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Eastie Waterfront Project Goes Down to Get Up

Everyone knows by now (or should) that East Boston waterfront development is one of the big linchpins of Mayor Menino's economic development plans for Boston (the other two are tech and hipness). So the news that the $90 million apartment project at 6-26 New Street, on 4 acres of prime Eastie waterfront with views clear to Charlestown and LoPresti Park as a neighbor, is moving forward is big. Never mind that it's been scaled back—to 163 units from 224, and the square footage has been cinched 44 percent—to make economic sense. It's been 12 years in the making and was O.K.'d in 2010 by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (the board of which it will re-approach tomorrow). It's something. Per Greg Turner in The Herald:

New Street is one of four key Eastie waterfront projects that have been stalled for years. Another pending proposal, Philip DeNormandie’s redevelopment of the Hodge Boiler Works site, also was downsized. How was 6-26 New Street itself downsized? The family trust developing it decided to add two floors instead of seven to the nine-story warehouse already there. It also took one floor off a planned six-story building and reduced a parking garage. As if reading Hizzoner's mind, there's still a restaurant on the ground floor, a water taxi landing and public access to the harbor (as well as 126 parking spaces). It's all supposed to be finished in the summer of 2014. Whether it and the Hodge Boiler Works, by adding much-needed apartment inventory, brings down Eastie rents is another matter entirely.

· Waterfront Dream in Eastie [Herald]
· Menino's East Boston Development Plan: the Details [Curbed Boston]
· Is East Boston the New Innovation District? [Curbed Boston]
· East Boston Rents in Newer Buildings to Be as High as You Think [Curbed Boston]
· Group Wanting to Make Boston Hip Loves Boston the Way It Is [Curbed Boston]

[An old rendering of New Street via the BRA]

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