capital Partners helped set a high standard for development in the Fort Point area. These residential and live/work projects have enriched Fort Point with new residents and families. Beacon Capital Partners closely collaborated with the Fort Point Development Collaborative to develop the Midway Studios (artist live/work) and has been continually supportive of long-term goals of the Fort Point Arts Community. Beacon Capital Partners has been supportive of the designation of Fort Point as a Landmark District and has embarked on a notable preservation effort, in which 14 of 19 historic Boston Wharf buildings are to be restored and reused. To date, Beacon Capital Partners has neither proposed (nor does SAND support) rooftop additions to historic buildings.

3. FAR/Height/Density. The Channel Center is an extremely dense project, and open space is scarce in the district. Although the proposed PDA Amendment as understood should not change the FAR, height or density of the Channel Center, it is important to reiterate that SAND does not support additional height or density in infill or undeveloped parcels beyond original Channel Center approvals.

Thank you for consideration of our comments.


Steve Hollinger
Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND)

cc: SAND
Mr. Kairos Shen, BRA

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