BPDA to Review Several Items for Charlestown

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) will review several items related to Charlestown at its Board meeting on Dec. 17, with the major one being approval of a contract to demolish the Power Plant (Building 108) in the Navy Yard.

The BPDA is requesting approval to execute a construction demolition contract with S&R Corporation for $5.108 million to environmentally remediate and demolish the Power Plant. The request does not allow for any change orders beyond 10 percent, or $510,862.

Building 108 is an approximately 32,000 square-foot multi-level structure that is approximately 85-feet tall at its highest point.  It is constructed of a steel frame overlain with brick masonry with concrete slabs, a wooden/concrete roof, and granite foundations with a basement connecting several former boiler rooms. Given the nature of its use by the United States Navy, the building contains several large hazardous debris piles, numerous tanks, vats, drums and transformers, and multiple large concrete pads inside and outside the building that were associated with former building equipment.  The building is currently vacant and in very poor condition, with portions of the roof missing, collapsed or severely damaged, and many of the remaining walkways, stairs and/or platforms deteriorated or damaged beyond repair.

Hazardous materials are present throughout, both above and below ground. Large quantities of asbestos containing materials (“ACM”) remain in the building. Additionally, there are other chemical constituents, including polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCBs”) and metals, in building materials such as lead paint and debris.  Testing at the site has indicated that soil and groundwater around and below the building contains residual petroleum impacts related to a historic petroleum release from two underground storage tanks previously removed from the site and from when the building was in operation by the Federal Government. 

The process has been tied up by a bid protest from the third lowest bidder, Southern Middlesex Industries – which filed a protest with the Attorney General’s office last summer about the bids. That was resolved in late October and the lowest bids were ruled to be legitimate.

The timeline for the demolition would be a start date in January 2021, with completion in early 2022.

Already, there are two proposals before the BPDA and the community to develop the space once remediated. Those two proposals have had one community hearing already.

Nanny Goat Hill

The rocky ledge known as Nanny Goat Hill off of Mead Street and Bunker Hill Street is finally ready to go out for RFP, but the question is will anyone purchase it.

All modifications have been completed in October by the Board, and a neighborhood meeting in November via Zoom indicated a strong desire to keep it open space. Nanny Goat Hill is the steep incline adjacent to the Forty Flights staircase.

There are two parcels of land, with one valued at $43,000 and another valued at $29,000. They have been classified as abutter lots, but there is value in them due to the fact that the BPDA determined abutters can use them to increase their square footage so they could potentially build more density. The parcels would be restricted open space with a Land Disposition Agreement, and the Board is expected to approve the RFP to go out.

Police and BPDA Cameras

The BPDA is looking for approval from the Board for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would codify the sharing of video camera surveillance in the Navy Yard between the Boston Police and the Agency.

The cameras will be installed in Shipyard Park on the dime of the BPDA, but the surveillance images from them will be shared with the Police. The Police will bear the cost of connecting the cameras to their network and maintaining them. The BPDA will pay $37,464 to install, connect and share the footage.

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