Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND)



Mr. Jay Rourke, Project Manager
Boston Redevelopment Authority
Boston City Hall
Boston, MA 02201

Re: 316-322 Summer Street NPC, Lincoln Properties

Dear Mr. Rourke:

On behalf of Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND), this comment letter regards a Notice of Project Change filed by Lincoln Properties (“the Proponent”) for the proposed rehabilitation and development of 316-322 Summer Street (“the Project”).

Our comments are divided into four parts:

A) Planning Context
B) Historic Context
C) Other Considerations
D) Recommendations

Under separate cover we have attached a brief description of SAND’s mission.



Planning Context

The Project represents much more than the unfulfilled promise of a residential condo, recently flipped by one owner (Archon/Goldman) to a new owner (the Proponent), that is now destined to be two office buildings. And it is much more than a failed attempt at a good-faith planning effort by Archon/Goldman.

It represents a systematic scheme that SAND has documented in this comment letter, and continues to monitor on our website.

For the first time in a SAND comment letter, we are relying entirely on statements derived from media reports and public statements— minimizing any dispute of facts by limiting references to our own conversations or notes from 10+ years of personal experiences and meetings working in our Fort Point community, or during our years of diligent service on the BRA’s Fort Point Working Group and Fort Point Advisory Commiteee.

The basic elements of the scheme are these:

A) The “Master Planning” of multiple properties with the involvement of the community and the support of the BRA;

B) the upzoning of the same properties for added height and density at the BRA based on the widely promoted promise of a Master Plan;

C) the subsequent parcelization and flipping of individual component properties while the Master Plan and community’s aspirations are abandoned.

To the casual observer, and possibly the Proponent, the proposal for 316-322 Summer Street may seem much simpler. The most significant element of the Notice of Project Change is the proposed two-story rooftop addition on top of the two historic buildings. The Project’s proposed use of these buildings as office space is consistent with existing zoning.

It would therefore seem logical for the Proponent to suggest that the BRA merely consider the impacts of the rooftop addition, mitigate its impacts or perhaps attempt to provide some compensatory adjustment to the project based on the BRA’s approval of the rooftop addition to the developer.

But neither a casual observer, or this Proponent, is likely aware that the additional FAR sought in the approval of a rooftop addition on top of these two buildings was part of a much larger process of upzoning and flipping a host of buildings by the former owner, Archon/Goldman.

There are many disturbing actions, and many troubling trends, that played out as this Project moved forward.

To begin, in 2006, Archon/Goldman promoted a broad, mixed-use agenda for its original 17 properties in the form of a glossy publication entitled “Wharf District Vision and Plan.” The PDF of this chic “Vision” is downloadable on the SAND website.

At approximately the same time, after its purchase of Boston Wharf Company Property, Archon/Goldman became a signator to the BRA’s 100-Acre Plan, with approximately half of its portfolio (south of Summer Street) included in the bounds of the plan, and the other half on Summer Street.

Archon’s proposed plans for 316-322 Summer Street, filed as a Project Notification Form in 2006, were for a conversion to residential and a two-story rooftop addition.

Because the two buildings were outside the 100-Acre Plan, a zoning variance was needed. In 2006, the BRA approved the variance, claimed that the rooftop addition was necessary to ensure the viability of a residential project.

In June 2006, the Boston Globe reported Archon/Goldman’s plans for 316-322 Summer Street, heralding the company’s “Wharf District Vision and Plan.”

“Those two conversions are the first steps in an ambitious plan to convert 10 old Boston Wharf Co. buildings into hip housing for city dwellers, and turn the area around Summer and A streets into a lively district of sidewalk cafes, restaurants, galleries, and buildings decorated with colorful artwork and displays.”

Source: The Boston Globe, June 30, 2006
A SoHo Developer takes on Fort Point site

Archon Group trumpeted its plans on its website:

“Five buildings totaling 289,000 SF are being converted to residential condominiums upon obtaining necessary approvals from the BRA.”

