Rising Like a Phoenix: Pier One Project Construction Underway After Years of Delay

August 21, 2013
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The first building to go up as part of the Portside at Pier One project will have some of the most stunning views of Boston’s skyline.

The first building to go up as part of the Portside at Pier One project will have some of the most stunning views of Boston’s skyline.

The iron rebar framing for the first building to be constructed on East Boston’s waterfront as part of the Portside at Pier One project is rising like a phoenix from the ashes.

Already the first level of the building has been framed out as part of phase one of the Pier One project. This building is the first of seven planned buildings that will lead in the transformation of the underutilized shoreline in Eastie is going according to plan.

Once completed this five-story apartment building will feature176 units, with 26 designated for affordable housing, and retail space on the ground floor. It is part of a larger planned mixed-use, 550 luxury-unit project scheduled to be built over the next few years on Massport-owned property along Marginal Street and Pier One.

In 2006, initial construction began on the Roseland project, but stalled during the economic downturn and challenging real estate market. In 2012, Massport restructured the ground lease for the first apartment building, giving new life to the project. Massport and Roseland continued to work with members of East Boston’s Waterfront Development Advisory Committee (WDAC), the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association, the East Boston Piers Project Advisory Committee (Piers PAC) and local elected officials to preserve plans to revive the 13-acre waterfront site.

The iron rebar framing of the first building under construction as part of the Portside at Pier One waterfront development project.

The iron rebar framing of the first building under construction as part of the Portside at Pier One waterfront development project.

In 1995, Massport constructed the 6.5 acre Piers Park, located adjacent to the Portside at Pier One site–boasting the same spectacular views of downtown Boston. The public park features a 600-foot pedestrian promenade extending out into Boston’s inner harbor, and more than 16 different species of trees, flowering shrubs, annual and perennial flowers.

In addition to stunning views, Portside at Pier One amenities will include, close proximity to the MBTA’s Blue Line, on-site parking, public access to the waterfront, and landscaped open spaces. Roseland is also providing a subsidy for a proposed water transportation service at Lewis Street serving East Boston when the first apartment building opens, which is scheduled to be completed in spring of 2014.

The construction of the first apartment building is expected to create some 200 full-time union labor jobs, and is estimated to cost roughly $46 million to complete. RBS Citizens is providing $42.5 million in construction loan financing. Roseland is a Mack-Cali Company with headquarters in Short Hills, NJ. The general contractor for Portside at Pier One is Cranshaw Construction of Newton Lower Falls, MA.

In January Mayor Thomas Menino joined Governor Deval Patrick, Massport, Roseland Properties and Eastie’s elected officials to break ground on the first phase of the project.

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