The Boston Redevelopment Authority last Thursday approved the $225 million Clippership Wharf waterfront development project in East Boston at its July meeting.
The BRA board approved an amended development plan for the Clippership Wharf project on the waterfront. The project will result in the construction of four buildings comprised of up to 492 residential units with ground-floor commercial space and facilities for public accommodations and parking.
“The project will also act as a catalyst for beautifying a dilapidated section of the neighborhood’s waterfront by removing deteriorated piles and deck from the harbor and creating an innovative “living shoreline” to encourage people to return to the water’s edge,” the BRA wrote in its decision. “Clippership Wharf will help to revitalize an important part of the East Boston waterfront that has been underutilized and inaccessible to the public for decades. The public benefits of the proposed project will make the area more appealing to both residents and visitors, whether arriving by land or water.”
Nick Iselin from Lend Lease said the development team is putting a real emphasis on the project’s Chapter 91 license and wants the harborwalk and public accommodations to really stand out.
“We feel what we are proposing is something unique when compared to some of the other waterfront developments when it comes to extending the harborwalk and other public accommodations,” said Iselin.
Land Lease wants to incorporate the natural tidal plains to flow into the harborwalk to create a small cove that will include a boardwalk over the water as it connects to other harborwalk on either side of the project.
“This area will include a harborwalk, boardwalk, a natural cove for recreational community activities like boating, canoeing and kayaking,” said Iselin. The entire development would be a destination area for the harborwalk, recreational water sports as well as other public accommodations like a cafe and restaurant.
The project will be split up into two phases. With four buildings being constructed the first two building will be condo units for home ownership. A third condo building as well as a fourth building that will consist of rental housing will be part of the second phase.
Iselin said the harborwalk will be opened and ready to use at the end of the first phase although some later tweaks may be made to its final configuration as the project progresses.
According to Iselin the revised project approved by the BRA will contain up to 492 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units, a small café and restaurant, a fitness center, a lounge and club facility, a canoe/kayak rental facility, a water taxi dock, and a possible mooring field for sailing.
The total gross floor area has been reduced from 620,920 to 555,000 with an floor area ratio of 2.2. The total building footprint for the Revised Project will be 105,681 square feet compared to 118,528 square feet for the original project.
The Original Project proposed 670 underground parking spaces and 34 surface spaces, whereas the revised project will provide approximately 300 underground spaces including Zip Car spaces and 21 surface spaces.
Overall, the building heights at the site will be lower with the revised project. The height of the buildings in the Revised Project will be less than 70 feet above grade, compared to the original project, with a building height of approximately 86 feet above grade.
The revised project contains
2,800 additional square feet of retail and Facilities of Public Accommodation. The most prominent change in the Site design of the Revised Project is the creation of a 28,200 square foot coastal wetland area comprised of land under the ocean, coastal banks, and tidal flats from existing solid fill at the end of the western wharf near the south side of Building 3.