East Boston Wants To Learn From The Seaport's Mistakes
East Boston wants the Seaport to stay on its side of Boston Harbor.
Some East Boston leaders want a temporary moratorium on development in the neighborhood until a community master plan can come to fruition. The community activists are afraid the development interest in their waterfront neighborhood will lead to the same kind of gentrification seen in the Seaport and greater South Boston, the Boston Globe reports.
The resident pressure comes as East Boston increasingly is viewed as Boston’s next hot development zone. Residents say they don’t want their part of the city to be driven by luxury multifamily projects like in the Seaport. There are concerns with how the Seaport has grown without typical services for a neighborhood like a fire station or school.
East Boston neighbors are also worried about climate change. While some of the newer developments in Eastie have been built to storm resiliency code, older buildings are prone to flooding.
The call for a halt to development comes as the neighborhood’s Suffolk Downs property has been pitched as the city’s preferred site for Amazon HQ2. Developer HYM Investment Group plans to develop the 161-acre racetrack into an 11M SF mixed-use neighborhood even if the company goes elsewhere for its second headquarters. While this kind of development might make East Boston more like the Seaport, City Hall has responded to Eastie concerns.
Boston leaders intend to start Plan: East Boston this fall. The measure will review planning and zoning goals of the neighborhood and will be the first master plan for the area in 18 years. The plan will also include a component to guide retrofitting of older buildings and new construction in response to climate change.