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Peddocks Island redevelopment effort reimagines Boston Harbor spit

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Island 45 minutes from city by ferry has structures left over from old Fort Andrews military base

Adam Gladstone/Shutterstock

Federal and state officials are leading a redevelopment of Peddocks Island in Boston Harbor to make it more hospitable for and attractive to visitors.

The island about 45 minutes by ferry from downtown Boston is one of the harbor’s larger spits—the National Park Service pegs its acreage at 184 at high tide and 288 at low—and it already draws a few thousand people yearly.

But until fairly recently much of the expanse was uninviting much of the year. That began to change 12 years ago with the addition of sewage and electricity. Officials have also cleared trails and erected yurts that sleep six and rent by the night.

Now the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and the National Park Service, which co-own Peddocks, are turning the renewal effort over to consultants to try to attract a hospitality concern willing to build a seasonal business long-term.

A company would have plenty to work with. Peddocks has the longest coastline for any of the 34 Harbor Islands. And it has structures left over from the Fort Andrews military base, which was decommissioned in 1947 after a half-century.

In the end, the effort to dust off Peddocks might serve as a template for reinvigorating other less-trekked aquatic outposts. As the Globe’s Renée Loth notes, “There was a time in the not so distant past when the 34 Harbor islands were more closely integrated into the life of the city; home to hospitals, residences, and farms.”