Roseland and Massport representatives announced at Monday night’s Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association (JPNA) meeting that the second phase of the Portside at Pier I project will begin at the end of this month.
Roseland opened Building 7 at Pier 1 in November, 2014 and according to Massport’s Andrew Grace the building is fully leased.
“We have already conducted soil prep and in the next two weeks we will begin pile driving at the site,” said Grace.
Grace said the pile driving should last six to eight weeks with 97 piles that need to be driven for Building 5 and 6 that will be built on the site. Construction from start to finish will take about 30 months, according to Roseland.
“We will try our best to minimize the impacts to the community and neighbors,” said Grace. “We are starting in the winter at a time when resident’s windows are closed so the noise and dust impacts will not be as bad.”
However, Grace warned there will be noise and dust but will have control measures in place to minimize those inconveniences.
“This phase will be twice as large as Building 7 but we do have a control plan in place like watering down dust piles, having specific truck routes for to the site for vehicles and hours of construction,” said Grace.
Massport’s Anthony Guerriero said construction hours would be weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“There might be some occasional night and weekend work but we will work closely with the neighborhood to get the word out there ahead of any construction time changes,” said Guerriero.
However, while most are excited that waterfront development is moving along in Eastie, some JPNA members had some concerns over parking. JPNA are lobbying that Roseland make the parking at the new buildings, as well as the completed Building 7, deeded rather than rented.
Once Buildings 5 and 6 are done and added to Building 7 there will be 472 units with 393 parking spaces. Currently roughly only 70 percent of residents renting at Building 7 have opted to rent a parking space. JPNA members argue that as more residents move into the neighborhood once Building 5 and 6 are completed more residents might opt not to pay additional money for a parking space and take thier chances with on-street parking. This, JPNA members said, would add to an already tough parking situation in Jeffries Point.
However, Roseland said they conducted a parking study prior to the construction of Building 7 and after construction was completed. Roseland said the study showed that there was not a significant increase in on-street parking around the building after it opened in 2014.
The other issue circled around the future site of Piers Park Phase II. Roseland made the deal with the community to allow the company to use the site of the future park as a staging area for the Pier I development. Residents argued this deal allowed Roseland to save millions of dollars in construction costs and will prevent the park from being completed until after Roseland’s project is completed. Piers Park Phase II needs a state bond authorization legislatively in order to be funded. It has been very tough to get this bond authorization and residents feel that Roseland should help foot the $17 million price tag for the new park.
However, Roseland’s Joe Shea said they are not financially obligated to fund the park but the company has committed to some site preparation after construction is complete at Pier I in order to get Pier Park Phase II ‘construction ready’.