By John Lynds
At a recent community meeting, developers of the Clippership Wharf waterfront development project sat down with East Boston residents, local officials and community organizers at the Maverick Landing Community Room to provide updates on the project.
Lendlease plans to develop 12 acres of land and Boston Harbor waterfront in Eastie. The $225 million project is bordered by Lewis Street and Monsignor Jacobbe Road. General Manager for Lendlease Nick Iselin 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.
At the community meeting, Iselin said the Clippership Wharf project will serve as home to a vibrant new community that encourages visitors and brings life to a section of the waterfront that has been inaccessible for years.
Landlease wants to incorporate the natural tidal plains to flow into the harborwalk to create a small cove that will include a boardwalkover the water as it connects to other harborwalks 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. Iselin said the thought is to make the entire development a destination area for the harborwalk, recreational water sports as well as other public accommodations like a cafe and restaurant.
“It is an exciting and pivotal time for the East Boston waterfront, with new developments being delivered that will not only provide new access points to the harbor, but tie nearly the entire southern edge of East Boston harbor frontage together with new experiences,” said Iselin. “We are committed to making Clippership Wharf a place for our residents to enjoy as well as a destination that encourages public waterfront access and creates significant benefits for community members and visitors alike. This is only possible by keeping an open line of communication with the neighborhood’s current residents and their representatives.”
With the first operations on the site planned for June, which will consist of demolition and soil remediation, Lendlease has been working with the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) Community Organizer and East Boston resident Magdalena Ayed to schedule a meeting that would inform local residents and officials of the project’s status, as well as upcoming plans and initiatives.
“Lendlease has done thorough outreach to local groups and Maverick area residents about their development project plans,” said Ayed. “They recently held an informative pre-construction meeting to assure that abutters and Eastie residents at-large would be well-informed about environmental remediation they will be doing at their site and seemed intentional in thoroughly relaying their construction plans to minimize any potential construction impacts. They also hired a local resident for professional Spanish interpretation at that meeting and promised due diligence in hiring locals for potential construction jobs. This is a refreshing approach on outreach to the existing community by large developers.”
The meeting was one of several organized by Lendlease to engage the community. During the meeting, neighbors heard a brief overview of the development plan, construction timeline and soil remediation, which will consist of a highly-regulated state process to clear the existing land of any contaminants that were embedded over the last century due to the filling in of the site. The first actions on the site will consist of the demolition and removal of old marine structures, followed by the soil remediation effort, before breaking ground on the vertical construction.
When completed, Clippership Wharf will be comprised of four buildings with a mix of housing, including condominiums and apartments, amenities, as well as exciting options for community programming and dining. Additionally, the project will feature a linear Harborwalk, a living shoreline that will allow access to the water’s edge, a floating dock for recreation and education-based water activities, including a kayak launch, as well as a separate dock on the western side of the site that is available for small-boat-tie-ups.
Lendlease also has plans for a public water taxi.
Last year Leandlease filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC) with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).
According to Iselin the revised project will contain up to 492 studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units, a small cafe 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.