City Picks East Boston CDC as Hess Site Developer

November 3, 2017
By

By John Lynds

Last October, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) named the East Boston Community Development Corporation (CDC) as the tentative designated developer of the Hess Site on Condor Street.

The CDC beat out two other proposals, a renewable recycling facility, and a climate controlled greenhouse that would provide the Boston area with sustainable, year round, local food production, and had its ‘tentative’ designated developer status extended twice.

With the last extension set to expire on Tuesday (October 31) the BPDA voted to extend the CDC’s tentative status one more time.

The CDC’s proposal gained the most support of neighbors and residents as it had the least amount of negative impacts and included several plans for community use like a Harborwalk.

According to CDC head, Al Caldarelli, the CDC will be the long term lessee of the property and would use the space to consolidate three existing Eastie businesses looking to expand.

Caldarelli said his proposal would limit traffic, cause no odor and create jobs in the community. The CDC plans to build three buildings as well as a tot lot park, Harborwalk and dog park as community benefits. The three buildings would house three longstanding Eastie businesses. These businesses include John Zirpolo’s Cora Group, an expansion of Dan Noonan’s already successful shipyard and marina on Marginal Street and Peter Merullo’s Semper Diving and Marine.

Since gaining tentative status, the BPDA cited several accomplishments the CDC has made in working towards redeveloping the Hess Site.

According to the BPDA the project team has been assembled, including architects, licensed site professionals, geotechnical, marine and civil engineers. Existing information on the project site history has been obtained from BPDA files.

Meetings with the three potential tenants and the architects have been held to better define the tenant needs and to develop an integrated site plan that works to accommodate various needs.

Site entry permits have been obtained to allow for on-site inspections and taking soil samples.  Soil samples have been obtained and are being analyzed to determine geotechnical properties.

An inspection of the existing condition of the bulkheads and seawalls has been conducted, and CDC is awaiting the final report. The project architect has continued to advance the site design and building layout based on meetings with the prospective tenants.

An updated site plan has been prepared. Survey and civil engineering support teams have been engaged and are updating the existing conditions site survey and grading and utility issues. The geotechnical report has been completed outlining issues, options and costs for foundation design and construction. A final report on the condition of the existing seawall has been completed.

The project architect has continued to advance the site design and building layout based on meetings with prospective tenants.  An updated site plan has been prepared. Survey and civil engineering support has been engaged and are updating the existing conditions site survey and grading and utility issues. The CDC is currently developing a pro-forma for both the site and the buildings.

The BPDA made a recommendation to extend the CDC’s tentative status until Jan. 31, 2018. This recent extension, according to the BPDA, will allow the CDC to continue its pre-development due diligence. It will also allow the BPDA to order and review a market appraisal of the parcel while the CDC continues dialogue with the three prospective tenants for the proposed development.

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