Chain Forge Could Break Ground This Spring, Other Buildings in the Development Mix

The Chain Forge building hotel could break ground by the Spring of 2019 if all goes according to plan, according to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) staffer Devin Quirk.

“They will be in construction as soon as this spring,” said Quirk.

The 230-room hotel has been in the works for some time, and financing has now been secured after quite some time. However, the project is still being held up with negotiations going on with the National Park Service on the long-term land lease.

Quirk said the equipment has been inventoried and there is a plan to put one of the pieces of equipment outside.

“Right now the plan is for one of the giant hammers to be moved outside to the Second Avenue Pedestrian Corridor as a monument,” he said.

Along with the rooms, the hotel would include a bar and restaurant, something that is believed to be helpful in activating that area of the street.

The second big, ongoing project in the Yard is the Rope Walk residential project, which would contain 97 units of housing, and abuts the back of the Yard (visible from Chelsea Street).

Already, the developer has begun repairing the historic slate roof, which was a major condition of development, and has the financing in place and all approvals.

That is also being held up due to negotiations with the National Park Service about the long-term lease.

One of the most exciting announcements, however, was the desire to begin development processes on Buildings 107 and Building 108 (old Power Plant). Quirk said that the National Park Service and the federal General Services Agency would like to put out a Request for Proposals to link the two buildings in one development.

“We are partnering with them and this is exciting and there is much to come on it,” said Quirk, a Charlestown resident. “This is no at the top of our agenda and we are ready to move on them.”

BPDA Director Brian Golden said they recently did a second round of environment analysis. He said that they found, using some new methods, the Power Plant in particular can be cleaned up at a much lower cost.

“It’s going to be cheaper to clean up than we thought,” he said. “At first, we believed it would be in the $8 million range. On second look, using different technology and tools, it looks like it will be in the $5 million range. We believe we can lure in a developer if clean-up costs are lessened.”

For years, Building 108 has been talked about as providing a parking garage for residents of the Navy Yard. That is still in the mix, BPDA officials said.

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