As the BRA moves forward in preparing its Municipal Harbor Plan, a document that seeks to overide State regulations regarding height, density and setbacks for waterfront development, Mayor Menino and City Hall officials are raising the volume to defend the $1 Billion Pritzker Fan Pier proposal -- dismissing consideration of an alternate proposal recently unveiled by abutting property owner, Frank McCourt.
Speaking today on the national NPR Morning Edition radio show and earlier this week on TV show Greater Boston, Menino dismissed the McCourt plan as an issue of personalities, stressing support for the Pritzker project over any further consideration of the merits of both proposals. Earlier this week, the Fan Pier project manager at Spaulding & Slye assailed McCourt for not hiring an internationally recognized management team (i.e. Spaulding & Slye). In today's Boston Globe, McCourt is the target of an anonymous source at City Hall who discusses ongoing battles between City Hall and the McCourt Co. regarding eminent domain land-takings for the Convention Center.
And earlier this week, Ken Greenberg of Urban Strategies (a firm hired as consultants to the Pritzker Fan Pier planning team) spoke to the Boston Globe, belittling the idea of a signature waterfront park as suggested by the McCourt plan. Greenberg stated that the Fan Pier team hopes to "blend the exterior and interior spaces so that pedestrians can duck into stores, restaurants, and sitting areas on the ground floor of buildings." But just two years ago, during Greenberg's whirlwind tour of Boston, his firm listed "Creating a Flagship Waterfront Park" as one of its challenges.
Lost in the mire of economics, politics and personalities, little debate has occurred regarding the inconsistancies of the recently drafted BRA Municipal Harbor Plan (being tailored quietly at City Hall to fit the Pritzker proposal hand in glove) with the original, widely heralded BRA Public Realm Plan.
Today, the Boston Globe Editorial Board published another column in its "1000 acres" series, training a keen eye on the hundred year vision of Fan Pier, above the fray of narrow attacks and agendas. To read today's Boston Globe commentary, click here.
Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.