Mayor Menino has very ambitious ideas about redeveloping East Boston, namely through real estate investments and infrastructure. There is obvious potential in the area, now stamped by the Menino Administration with the name ‘The Innovation District’, thus why Menino has deemed it necessary to grow Boston’s shorelines. One way to do that is to focus directly on the waterfront surrounding our city and discerning better ways for us to use this luxury. Therefore, on December 6th, 2011, Mayor Menino decided to allocate $1 million dollars annually henceforth in an effort to support and strengthen the Boston water transit system. The idea of having a constant and consistent neighborhood-to-neighborhood ferry-like service would cut down a great deal of road traffic and would pose a lovely alternative for locals and visitors alike to commute to work or explore all accessible points of our wonderful city.
In terms of the expansion to the water transport, Menino aims to influence the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA, or as many Bostonians call it “The T”) and other privately owned water taxi or transport services. The ultimate goal is to place such importance on transportation via the water that the personnel who run this industry will expand their fleets and availability of boats to the greater public. Some of the funding for this movement will come from charging cruise ship passengers an additional $1-$2 charge in fees when the ships are in port here. Already, this year on the 1st of January, 2011, Massport raised the charge for passengers by close to 30 percent, from $11 to $14.
The final wish in this initiative is to create more jobs, establish long-lasting economic benefits and development and ultimately build world-class housing buildings that the breathtaking East Boston waterfront deserves. The Boston Redevelopment Authority has already approved the development that Goldman Sachs proposed for the soon to be tallest tower in the Fort Point Channel of 20 stories with 202 housing units and office spaces combined. This project, at 319 A Street, is a small portion all apart of the larger plan that Menino has set out which would entail $582 million dollars being invested to construct approximately 1,800 housing units. As a side note, Menino also is pushing for investors to develop a casino at the Suffolk Downs horse track in East Boston while there are others such as Patriots owner Robert Kraft and hotel and casino mogul Steve Wynn who are serious proponents for opening one instead in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
To encourage other developers to keep a keen eye on the progression East Boston is making, the city will fund new roads and other necessary infrastructure to lessen the costs to these private building entities with the aim of enticing them to also invest in the area. To go along with creating a new and hip residential district that is bound to have stunning views, the mayor and East Boston locals see this proposed future of their neighborhood as an ‘early Christmas present’. This waterfront development is something that will be-rid the feeling of the old industrial center into a vibrant and exciting place that will attract everyone from technology entrepreneurs to others seeking the high-end mix of business and residential life.
As a whole, these developing projects are just furthering the notion that Boston has been injected with a sense of optimism of late. With immensely expensive plans on the table that are bound to transform our different areas of the city for prolonged success into the future, there really has to be something said for how lucky we are to be living in or near Boston during this time!