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Pushcarting Too Hard? Brouhaha Might Hold Up Parcel 9

Is the state close to picking a developer for the coveted Parcel 9 along the Greenway? Sure looks like it. Recall that it's been a circuitous, understandably contentious road toward any decision, with the state rejecting a round of bids in 2010 and an idea floated for the Boston Museum for the site discarded just last year.

Now, it appears that Blackstone Market has the edge among the two developers under consideration. The venture between Cresset Development and DeNormadie Cos. would build 50 apartments in a seven-story building that would also house a food market and up to three restaurants. It would also have what would instantly be one of New England's biggest urban farms: a 13,000-square-foot rooftop garden supplying the restaurants downstairs.

What appears to be giving Blackstone Market the edge, per Greg Turner at The Herald, is that it has housing as part of its pitch (as opposed to its competitor, Normandy Real Estate Partners, which would build a 180-room hotel with a two-story winter garden as well as a food market with Haymarket pushcart vendors and other specialty food retailers). And therein lies a supposed holdup: the influential Haymarket Pushcart Association allegedly has a financial understanding with Blackstone Market.

Yet! In 2010, the same association pushed (if you will) against Parcel 9 proposals that also included housing, like the Blackstone Market proposal does. Why the change of heart? Calling the allegations of financial kickbacks "innuendo," association president Otto Gallotto told the state, according to Turner, that "his group now supports apartments because there would be fewer units, no condo conversions, and leases would warn tenants about Haymarket operations."

A decision was originally supposed to be made by mid-November. Stand by.
· State Suspects Pushcart Pact [Herald]
· Parcel 9 Finalists: 180-Room Hotel vs. Huge Urban Farm [Curbed Boston]
· Why the Boston Museum Might Be Wrong for Parcel 9 [Curbed Boston]

Parcel 9

Blackstone Street, Boston, MA