By Adam Swift
The developers of the Charlestown Navy Yard building that once housed its central power plant received a six month extension from the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s Board of Trustees last week. Powerhouse CNY is proposing a 97,000 square foot building with approximately 84,000 square feet of rentable lab and research and development space, 1,700 square feet of rentable cafe space, and 39 underground parking spaces. “We are asking board approval to extend the designation of Powerhouse CNY for the development and long-term lease of Building 108 at the Charlestown Navy Yard,” said BPDA project manager Emma Bird. Following board approval in late 2020 for a construction contract, the S&R Corporation substantially completed the demolition of the 32,000 square foot existing building and the abatement of the site this spring, according to Bird. “The BPDA originally issued an RFP for the redevelopment of Building 108 in November of 2019, and subsequently, the BPDA rejected both proposals it received and reissued the RFP in September of 2022,” said Bird. “The proposal submitted by Powerhouse CNY, LLC was determined to be the most highly advantageous for its ability to execute the project presented and for its design and development plan, its diversity and inclusion plan, and its financial offer.” In February of 2021, the BPDA board approved the tentative designation of Powerhouse CNY for the redevelopment of Building 108, and then approved a 12-month extension of the developers tentative designation in July of 2022. Since being granted tentative designation, Bird said the developer has made significant progress, including submitting a project notification form through the city’s Article 80 process, pursuing financing, and beginning community outreach. During the requested six-month extension until Jan. 31, 2024, the development team plans to finalize negotiations of the long-term ground lease, continue to pursue commitments from equity investors for construction and permitting financing and continue the Article 80 community process. “Pending completion of due diligence by the developer and the successful negotiation of a lease agreement and evidence of financing commitment, BPDA staff will return to the board to request final designation,” said Bird.