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BOSTON-The waterfront here in South Boston has many developers seeing dollar signs lately but a local politician is concerned that if all the proposed plans go through, the area could be seriously overdeveloped.

City councilor James Kelly recently met with developer Frank McCourt to discuss his plans for McCourt’s 25-acre parcel on the waterfront. The property is currently used as parking lots but McCourt has been campaigning vigorously to have the Boston Red Sox build a new ballpark on his site. In addition, McCourt currently has plans filed with the city to develop a mixed-use development on the remaining acres of the parcel. Charles Kenney, spokesperson for McCourt, tells GlobeSt.com that the developer filed plans for the development–called Gateway Project–in May of 2000. “It hasn’t moved since we filed it,” he says. “We haven’t pushed it because we’ve been focusing on the ballpark.”

McCourt has held a number of community meetings in the past few months to discuss his proposed balllpark plans but has rarely mentioned this project being developed on the same site. The Gateway Project involves five buildings including a 350-room hotel, approximately 400 residential units and office space. According to Kenney, the project would be three million sf on a seven-acre parcel. He says that Kelly’s concern is that Gateway should not be going up at the same time as the ballpark. “They want us to defer Gateway while we develop the ballpark,” says Kenney. “they don’t want both projects going up at once.”

But Kelly tells GlobeSt.com that he is concerned that the waterfront here is in danger of being overdeveloped. He says that the Gatway Project is why he had a number of meetings with McCourt. “The fact that there is so much development for South Boston is a concern,” says Kelly. “We have to careful that it’s not overdeveloped. If we’re not diligent, we’ll have so much development it won’t be good for anyone.” Kelly wants all developers on the waterfront to scale back their plans. The proposed Gateway Project would tower over 100 feet above the nearby Fan Pier project, which is one of the largest proposed projects here. Then there is the development of the convention center, the Battery Wharf and the Massachusetts Transportation Authority’s property. “We’ve been talking to all these people,” notes Kelly. “Each developer is looking at their project in isolation but I don’t have that luxury. I’m pushing for everyone to be reasonable and resist the temptation to overdevelop.”

Kelly adds that McCourt indicated to him that his Gateway project is “on the back burner.” “I’m not clear that means,” he says. As far as his support for McCourt’s push to have the ballpark built on his property here, Kelly says, “I have not made a final decision about the ballpark.”

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