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BOSTON-The board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority gave its thumbs up to the second phase of the Fort Point Downtown Municipal Harbor Plan. The plan will allow the former industrial area to be redeveloped into a residential and retail neighborhood.

The second phase of the initiative includes planning recommendations for approximately 37 acres along the western side of the Fort Point Channel and approximately 44 acres of adjacent watersheet. With this approval, the plan is ready to be sent to the state’s Executive Office of Environmental Affairs for its review and approval process.

“This plan outlines a great vision for our city. The Fort Point Channel is Boston’s next great place. It will bring life and vitality to the Fort Point Channel downtown waterfront,” says Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The plan envisions a loft-style housing units, ground floor retail space, a rooftop observatory, hotel uses, office space, museum space, underground parking and a waterfront plaza featuring restaurants, cafes and floating piers for various transient vessels.

The plan will also establish design guidelines for the implementation of the Harborwalk and the city says that within the next two years, uninterrupted public access will be provided linking the Moakley Bridge to the Summer Street Bridge. In addition, the BRA hosted an open space design charrette for the parcels at 470 Atlantic Avenue, 500 Atlantic Avenue and Russia Wharf, establishing open space design guidelines for these parcels. Combined these properties will offer more than one acre of public open space along the Channel, the city notes.

The first phase of the plan consisted of the 2.8 acre site at 500 Atlantic Ave. for which a development project has been proposed consisting of a hotel, residential and ground-floor commercial uses. The second phase consists of Hook Lobster, 470 Atlantic Ave. or Independence Wharf, Russia Wharf, Federal Reserve Bank, 245 Summer St. and the United States Postal Service Parcel. The first phase of the plan was approved by the state last October.

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