BPDA Looking to Hear From the Community on Navy Yard Properties

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) will be coming to the community this month to have a discussion about disposing of three key properties in the Navy Yard – including the condemned Pier 5 structure. Devin Quirk of the BPDA said as part of the overall plan to activate the Navy Yard, the BPDA is now exploring some larger moves on properties in the Master Plan along the water. That includes Pier 4 (Courageous Sailing), the vacant Pier 5 and the Pump House. The BPDA will be out to the community on Oct. 22 to hear ideas for all three. Pier 5 probably presents the most interesting possibilities as it has long been eyed for something unique and interesting. Those fun thoughts were derailed last year when the BPDA reported that underwaters surveys showed the pier was unusable for anything – and needed to be taken down at a cost of up to $10 million. Now, Quirk said the BPDA would like to hear ideas from the community about what to do with the property – with potentially a public-private partnership for floating housing. “It’s a condemned pier,” he said. “The cost to remove the pier exceeds $10 million, but we’re interested in talking about if there is any type of potential public-private partnership…We would have to pay attention to climate resiliency so any development would be a very resilient development project. We’re thinking it might be floating housing. We want to talk about that. It wouldn’t interrupt people’s sight lines so much.” Such a plan has been floated before during the previous administration, and it has been brought up several times since in private conversations. Now, the BPDA would like to hear from the community about the idea. Any floating housing would be governed by strict rules for Pier 5 to be used as 51 percent open space, so a significant portion of any development would be open. “This would really be an open space development with a housing component,” he said. “There is no guarantee, but we want to have an initial discussion about it.” On Pier 4, which is now leased to Courageous Sailing Center, Quirk said the Center has asked for a long-term lease so they can fund-raise and make major improvements to the Pier. Before any of that can happen, Quirk said they want to be transparent and offer other providers the opportunity to try to secure such a lease on Pier 4. The final piece of the conversation is the Pump House that sits near Pier 4. The odd building could be any number of things, and Quirk said the BPDA is totally open to suggestions about what the community would like to see there. “We want to preserve it,” he said. The meeting will take place in Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on 1st Avenue, and will be on Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m.

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