Source: Archon Group website, circa 2006, regarding planned residential conversions at 316 Summer Street, 322 Summer Street, 49 Melcher Street, 51 Melcher Street and 63 Melcher Street.

During this month, the BRA was moving to finalize the 100-Acres Plan, and our community was continually assured that additional FAR was being granted to Archon and other signators of the 100-Acre Plan so that those property owners would be capable of producing the “mixed-use urban neighborhood” we all envisioned — one that was much more meaningful than a market-driven outcome which year after year seemed to favor the production of office and commercial space.

And at the same time, all Bostonians were led to believe that 316-322 Summer Street were the first two of five residential projects in Archon’s portfolio that would fulfill some semblance of a “Master Plan” for Fort Point. Neither the Fort Point community nor Boston’s media made any distinction about whether or not the project was on or within the bounds of 100-Acres, nor did the BRA make any such clarification in its public acclamations.

The Boston Globe reported:

Construction will start this year on the 316 and 322 buildings. The Goldman group plans retail space on the first floor, with studios and one- to three-bedroom units on the upper floors, and glitzy penthouses above them.

"The pioneers will be without children," Goldman said. "As it evolves, it'll be more conducive to families."

Mark Maloney , director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, said he likes Goldman's enthusiasm for the neighborhood.

Source: The Boston Globe, June 30, 2006
A SoHo Developer takes on Fort Point site

In the same article, more overlap between 316-322 Summer Street approvals and the public realm planning process of 100-Acres was suggested:

"The thinking they're bringing to that area is to take preservation to its highest standard, and remake the public realm in a way that is more welcoming," Maloney said.

Source: The Boston Globe, June 30, 2006
A SoHo Developer takes on Fort Point site

With respect to this comment by BRA Director Maloney (with whom SAND had an excellent relationship), no significant improvements were actually under way to coincide with upzoning and development of Archon/Goldman’s entire portfolio of projects. To date, no progress has been made by the BRA over decades of planning to produce a single recreational park for the Fort Point “families” referred to in Goldman’s quote. With respect to 316-322 Summer Street, a stairway leading to A Street from Summer Street was noted by the BRA Project Manager and Archon/Goldman as a significant public realm feature of this project.

Of course, we at SAND were already aware that Archon/Goldman had an agenda that differed from the company’s “Wharf District Vision and Plan” and from the goals of the “100 Acres” plan. Many of our friends and neighbors had been forced out of their studios by Archon/Goldman as the company sought to empty its holdings of 91 artists and multiple cultural non-profits.

"We've been negotiating in good faith with" the Fort Point Artists Community "for many, many months," he said. "The BRA and mayor have made it very clear to us this is a priority, and we agree. We really want this neighborhood to remain a rich, creative neighborhood," he added.

Source: Albert Price of Goldman Properties, regarding 20 leases held by the Fort Point Arts Community
The Boston Globe, July 11, 2006
Artists question city approval of Fort Point plan

In the same article, the Boston Globe continued to trumpet Archon/Goldman’s bold vision:

Those conversions are the first steps in a plan to turn 10 of the brick-and-beam warehouses around Summer and A streets into a hip community of homes , restaurants, shops, and galleries.

Source: The Boston Globe, July 11, 2006
Artists question city approval of Fort Point plan

Let’s pause for moment on this point. It’s important to consider that every time a round of artist live/work displacements took place in Fort Point, the justification was always based on a better urban plan that was under way, that would (in the future) somehow accommodate new residents and artists. As our artist community struggled to make its point clear (and largely failed in its attempt to stem the displacements), we today can see that statements that suggested that artist live/work displacements were justifiable in light of a “higher purpose” in the upscaling an area with new residential construction and live/work studios proved to be the most serious of misrepresentations.

