Housing on D Street | Massport Parcel D4 | Seaport

Equilibria

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Massport is looking to develop one end of this with affordable housing:

Surprising, but I'm happy to see it! I always had hopes that that little sliver would be developed for something other than parking, but didn't think Massport would realistically go forward with it.

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(The overall tone of that article -- "Affordable housing in the Seaport!?!? Who woulda ever thunk it!?!?" -- is pretty gross though.)
 
It appears the 27,000 sq. ft. SBWTC lot talked about is an air rights parcel (or at the very least it's on top of I-90). I'm as big a proponent for affordable housing--never mind more market rate housing--as the next person, but this proposal has me scratching my head.

Given the high cost of constructing air rights projects (decking over interstate, limited terra firma availability driving up design/construction costs), it seems it would make the most sense to prioritize developments with a higher ROI for air rights opportunities. With all of the lab space, for example, going to the seaport, it's a little surprising that or a hotel wasn't the identified use for this site. With all of the other developable parcels of land that MassPort has in the neighborhood, you'd think they'd prioritize more affordable units on the sites it's most cost-effective to construct rather than on of the most costly parcels they possess.

I'm worried it sets a weird precedent... [five years from now] "MassPort decided not to build more affordable housing on its land because of the high costs as demonstrated with the SBWTC parcel." Well maybe if affordable housing was built on your available solid land where it's x% less expensive to build, you wouldn't be making that argument. Mind you this is a possible scenario I'm worrying about and may not be how the chips actually fall. I just think we should be building affordable housing in places where it's most affordable to build it, and similarly we should be prioritizing our high-ROI projects like lab space in the places where development costs are most cost prohibitive.
 
It appears the 27,000 sq. ft. SBWTC lot talked about is an air rights parcel (or at the very least it's on top of I-90). I'm as big a proponent for affordable housing--never mind more market rate housing--as the next person, but this proposal has me scratching my head.

Given the high cost of constructing air rights projects (decking over interstate, limited terra firma availability driving up design/construction costs), it seems it would make the most sense to prioritize developments with a higher ROI for air rights opportunities. With all of the lab space, for example, going to the seaport, it's a little surprising that or a hotel wasn't the identified use for this site. With all of the other developable parcels of land that MassPort has in the neighborhood, you'd think they'd prioritize more affordable units on the sites it's most cost-effective to construct rather than on of the most costly parcels they possess.

I'm worried it sets a weird precedent... [five years from now] "MassPort decided not to build more affordable housing on its land because of the high costs as demonstrated with the SBWTC parcel." Well maybe if affordable housing was built on your available solid land where it's x% less expensive to build, you wouldn't be making that argument. Mind you this is a possible scenario I'm worrying about and may not be how the chips actually fall. I just think we should be building affordable housing in places where it's most affordable to build it, and similarly we should be prioritizing our high-ROI projects like lab space in the places where development costs are most cost prohibitive.
The deck here is already built. Whoever ends up building this project won't have to start from scratch. This parcel is analogous to the (also below market) Beverly building over in the Bulfinch Triangle, which was built over the Big Dig tunnel on pre-existing deck with built in foundational elements.

I'm sure Massport has already run the numbers on this and knows they'll get realistic and feasible proposals.
 
Great proposal! The seaport needs affordable housing and enclosing this street facing side of the garage will make the ground level in this spot much better.
 
At today’s monthly board meeting, Massport officials alluded to community concern about the potential that the project would include supportive housing in emphasizing that the project will target moderate-income residents.

Oh for f_k's sake! Massport should have told these racist jerks to take a hike. The Seaport could use some supportive housing. Might make it more like a real neighborhood and less like a playground for future Pat Batemans.

Btw - here's the render:

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We might get a bigger size when Massport releases the Board slides in 2035.
 
Not bad, though I'd like to see a little or a lot of Bjarke Engels-like influence here. Something inventive and bold like what he did in Manhattan, but more "affordable." The Seaport is on the world's stage now.
 
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Not bad, though I'd like to see a little or a lot of Bjarke Engels-like influence here. Something inventive and bold like what he did in Manhattan, but more "affordable." The Seaport is on the world's stage now.
 
Not bad, though I'd like to see a little or a lot of Bjarke Engels-like influence here. Something inventive and bold like what he did in Manhattan, but more "affordable." The Seaport is on the world's stage now.

Your good intentions aside, that sort of talk will doom any real hopes of affordability. No starchitects, please, just solid design and construction paired with equitable and transparent eligibility guidelines.
 
Engels is more about making a statement than thinking about making money. Perhaps he'd do "charity" for the Seaport. I wouldn't be surprised. Aim low and that's what you get.
 
Oh for f_k's sake! Massport should have told these racist jerks to take a hike. The Seaport could use some supportive housing. Might make it more like a real neighborhood and less like a playground for future Pat Batemans.

Btw - here's the render:

View attachment 42886

We might get a bigger size when Massport releases the Board slides in 2035.
The slides are out quite pleasantly early. The picture doesn't get any more detailed, though. https://www.massport.com/media/tdthz00s/website_september-board-meeting_09-21-23.pdf

We do get another angle.

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Really love housing for this parcel and the emphasis on affordability. Not perfect, but MassPort's ability to consistently overperform has to make them one of the better agencies in the state, right? Also regarding what "affordable means", a reminder that it's 30-120% the Area Median Income, which sweeps in a massive chunk of the spectrum. I wonder if reframing these types of developments as "middle class housing" would do more to avoid the mush-brained opposition to "poor people". These are, in some cases, solid incomes!

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