Fan Pier: Will Boston's Seaport waterfront ever be built?

Posted by Michael DiMella on Mon, Oct 20, 2008

(rendering of Fan Pier - link to master plan)

Scott Van Voorhis reports in today's Banker and Tradesman, that Joe Fallon's Fan Pier mega project may be delayed again:

On paper, anyway, everything seems right on track. Joe Fallon, the underrated superstar of waterfront development in Boston, is in serious talks with Cambridge-based biotech Vertex Pharmaceuticals about relocating its headquarters to Fan Pier.

But there are some things that should make even the most unabashed waterfront booster nervous.

there are signs that all may not be well as Vertex explores another big headquarters move.

...there’s talk that Vertex has put a halt on some of its architectural planning work – a rumor the company won’t address since it won’t even acknowledge publicly yet its interest in Fan Pier.

Less bashful, Mayor Thomas M. Menino told another local paper that Vertex is working on wrapping up its financing.

Just what you wanted to hear amid a global credit crunch.

Development of the entire South Boston waterfront has been a series of fits and starts but there always seems to be something holding it back.  The Fan Pier project as well as the $3.5 billion Seaport Square project proposed by John Hynes could transform the entire waterfront over the next 10 years.  But of course that same story has been told for the last 25-30 years with limited progress.  As one of the last large pieces of land in Boston left for development, the South Boston Seaport has the potential to be one of Boston's finest neighborhoods, with a mix of residential, retail, commercial, and hotel space plus green space, marinas, and museums.  Just have a look at the rendering above.

Here's to hoping it all comes together sooner rather than later.

Tags: Waterfront, development