The reality is that, in Fort Point, hundreds of artists and cultural non-profits were “rolled” simply for the production of more BRA-incentivized office space. [The term ‘BRA-incentived’ is apt since the BRA awarded rooftop additions and infills to each of these developers, and was responsible for project approvals].

The fact that the displacements occurred on the BRA’s watch, and that the result of the displacements was more BRA-incentivized office space on Summer Street and on Melcher Street, has been the single most devasting blow to the character and fabric of the Fort Point community in ten years. It should be clear to any reader, from this paragraph alone, that the Project is not a simple Notice of Project Change.

Back to the Archon/Goldman “Vision.” More and more Bostonians bought into Archon’s vision, and the BRA encouraged the enthusiasm for the vision of Fort Point as Boston’s SoHo.

Wow! Is Boston actually gonna get hip and exciting? Actually, I like this idea. But I'm sure it won't come without a cost. This project will make this area even more expensive to live and more difficult for artists to afford. Yet, I can't help but feel sort of excited to watch the area transform.

Source: Senior Member,, May 2006 in response to Archon/Goldman plan

While the Boston Globe burnished the Archon/Goldman plans month after month:

Archon/Goldman hopes to revive the Boston Wharf name and make it synonymous with a lively urban neighborhood where people can live, work, and socialize.

Source: The Boston Globe, September 15, 2006
An old sign will light up a new district

It is important to note that September 2006 was the same month the Boston Redvelopment Authority published its newly finalized 100-Acre Plan. The Archon/Goldman public relations effort dovetailed with the rollout of the 100-Acre plan.

But Archon Group’s own website painted a much bleaker picture regarding the company’s long-term commitment:

Acquisition strategy involved a value-added play, rolling below market tenants to market rents and increasing occupancy in the four under-leased buildings (340,000 SF). These assets will then be sold, along with two stabilized Class A office buildings (205,000 SF).

Source: Archon Group website, circa 2006, regarding 300 A Street and 321 Summer Street

Archon’s development team is working through the Boston Redevelopment Authority (“BRA”) rezoning process to obtain an additional 500,000 SF of FAR for three of the buildings (137,000 SF). Once zoning approval of the additional FAR is complete, these assets will be sold.

Source: Archon Group website, circa 2006, regarding of 319 A Street (rear), 327 Summer Street and 337 Summer Street

Now that some context has been documented here, it is worthwhile to point out some contradictions in recent BRA statements. For example, consider the statement:

“But he insisted the city never promised that the construction of the residential units would happen first.”

Source: Banker and Tradesman reporter Tom Grillo reporting on his conversation with BRA Chief Planner Kairos Shen regarding the City’s vision for housing development within the 100-Acre Plan.
Banker and Tradesman, March 17, 2008
Channel Residents Claim City Reneged on Housing Promise

Not so. Members of SAND, members of the BRA Fort Point Advisory Committee, and members of the Fort Point community were led to believe that the BRA recognized that Fort Point’s historic buildings were particularly well suited to support housing and artist live/work needs.

But the BRA maintained its newly found position, in contradiction with the sticky facts of history:

"The master plan envisioned the bulk of residential would come from new construction and not existing buildings," a BRA spokeswoman said. "There are plenty of parcels still available for residential."

Source: Banker and Tradesman, March 24, 2008
Channel Residents Angered By Plan for Historic Buildings

Again repeated, but again untrue. Even Archon/Goldman doesn’t agree with the BRA on this outlandish assertion.

Counter to the BRA’s position that Archon/Goldman’s residential requirement was planned to be fulfilled in the 500,000 sf of new FAR (a proposed tower over 319 A Street), Archon/Goldman “Wharf District Vision and Plan” did not project housing to occur in its new construction. In fact, it was widely reported that Archon’s plans for the tower were projecting its use as for hotel and office space.

To be sure, Archon/Goldman’s own “Wharf District Vision and Plan” did not include any discussion regarding residential development in a new tower. The tower itself did not appear in the “Wharf District Vision and Plan.”

