Mayor Martin Walsh joined Lendlease and East Boston elected officials Tuesday to cut the ribbon on one of the neighborhood’s most highly anticipated waterfront development projects.
Clippership Wharf is a $300 million, 478-unit mixed-use waterfront project with climate resilient features including the restoration of a living shoreline and multi-modal transit access on one of Eastie’s historic wharfs. The project also includes 22 affordable housing units and 30 mixed-income condominiums at the Boston Housing Authority’s Heritage Apartments public housing community.
“Today we are celebrating over 400 new homes for individuals and families in East Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “This project brings much needed housing to East Boston and our city. We inherited a housing shortage and we see people being pushed out of the city. We put a housing goal out there and projects like this helps us towards our housing goal.”
Built to anticipate expected sea level rise over the coming decades, Clippership Wharf uses technology that can be deployed up to 24 hours in advance to help keep storm surges at bay, and residential floors are 25 feet above-grade. The site also offers interaction with the water’s edge through the reintroduction of a natural, living shoreline. A new series of salt marsh terraces, bracketing the daily tides, will result in a diverse new wetland community for flora and fauna.
“It also sets a standard of how to create high-quality sustainable development along our waterfront,” said Walsh. “In addition to housing this helps with our climate resilience goals. Right now East Boston is experiencing a lot of growth but at the same time we are seeing more opportunities for access to the water. We want to make sure our growth is smart and are responsible. Rising sea levels is one of the biggest challenges we face as a city. This project leads the way in resilient design.”
Sen. Joseph Boncore called Clippership an ‘incredible project’ that looks towards the future.
“I want to thank the Mayor and City Council that have encouraged building along our waterfront with an eye on the future,” said Boncore. “This project ensures that generations to come will be able to enjoy access to the water while addressing the concerns of climate change.”
Councilor Lydia Edwards said Clippership is an ideal development that could be a model for the state on how to build resilient development.
“I feel a ribbon cutting is now just the end but a beginning,” said Edwards. “This is a beautiful public attribute because we want a waterfront for all, not just for some or for those who can afford to live here.”
The site creates a unique urban environment, with an abundance of open space and a variety of opportunities for public gathering. With multi-modal transit options, Clippership Wharf can be reached from downtown Boston in just three minutes via the MBTA’s Blue Line, or 10 minutes via water taxi.
“When I was a kid we didn’t have access to the waterfront like we do today,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “We didn’t have a harborwalk or open space and much of the harbor was blocked off to us. But here we are now cutting a ribbon on another development that is creating access to the waterfront for East Boston residents. Lendlease has done this in a very thoughtful way that takes into account climate change and sea-level rise and connects these issues with the broader community. Smart waterfront development will help project the community at large against these future threats.”