We traveled across Boston Harbor via water taxi last week for the first of our summer walking tours. East Boston is becoming one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city, and underutilized land on the waterfront is being made accessible to the public at a number of new developments. Our tour weaved through the neighborhood, stopping at three new mixed-use projects; Clippership Wharf, the Eddy, and Portside.
Each of these new projects has a distinct approach to creating residential communities that connect to the waterfront in different ways (via living shoreline, restaurant amenity/water taxi stop, and public dock, respectively). As we mentioned on the tour, East Boston has had a few “false starts” in terms of true development, but seems to be finally getting off the ground with a large influx of new construction, particularly new housing.
- Clippership Wharf was our first stop; the multi-building campus will be open to the public and completes the East Boston Harborwalk by linking Piers Park and LoPresti Park. Primarily residential, the site connects the neighborhood to the shoreline, and will offer retail and recreational uses.
- Topping off at 16-stories, the Eddy will be the tallest building on the East Boston waterfront. The former 9-story confectionery factory has a 7-story addition, and waterfront improvements will include a new water taxi stop and an extension of the Harborwalk. For car buffs, the two level garage utilizes a hydraulic lift system (essentially a vehicle stacker).
- Portside is located on Massport property, and is the first development of its kind in East Boston. It serves as a gateway project for new housing developments in the area, providing a public dock and a water taxi stop, with close proximity to the blue line.
We concluded our tour by pausing to admire the recently completed Massport Central Garage West. Several members of the project team were on our tour and they told us about their work and the unique kinetic façade, which we could see moving from the waterfront. Our evening didn’t end there; we took some time to discuss what we’d seen while socializing over tacos and refreshments.