Instead, Archon/Goldman and the BRA presented our community (and Boston Globe, Herald, et. al.) with plans that envisioned Fort Point as a new SoHo, outlined a vision of a chic, urban historic district filled with artists, residents, cafes and restaurants — not an office district with housing and artist live/work spaces relegated to new contruction.

As an organization, SAND members stand alone in having been represented at every meeting of the 100-Acres Plan, participating on the Fort Point Advisory Group, and in our public reportage of progress — all of which support our position in contradiction with the BRA on this issue.

And we are certain that Fort Point Arts Community Inc. (FPAC), an organization that spent years highlighting the importance of historic buildings for use as live/work space, would support our claim that the BRA had continually represented its interest to the community in having residential development occur in existing buildings — not in new construction.

What is even more disturbing is that for many years, largely because of the BRA’s planning policies, only a select few historic buildings remain today that have not already been converted to Class A and Class B office space, that could be potential candidates for residential conversions. SAND’s estimate that the district is over 85% office space is based on a conservative analysis.

When pressed, the BRA states that 316-322 Summer Street is technically outside the bounds of 100-Acres, and therefore are not to be included in the scope of Archon/Goldman’s original commitments to residential development as required under the 100-Acre Plan.

SAND disputes this assertion as well. Here’s why…

The BRA approved new FAR for Archon/Goldman based on their status as a large-property owner, not based on their ownership of a few buildings within the bounds of 100 Acres. This is supported by the facts, including the fact that the BRA encouraged Archon/Goldman to meet with the Fort Point Community to present the “Wharf District Vision and Plan” in 2006 — in other words, the BRA was supporting and promoting the whole Archon/Goldman “Vision” package while the agency was presenting the FAR associated with Archon/Goldman under the 100-Acres Plan.

And despite the BRA’s oft-repeated claims that no projects will be approved until public realm elements of 100-Acres will be secured and attached to each project, the BRA has allowed Archon/Goldman to proceed with its projects while no public realm commitments have been secured.

Archon/Goldman published some insights into their plans on their website:

Archon role: Acquisition, Development, Construction Management, Oversight of External Leasing and Property Management, Disposition.

Source: Archon Group website, circa 2006

Did any regard for a mixed-use, urban neighborhood “plan” of any sort come into play here? No. Instead, the flipping began.

Rather than just sitting on the properties, they're being offered for sale for use as office space instead - because that market is roaring.

Source: The Boston Globe, 10/18/2007
Fort Point Channel vision clouding over

Not a single square foot of Archon/Goldman’s properties were either being flipped or developed for any outcome other than office space. And — by Archon Group’s own admission, not a single square foot of Archon/Goldman’s properties would developed by the company after successfully upzoning at City Hall. All the while the BRA defended Archon/Goldman’s newly added FAR, and continued to support the FAR that Archon/Goldman had received before it flipped its buildings for substantial gain.

This is the painful and shameful outcome that our community was handed, after championing the planning of a mixed-use urban neighborhood with the BRA’s encouragement for over 10 years. It was as if the BRA was capable of conveniently forgetting its own promises and statements regarding its rationale for awarding a variance for the rooftop addition contingent on a residential conversion of 316-322 Summer Street.

And as the wind shifted, the Boston Globe’s trumpets turned to violins:

But after 316 and 322 Summer are sold, only two of the development team's original 10 buildings facing Summer Street will remain in its control. The others have been sold to four new owners.

Was last year's vision just an illusion?

Source: The Boston Globe, 10/18/2007
Fort Point Channel vision clouding over

Of course, Archon/Goldman had more work to do. Its PR machinery went into overdrive. At the same time the last “under-market” Archon/Goldman buildings were being emptied of tenants, the Boston Globe reported:

Archon and Goldman have made some changes. They signed leases to bring LaMontagne Gallery to Melcher Street, house the boutique clothier Achilles at 281 Summer, and put the sports car showcase Otto Club on Pastene Alley.

