With Roseland pulling out of their commitment to develop the actual pier at Pier I, Massport has been left scrambling to fill a void.
With no future residential development on the horizon and an already established interim tenant that ran a successful endeavor activating the pier last season, the Massport Board voted unanimously last week to extend the Navy Yard Hospitality Group’s (NYHG) lease at Pier I for another five years.
In July NYHG launched Eastie Landing, an outdoor dining concept that includes a Tall Ship and large patio on Pier I. Throughout the summer and fall thousands flocked to Eastie Landing to experience the Tall Ship bar, outdoor patio complete with seating, lawn games and private dining options as well as food truck vendors and shipping containers that were converted into patio bars and retail shops.
“A year ago Roseland developed a partnership with NYHG, led by Charlie Warner, a local restaurateur, and identified (Eastie Landing) as an opportunity to implement an interim use on the pier,” said Massport Board member Warren Fields. “So under a one year agreement with Roseland last summer, Warner launched the tall ship on the corner of the pier. He had previously purchased a former sailing ship, refurbished that as a public venue and birthec it at the pier. In addition to that he made a number of investments in landside infrastructure and support including some on the pier and really out of nothing created a pretty dynamic public realm of venue.”
Over 200,000 guests visited Eastie Landing last season and NYHG hosted music and dance performance events and partnered with a number of East Boston community organizations Zumix.”
Fields said the five year lease will be between Massport and NYHG and will give NYHG a chance to continue to run the successful operation but with an annual review as part of the lease so Massport can assess how it’s going.
Unlike NYHG’s lease with Roseland, Massport will require a security plan.
“We understand NYHG has already engaged with former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and other law enforcement professionals to help shape the security plan and make sure it’s a strong plan that reduces any impacts on the neighborhood,” said Fields
The on site valet will also be expanded to address and reduce any offsite parking impacts.
“We will continue this to monitor noise volumes and keep them below the city standards,” said Fields.
With most of the guests coming to Eastie Landing via a complimentary water taxi courtesy of NYHG, Fields said NYHG will add another water taxi going forward.
“NYHG has some pretty exciting ideas for continued community engagement,” said Fields. “One which is still in the early stages is the potential for a free public skating rink next winter, which would be a pretty terrific seasonal opportunity there on site for the neighborhood.”
Massport will receive rent from NYHG as well as a percentage of the gross revenue.
“I think this is an excellent solution by Massport to do something with this pier because right now, we have to figure out what we’re gonna do on a long term basis,” said Fields.