X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

BOSTON-Boston City Council president Michael Flaherty has called on the city to use eminent domain to seize control of Fan Pier in order to spur development on the 21-acre parcel. Flaherty, saying a recent Supreme Court ruling strengthening eminent domain will put the city in a better position to legally take the land, also urged the city not to renew parking permits on the property which has allowed the landowners to reap millions of dollars in profits while the land remains vacant.

”We need to use everything at our disposal to get things done on the waterfront,” Flaherty tells GlobeSt.com. “Now, with this Supreme Court decision, maybe we should do something.” Flaherty, who made a similar suggestion in January, says he hopes to talk soon with the mayor and the Boston Redevelopment Authority about the eminent domain issue. A spokesman for Mayor Thomas Menino declined to say whether he would reconsider Flaherty’s proposal.

Flaherty’s stand is the second salvo fired against the Pritzker family, which owns the parcel on the South Boston waterfront. Late last week, Menino threatened to challenge city permits issued for the property that will allow the land to be developed into three million sf of mixed uses.

In a letter sent on Menino’s behalf to Spaulding & Sly Colliers, the Boston development managers for the Chicago-based Pritzker family, Boston Redevelopment Authority director Mark Maloney said the city has been “frustrated that the project not only remains unrealized but with no firm development start.”

“It’s been a very real frustration especially with other projects along the waterfront moving forward,” a BRA spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com. “This lapse of time could pose problems for their project in terms of lapsed permits.”

The spokeswoman, noting that the BRA has not taken a position on the eminent domain issue, says the BRA is, however, considering whether to allow permits for the Fan Pier site to lapse and is consulting with other city agencies about the status of parking approvals granted for the site. Under city zoning regulations, approvals can be reviewed if a project is not started within three years. That three-year period expires on the Fan Pier land in November. Without those approvals, the Pritzkers would have to spend millions more dollars and several years to get new permits to build on the land. The family has already spent four years getting the site permitted.

BRA officials say the authority also is deciding whether to renew the Pritzkers’ parking permit for the land, which allows for the parking of 1,530 vehicles. That parking permit expires in December. Also in jeopardy is the parking permit for the development project, which approved an increase in parking to 2,400 spaces. Neither a spokesman for the Pritzker family nor Spaulding and Slye Colliers would comment on the situation when contacted by GlobeSt.com.

The stalemate between the city and the landowners would mean a further delay in the development of the 21-acre Fan Pier site, which has been stalled for years. The existing permits allow for the development of residences, office, retail and hotel space along with the creation of a new Institute of Contemporary Art as well as other cultural and civic space along the waterfront. Two preliminary deals for the waterfront property recently by national homebuilder Lennar Corp. and Boston developer Stephen R. Karp fell through earlier this year.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.