Do Not Demolish – Do Not Privatize

Reactivate Pier 5!

Demolishing a massive valiant historic pier is a reckless misuse of public resources. Please protect this unique, important landmark park.

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All Hands on Deck!

  1. Stop all RFPs pending Comprehensive Cost/Benefit Studies of Pier 5
  2. Green, open public space versus finite exclusive unaffordable Private ownership
  3. Help Courageous Sailing and Water Dependent uses from increased footprint of Pier 5 reduction of Watersheet and Windscreen from the proposed developments.

Public vs Private Cost Benefit

Lightweight use – Landmark Park

Less public cost, more public benefit with incalculable benefits.
  • Pier 5 can support a Landmark Park for public use.
  • Protect Courageous Sailing Center.
  • Rising Sea Level resilient, adaptive designs for Pier 5 accordance with LEED and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, FEMA proactivities.
  • Pier 5 stands over Ch. 91 MA flooded tidelands.
  • Impact on tidal lands of the Commonwealth
  • What are the unique “air rights”?
  • Building culture and community along the way.

Heavyweight use – Private Profit Development

More public cost, Massive public disruption lasting years, More area traffic disruption, More private isolated wealth, all compounding ecological and socioeconomic loss.

Transportation Equity Priority
  • Requisite Complete Demolition of Historic Pier 5.
  • Reconstruction of the entire pier for heavy multi-story private development.
  • Infrastructure Operations Limitations before, during and compounded significantly after.
  • Legal battles in perpetuity.
  • Private / Public Project oversight auditing.
  • Haphazard Project Cadence will span several years.
  • Staged Loading & Transport of enormous volumes of construction waste.
  • Disposal of enormous volumes of construction waste.
  • Damage Risk to adjacent structures, foundation / slurry wall during demolition and reconstruction.
  • Structural studies are needed to determine the impact of Pier 5 construction including even partial demolition and structural additions to Pier 5 and its impact on Flagship Wharf.
  • Services Risks and Limitations – an over-water project with vulnerable access, permanent water, sewer, electrical and other services.
  • Regulatory issues and Significant Studies are required before any further consideration of Pier 5.
  • Environmental Impact Study (EIS) including harbor floor core borings in consultation with the DEP and the EPA to determine pollutants and mitigation requirements for wildlife and ecological protection.
  • Noise and Air Pollution Study through construction and in perpetuity.
Emergency Access Limited As Is
  • Emergency access Studies are needed for fire and police forces. Over densification significantly limits on-land access emergency services.
  • Transportation Studies – Congestion studies to determine impact/disruption during and following construction.
  • Parking – Scarcity – Recent developments have claims on scarce parking.
  • Public Transportation – Decline – Upcoming proposed elimination of service for the Navy Yard Water Shuttle and lack of corresponding public transportation intensifies the public access problem.
Heat Study Pier 5 Boston
Heat Island Effect
  • Heat Island
  • Extreme Flood vulnerability is compounded by densification. This unmitigated imminent vulnerability affects everything in the area. Post hoc costs will include Municipal damages, repairs, loss of public and private property, loss of use, life loss, loss of property value, loss of services, decreased effectiveness of public outdoor space, increased maintenance budget.
  • Other State and Federal stakeholders permitting and regulatory interest have not been identified or considered by the BRA. (Dept of Navy, Coast Guard, Interior and National Parks, NOAA Coastal Zone Management, Fishing and Wildlife, EPA, DEP, Mass Dept. of Environmental Resources, Public Health, Mass Dept of Recreation and Conservation, etc).
  • Lack of financial feasibility of each project private development proposal during 2021. It is apparent because none of the developers has included contingencies for environmental issues including hazardous waste, protection of adjacent structures and uses and emergency and public access to the development which come at an increased cost have not been factored in.
  • Access. Limitations on the use of Tidal lands under M.G.L.c. 91 for water dependent uses only and the associated exclusion of public from East and West sides of Pier 5 and inaccessibility of the end of Pier 5 through a maze of housing units. Elimination of Pier 5 public marine dependent uses.

Due diligence has clearly not been done.

The BRA 2021 Request for Proposals (RFP) refers to Pier 5 as a
“ground lease of a vacant parcel of land”? Pier 5 is clearly not just another vacant lot.

Pier 5 is a National Historic Landmark Site which memorializes the deepest level of honor and operations of the U.S. Navy World Wars at sea.

Issuing an “As Is” RFP for an extraordinary, complex and revered place is disrespectful to the Public, Military, Veterans and history. It is a waste of Public and Private time and money.

Boston lacks a comprehensive analysis of all the Piers in Boston Harbor to determine historic, structural, environmental, climatic resilience, urbanistic vista values and best uses of our “Harbor Fringe of Piers”? This is required by any professional City Planning Department.

Boston lacks both an active City Master Plan and a Public Private Project (PPP) Oversight entity.

Where are the actual U.S. Navy Transfer Documents outlining requirements regarding demolition, restoration or any change of shape, size or structural configuration?

BRA failure of stewardship of Pier 5 and conflict of interest.  The BRA has failed to demonstrate ownership of development rights, or recognize the development right limitations placed by BRA on Pier 5 development. This limits development to 15 townhouse units for the BRA’s financial benefit. 

BRA failure to keep and maintain properties entrusted to its care based upon over 40 years of ownership of Pier 5 and its complete failure of maintenance and upkeep of Pier 5 (and other structures) based upon 30 year old studies which show required maintenance which were systematically and routinely ignored. With Leeds audit, loss of public amenity, loss of tourism, legal determinations,

BRA financial interest in development (overdevelopment) through linkage payments as a revenue source for operations and as a cover for its failure to maintain properties under its stewardship as noted above. 

Deliberate development mischaracterization of ‘floating homes’ as a marine based use, which makes a sham of c.91, avoids real estate taxation and other zoning limitations which would otherwise strictly apply, only to create a new income source for the BRA and to cover for its 40 year neglect of Pier 5. 

Significant zoning and safety issues with the present proposals from Urbanica, 6M and Navy Blue 

Given the significant issues, the number of Federal and State agencies whose involvement is required, these Proposals must be summarily denied until such time as a full evaluation of the impact of demolition or proposed redevelopment of Pier 5 can be evaluated and protections existing uses and area residents can be put into place. 

Floating home fallacy. The floating homes proposals of 6M and Navy Blue are not a water dependent use and preclude public access to Pier 5. The true intent of this mischaracterization as floating homes is to claim a marine uses to bypass zoning height, set-back, open space requirements and Chapter 91 water dependent requirements. While these floating housing units are water-adjacent, they are not water-dependent. The use of a ‘marine’ designation is a deliberate attempt to avoid otherwise applicable zoning limitations and calls into question whether such ‘floating homes’ will be subject to real estate taxes and land based linkage payment to BRA which are significantly less for ‘marine structures’ v. real estate development. Will Boston real estate taxpayers be left holding the bag for the cost of infrastructure and emergency services without commensurate tax payments?



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Campaign Letter Addresses

Mayor Michelle Wu Mayor@Boston.govHonorable Daniel Ryan Dan.Ryan@mahouse.govHonorable Salvatore DiDomenico Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.govLydia  Edwards, Charlestown Councillor Lydia.edwards@boston.govBPDA   Director-Brian Golden  brian.golden@boston.govBPDA Board: BPDAboard@Boston.govBPDA   GCl- Renee LeFevre Esq. renee.lefevre@Boston.govMorganContinue reading “Campaign Letter Addresses”


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