Source: The Boston Globe, 10/18/2007
Fort Point Channel vision clouding over

These public proclamations were typical of Archon/Goldman. In reality, LaMontagne Gallery (and Studio Soto gallery, a premiere Fort Point cultural space) failed to reach satisfactory lease agreements and were displaced as the Melcher Street buildings were emptied by December 2007. LaMontagne Gallery has since relocated to the Leather District and Studio Soto is seeking a new home.

Yet despite an abandoned Master Plan, the BRA continues to defend the 500,000 square feet of FAR handed to Archon/Goldman, based on some promise of private co-operation agreements that guarantee some future parkspace at an undisclosed location.

And with respect to this project, the BRA is defending an indefensible position, with its Project Manager stating and repeating in public meetings that the rooftop addition is necessary to make the project economically viable — knowing full well that Fort Point’s historic buildings are being flipped, in as is condition without rooftop additions, at record setting prices.

SAND’s recommendations are based on this history of planning, and our advocacy for an outcome that was so much more than a district of 85% office space.

Historic Context

SAND members, including this writer, serve as Mayoral-appointed community representatives on the Boston Landmarks Commission, now developing guidelines for the anticipated designation of Fort Point as a Landmark District.

We at SAND understand that our guidelines have not been adopted and are currently in draft form. We have great respect and admiration for the work and staff of the Boston Landmarks Commission, and we understand that staff review is a difficult process absent a set of approved guidelines.

SAND has strongly opposed the development of rooftop additions on historic buildings. In light of the progress made on the Landmarking Designation, SAND recently relaxed its position opposing all rooftop additions, asking instead that the Boston Redevelopment Authority respect a moratorium on the approval of rooftop additions and infill construction until the Landmark Designation is approved as anticipated later this year.

Buildings within the 100-Acre district are guided by provisions within the 100-Acre PDA (which were inserted in the 100-Acre Plan in the face of SAND’s objections and without community knowledge or approval). A step-by-step guide to how rooftop addition language was inserted into the 100-Acre Plan is available on the SAND website.

With respect to the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s support for rooftop additions on buildings outside of 100-Acres, such as 316-322 Summer Street, no clear guidance has been published by the BRA regarding buildings north of Summer Street.

But, facing complaints regarding rooftop addtions, the BRA responded to the Boston media with a public position:

“City planners advocating approval of the master plan for the area said those additions will be set back and barely visible from the street.”

The Boston Globe, August 11, 2006
BRA approves master plan for Fort Point Channel

Subsequent to making these remarks in the Boston Globe, BRA planners approved a record-setting number of rooftop additions on historic industrial buildings that were visible from Fort Point’s main streets, including the rooftop addition at 316-322 Summer Street.

And even the BRA’s own 100-Acre guidelines didn’t seem to guide the agency in its support of the proposed NPC at 316-322 Summer Street. The proposed rooftop addition at 316-322 Summer Street, at a 18,800 s.f., exceeds the BRA’s own 10% density limit for buildings within 100-Acre Plan, which governs buildings directly across the street.

This particular rooftop addition will mar one of the most pristine and important façades of industrial wharf buildings in the United States; a street facade in which architects took pride in every cornice and every lintel; on a street that had achieved national prominence in the early 20th century as “Wool Row.”

The BRA’s support of a rooftop addition on these historic and magical industrial wharf buildings, and the stated rationale for the BRA’s approval, is an absolute disgrace.

Summary Regarding the Rooftop Addition

In summary, with respect to the planning of the Fort Point District, SAND opposes construction of a new rooftop addition at 316-322 Summer Street because:

1. The additional FAR is not necessary for an office project.

2. The former owner of these buildings, Archon/Goldman used the approval of a variance for a residential project at this site to secure the rooftop addition of this NPC.

