BPDA Reviewing Three Competing Bids for Charlestown Navy Pier Redevelopment
Posted By: Boston City Properties
The redevelopment of Charlestown's Navy Pier continues. A few weeks ago, three competing bids for the redevelopment of Pier 5 were placed with the Boston Planning and Development Agency, and they are currently under review. Along with Building 108, Pier 5 was one of the last two remaining publicly owned, blighted properties at the site, so its redevelopment has been highly anticipated across the Inner Harbor. All three proposals include residential housing, and two of them would bring the first floating communities to Boston.
From the start, the redevelopment of Pier 5, in particular, presented daunting challenges. The cost to demolish the condemned pier exceeds $5 million, and rebuilding anything at the site is estimated to cost upwards of $16 million. Therefore, it was uncertain whether the BPDA would get many bites from developers interested in the project. The agency has worked closely with the local community regarding plans for Navy Pier, and it issued a new request for proposal, RFP, late in 2020. Now that the agency has three promising bids in its hands, there's no question that the pier is about to be transformed in a big way.
Here are the basics about each of the three bids that were placed for the redevelopment of Pier 5 at Charlestown's Navy Pier:
- Navy Blue, LLC – A partnership between Parent + Diamond, the Charlestown Marina and Urban Spaces, Navy Blue, LLC proposes a marina community of live-aboard vessels – essentially houseboats. The developer describes its overarching plan as "aquatectural" in nature. The vessels will be positioned between 55 slips with overhead solar canopies. Living spaces will range in size from 530 square feet to 2,100 square feet, and the site will include a floating marina and a water taxi stop. For this to happen, the developer will have to raze and recycle the existing pier.
- 6M Development – In its proposal, 6M Development envisions bringing Amsterdam's canals to Boston's Inner Harbor. The developer's plans call for the construction of 172,000 square feet of residential space and 2,500 square feet of restaurant space. The development will also include a 6,100-square-foot dock that will connect the floating, multifamily village to the mainland. If this proposal is accepted, expect to see a neighborhood of floating homes with quaint canals running between them.
- Urbanica Development – The only developer with a proposal that includes rebuilding the old pier, Urbanica Development, proposes a residential development with an emphasis on affordable housing. Plans call for 89 residential units ranging in size from studios to three-bedroom homes. All told, the development would include 81,100 square feet of residential space. The development will be centered around a 27,000-square-foot commercial space that will connect the mainland to the residential building, which will be constructed on stilts over the water. The roof of the development will include community garden plots, allowing residents to grow fruits and vegetables during pleasant times of the year.
The redevelopment of the Navy Pier in Charlestown has been a long time coming. Residents have been actively involved in plans for the site since square one, so developers have plenty of information about what they want – and what they don't. The BPDA is considering the three bids now, and they should be announcing a decision soon. Stay tuned to Boston City Properties for more updates regarding the redevelopment of Charlestown Navy Pier.