To great acclaim yesterday morning, Mayor Menino announced his administration's vision for East Boston development (we thought it sounded a lot like the vision writ into reality in South Boston). Here are the details, per Andrew Ryan in The Globe:
· The mayor wants a new municipal harbor plan, describing the East Boston waterfront in his Chamber of Commerce speech as an engine of jobs and economic growth.
· Under the plan, there would be a floating pier at the end of Lewis Street.
· The redevelopment of East Boston would focus mostly on apartment buildings with retail on the ground floors. This is slightly different than that in South Boston, where the emphasis has been on live/work spaces and commercial encouragement of the tech sector.
· The mayor would create an East Boston Waterfront Development District to facilitate infrastructure improvements. Gotta have better roads if you're gonna have more residents.
· The city wants to put up $1 million annually to create a beefier inter-neighborhood ferry network.
· Finally, Hizzoner plans to push for a "retail and cultural entry point" into Boston for the 300K cruise ship passengers who pass through the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal every year.
The next steps involve getting Massport to go along with the "entry point" part of the plan and a neighborhood meeting in January to discuss what the would-be development district should focus on first (there's also the matter of convincing skeptics of the mayor's financing for it all). After that, things could be under way in Eastie before the end of next year. Bring it.
· Mayor Menino's Plan Antes Up for East Boston [Globe]
· On East Boston, Right Idea, Wrong Financing Scheme [Biz Journal]
· Is East Boston the New Innovation District? [Curbed Boston]