Will self-driving boats on Boston Harbor relieve some of the Uber traffic on our city streets? We might soon be looking to a nine-person company in East Boston for those answers.
A recent BBJ article notes, “Sea Machines Robotics Inc., which was named a Gold-level winner of last year’s MassChallenge accelerator program and recently graduated from TechStars Boston, has raised $1.5 million to support beta tests of its marine self-driving system…[the company] is about to begin testing its system, which uses software and readily available hardware to turn existing boats into autonomous vehicles, with two companies in the U.S. and one in Denmark. The companies in the pilot program focus on cleaning up oil spills and the surveying necessary to keep nautical charts up to date.”
You can read the full Boston Business Journal article on its website.
The city-approved plan allows for a 600-foot tower at the site of the Boston Harbor Garage, a 1,380-space, 70-foot parking garage owned by Chiofaro, with 50 percent of the project site required to be open space. It also allows for a 305-foot, 22-story tower at the site of James Hook & Co. seafood restaurant on Northern Avenue, which would call for 30 percent of the lot as open space.
The plan covers 42 acres of downtown waterfront — of which about 22 acres is filled tidelands, while the remainder is the harbor — and 26 separate land parcels. The public process to develop a planning vision for the waterfront began in 2013.
[Chiofaro will] push forward with his bid to put a skyscraper on the site of the Harbor Garage, and to do it within proposed zoning rules that he fought for years to loosen without success. It would still be a billion-dollar-plus project, a bookend to the International Place towers he built in the 1980s, but not quite as grand as he envisioned.
It’s likely to be several months, at least, before Chiofaro can file specific plans with the BRA. Then, given a year or more for permitting, construction wouldn’t start until 2018, at the earliest.
Live, work, play and yes Swim. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to clean up the waterways that surround Boston and now some want to create floating docks to encourage swimming. “Love that dirty water” is now just a song by the Standdells and no longer reflects the conditions of our waterways.
The Charles River Conservancy, which hosts its fourth annual City Splash event Tuesday, has been making an effort in recent years to get more residents swimming in the Charles. Now, the conservancy wants to create a permanent floating dock on the river, near North Point Park.
“Due to decades and hundreds of millions of dollars of remediation, Boston and Cambridge are poised to set an example for other American cities by leading the country with a safe and innovative swimming facility that is accessible and beautiful,” Renata von Tscharner, conservancy founder and president, said in a statement.
A state official dealt a blow to Chiofaro Cos.’ plans to build two skyscrapers on Boston Harbor, siding with city officials in setting a maximum size of 900,000 square feet and height of 600 feet…Matthew Beaton, the secretary of energy and environmental affairs, backed the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s guidance for the maximum buildout on the 1.3-acre parcel currently occupied by an eight-story parking garage. Developer Donald Chiofaro has stated that his original proposal for two towers totaling 1.3 million square feet is the minimum for a financially viable project.
The term sheet for the Boston project says the company [Mei Mei] will lease up to eight custom-built shipping container kiosks. It’s all part of $100 million in upgrades to the The Innovation and Design Building as a whole, according to the building’s…other companies moving into containers include Niche Urban Garden Supply, Drydock Exchange, and the hair salon Cut-Splice. The kiosks will be open year-round and the space will offer indoor and outdoor seating.
The Seaport just got harder to get to and from. Not only are there fewer parking spaces, now there is one less pedestrian walkway from the Financial District to the Seaport. The ultimate plan is to reopen the bridge to cars and pedestrian traffic, but no date has been given.
Credit: Boston Herald
A Boston Herald report states “structural conditions and “deterioration beyond repair” prompted the city to close the Old Northern Avenue bridge that serves as a pedestrian link between South Boston’s Seaport District and the Financial District…analysis of the 106-year-old truss bridge’s load capacity by TranSystems, a transportation consultant hired by the city, found 13 floor beams with a “zero-ton rating” in the part of the bridge that was open to pedestrians crossing the Fort Point Channel.”
The Seaport, formerly known as the South Boston Waterfront has not only evolved, but arrived. Interestingly it is not as clearly defined geographically as one might think. One border is the Fort Point Channel and another is Boston Harbor. Beyond that, it is up to some interpretation.
According to CoStar, the border continues to West 2nd Street and East 2nd Street. The core of the Seaport in my opinion consists of: Summer Street, Congress Street and Seaport Boulevard and the various intersecting streets. The Boston Design Center, Convention Center and Wormwood Street would also be included.
The Boston Business Journal quantifies the growth, noting, the Seaport District “already has a population bigger than Beacon Hill’s, and more radical change is on the short-term horizon. Some of the region’s most experienced developers are pushing forward projects that within three years should create more than 2,500 housing units. City planners see another doubling in housing stock, to 10,000 units, by 2030.
Uber is on the move and headed for new digs in the North Station area of Boston. The North Station office market still reigns as a value option compared with Back Bay and the Seaport.
The Boston Herald describes the scale of Uber’s new space at 239 Causeway St., noting “The 17,494-square-foot office is nearly three times the size of the company’s current office near South Station, and comes with an option to expand to another floor in the future.”
Rents in the Class B market can range from the low to mid $30’s PSF.