Six Firms vie for Activation of Navy Yard

November 17, 2018
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Six firms have emerged as the leaders in the quest to make the Navy Yard a little more of a happening place.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) announced at a meeting last Wednesday, Nov. 7, that six firms have submitted updated plans as part of the Agency’s Request for Information (RFI) process to activate the Navy Yard.

The BPDA announced to the Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard that the six proposals cover everything from floating restaurants to Ferris Wheels to educational incubators – and were much more aggressive than expected.

“Some of the proposals were bolder than we expected, and most likely, some would require a long-term commitment to finance them,” said the BPDA’s Rich McGuinness. “We might have to put out another RFP for long-term plans.”

McGuinness, as well as BPDA Director Brian Golden, said they were looking to have a public meeting with all six proponents in December, and they might also put out a separate RFP that would focus on summer activities in 2019.

The proposals come from Anthem Group, Balance Architects, DC Beane, SeaBoston, Upton + Partners and the USS Constitution Museum.

The most far-reaching plans came from Upton + Partners and DC Beane.

  • Of great interest to those in attendance was the idea of a 185-foot observation wheel in the Upton + Partners plan, a wheel that would sit at the foot of DryDock 2. Other items in their plan include a 90,000 sq. ft. education incubator floating in DryDock 10, as well as a floating hotel multi-use boat that would be on DryDock 2 or Pier 5. That would also coincide with a market, dining and work space multi-use boat on DryDock 2.
  • DC Beane has suggested rehabilitating Piers 3, 4, and maybe 5 for a restaurant, with event space on Pier 3. The propose to build a new boathouse for Courageous Sailing on Pier 4, and open event space, potentially, on Pier 5.

They want to expand Building 32, adapt re-use for Building 110 and move the Constitution Museum to Building 123. Interestingly, they propose a pedestrian bridge over DryDock 2 to connect Piers 3 and 4. They would look to construct floating docks in Pier 3, Building 123, DryDock 5 and Pier 10. They would also have outdoor art, furniture and fitness equipment.

  • The Anthem Group proposed a seasonal eco-friendly Beer Garden in the Yard with a nautical theme. They would include programming such as movie nights, trivia, photo walks and dog events. They propose an annual Fall Fire Festival on the water.
  • Balance Architects proposed a floating restaurant in DryDock 2 and and entertainment barge next to it. They would install large string lights around the dry dock and have year-round activities such as a Farmer’s Market, Food Trucks, and a fishing area.
  • SeaBoston proposed to introduce paddle sports to the yard with historic tours in DryDock 2 and Pier 3, putting in a new floating dock there.
  • The USS Constitution Museum proposed rehabilitating a patio type use at the foot of DryDock 2 for community use, illuminated marine art in the windows of the museum and placing historical characters throughout the Yard.

The six participants are expected to be in attendance at the upcoming December meeting.