East Boston residents have patiently watched for two decades the waterfronts of the North End, Charlestown and South Boston transform into beautiful destinations in the city and always wondered ‘when will it be our turn’.
Last Wednesday it was finally Eastie’s turn.
Massport officials joined Eastie’s elected officials, residents and representatives from Roseland, a subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, to cut the ribbon on the first completed building as part of Roseland’s Portside at East Pier waterfront development project.
Building 7, the first of Roseland’s flagship luxury residential and retail complex located at 50 Lewis Street, features five stories comprised of 176 apartments – including six extended-stay units – in addition to 3,600 square feet of ground floor retail space and 192 parking spaces.
.Building 7 is one of three building that are planned by Roseland. Once completed the East Pier project will include 550 luxury apartments in East Boston’s Jeffries Point. Once completed, the development will feature over 70,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, which is planned to include a theater, fitness club, business center, parking facilities, and more.
The site also includes 26-acres of public open space and marina on Eastie’s waterfront that will become part of the Harborwalk that will stretch from Harborside Drive to the Chelsea Creek.
At the ribbon cutting Massport CEO Thomas Glynn honored the vision of three individuals who could not attend the event: Massport’s Tom Butler and Lowell Richards and the late Boston Mayor Tom Menino.
“Just as they envisioned, we hope that the success of Portside at East Pier will spark a revitalization of one of this city’s real gems – the East Boston Waterfront,” Glynn said.
Portside at East Pier’s East Boston neighborhood offers residents convenient access to various retail and dining destinations, with a multitude of local shops and restaurants in the immediate vicinity, along with access to several public transportation options. The property is just steps away from the T at Maverick Station, which provides easy transport to the center of Boston and to Logan International Airport. Residents and visitors will also have access to a water taxi to Lewis Street in Boston’s North End.
Senator Anthony Petruccelli said he and his colleagues and a dedicated group of residents have been working since the late 1990s to get this project off the ground.
“Waterfront development is finally here at a time when East Boston is one of the most desirable places to live in the city,” said Petruccelli. “While I have been part of this process since first being elected there are residents, some of whom are here today, that had a vision for East Boston’s waterfront since the 1980s. The members of the neighborhood’s advisory committee (WDAC) should be commended for spending countless hours planning and pressuring Massport, elected officials and others to make their vision a reality.”
State Representative Carlo Basile said Eastie’s best days are yet to come.
“As the State Rep from this area, I am constantly selling East Boston as a hidden gem of the city, and one that is constantly evolving before our eyes,” said Basile. “I want to thank the many organizations, agencies, and residents that came together to make this project happen.”
Councilor Sal LaMattina added that, “Portside at East Pier Building 7 has been an achievement in the making for many years. As a WDAC member I’d like to thank Roseland, Massport, the City of Boston, and East Boston residents for their partnership and teamwork. These beautiful apartments overlooking the Boston skyline will be the catalyst for other developments along our waterfront.”
In 2006, initial construction began on the Roseland project, but stalled during the economic downturn and challenging real estate market. In 2012, Massport restructured the ground lease for the first apartment building, giving new life to the project. Massport and Roseland continued to work with members of WDAC, the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association, the East Boston Piers Project Advisory Committee (Piers PAC) and local elected officials to preserve plans to revive the 13-acre waterfront site.
In 1995, Massport constructed the 6.5 acre Piers Park, located adjacent to the Portside at Pier One site–boasting the same spectacular views of downtown Boston. The public park features a 600-foot pedestrian promenade extending out into Boston’s inner harbor, and more than 16 different species of trees, flowering shrubs, annual and perennial flowers.
In addition to stunning views, Portside at East Pier amenities will include, close proximity to the MBTA’s Blue Line, on-site parking, public access to the waterfront, and landscaped open spaces. Roseland is also providing a subsidy for a proposed water transportation service at Lewis Street serving East Boston.
Last January, the late Mayor Thomas Menino joined Governor Deval Patrick, Massport, Roseland Properties and Eastie’s elected officials to break ground on the first phase of the project.
Last month Roseland opened leasing at East Pier’s Building 7 to both residents and retail tenants. Key amenities of the complex’s residential units include oversized windows, ceramic tiles, stone countertops, kitchen islands, stainless steel appliances, washer and dryer, hardwood-style flooring, 10-foot ceilings and, in many homes, balconies with stunning views of the Boston Harbor. Additionally, the pet-friendly community offers tenants a 24/7 concierge, fully equipped fitness center, clubroom with gaming and lounge areas, a conference room with Mac® stations, and Wi-Fi throughout all common areas