Boston – A small parcel of state-owned land in Chinatown in Boston will soon be moving towards large-scale development, says Massachusetts officials and the Boston Globe.
Known as “Parcel 25”, the land consists of entrance and exit ramps from two major Interstate highways (90 and 93), and a quagmire of unusable or uninhabitable space, ranging from fenced in empty fields to large parking lots to open train yards. As of now, there is barely any pedestrian traffic or activity through the area.
State officials look to change that. 20 acres of unused, undeveloped space nestled between two growing neighborhoods is pretty appealing, and some see this as a chance for re-branding. According to recent studies of the area conducted by architects and other professionals, the primary goal in developing the area would be to extend Boston further and to create a new entrance to that portion of the city.
This parcel of land is specifically interesting from an architectural and engineering standpoint. Most of this land could be considered infrastructural “leftovers”, plenty of which exist throughout Boston and other cities with large infrastructure projects embedded within them. A large portion of the lot would have to be developed to incorporate the highway entrance and exit ramps in some way. While an exciting and challenging proposal for designers and engineers, it also will require quite a bit more funding, due to “air rights” (essentially the existing tax of building over a highway), and whatever additional engineering costs are required when not building on ground level.
A previous proposal was submitted in 2004 and rejected due to lack of funds. New proposals are due in March, and the final plans must be approved by both the state and the BRA. With new buildings planned for this year in a small adjacent lot to the west, and the nearby Fort Point Channel neighborhood quickly developing, this area could have serious potential for new, intriguing spaces and buildings.
Ross, Casey. “Southern Gateway into City Planned.” Southern Gateway into City Planned. [Boston] Web. 2 Jan. 2012.
Boston Redevelopment Authority. “Planned Development Area No. 73 Parcel 24, Chinatown, Boston.” Amended and Restated Development Plan. 2011. Web. 3 Jan. 2012.
All photos taken by Jason Skibo