3. The former owner of these buildings, Archon/Goldman, spearheaded a public relations campaign that highlighted the value of a residential project at this site in order to win support for additional 500,000 square feet of FAR under the 100-Acres PDA.

4. The addition as proposed is a shameful bit of architectural mediocrity — an oversized, pre-fabricated mobile home dropped on a rooftop. SAND would suggest that if the building’s renown original architect Morton D. Safford wanted his buildings to host a rooftop addition in 1904 and 1910, he would have built one. The proposed architecture is a blight that will be visible from all angles and other buildings except to a pedestrian standing in front of the building.

5. SAND strongly supports a moratorium on rooftop additions in the Fort Point Historic District until the Boston Landmark Commission guidelines are in place later this year.

Other Considerations

Rooftop Mechanicals

Only one of the many renderings presented at the Proponent’s community meeting regarding the NPC revealed that the Project included rooftop mechanicals above the rooftop addition. We are concerned that the Proponent’s presentation in other venues also omitted this important component of the Project.

In that single rendering (which was placed on the floor for most of the Fort Point presentation), the outline of a ghostly black box caught the attention of an attendee, and thereupon was brought to our community’s attention.

The stated rationale for placing the large mechanicals above the rooftop addition was that the mechanicals would not be visible once a tower was built on the adjoining parcel.

SAND asks that the mechanicals be placed on the existing rooftop, positioned to minimize visibility from the street.


SAND supports the use of first floor space for retail, and other facilities that would enliven the pedestrian realm.

Only a few years ago, Melcher Street and A Street were alive with small retailers and cultural uses (i.e. Berman Leather, Mallard Marine, Revolving Museum, Studio Soto, Hav-a-Bite etc.). These lively uses are all gone, and BRA-approved variances have been provided to new projects that replaced first floor retailers with first floor corporate office lobbies.

SAND opposes the use of first floor space for office lobbies, private office cubicle spaces, or block-long streetwalls without doors. Projects that included BRA-approved variances throughout the district have continued to wall off entire streets with private first-floor lobbies. Such massive failures of planning have recently occurred along 300 A Street, Melcher Street and along Summer Street, where new office projects with first-floor lobbies have created a dismal pedestrian environment.

We would recommend that any curious visitor walk along…

  1. WALK: along the former Stone and Webster building at 345 Summer Street on the west side of Fort Point Channel
    OBSERVE: no public entrances to the new “Qdoba” and “COSI” restaurants facing the Federal Reserve building for an entire block. A pedetrian at Dorchester Avenue must walk to South Station to enter these restaurants.
    CONTINUE WALKING: down the south side of Melcher Street
    OBSERVE: no public entrances, no retailers, large single-pane inoperable windows.
    CONTINUE WALKING: along the entire City block at the front of 300 A Street
    OBSERVE: no public entrances for an entire block, main historic building entrance on A Street has been converted to “fire entrance”. 1st floor is a lobby for Elkus Manfredi is accessed off Garage Access Road

This experience is the modern blight of privatized or closed first floor streetscapes that has accompanied a multitude of BRA-approved office projects. Both the Stone and Webster building and 300 A Street were recipients of recent building renovations that required approvals by the BRA.

Prior to BRA-approved renovations, each of these street blocks included public access on the main street. After BRA-approved renovations, none included any public access on the main street.

SAND has asked for BRA attention on this issue on numerous occasions, most notably when the 300 A Street PNF was considered.

[click here to read SAND's 2001 comment letter regarding the PNF for 288-300 A Street -- one of dozens of SAND letters that have called attention to BRA-approved ground floor lobbies and office spaces]


The rooftop addition and mechanicals at 316-322 Summer Street may impact the quality and quantity of sunlight on the Artist Building at 300 Summer Street. At its NPC meeting with the Fort Point community, the Proponent was asked to study and report on shadow falling on the eastern façade of 300 Summer Street, but has not responded.


1. Given the context and history of Master Planning, and the history of prior approvals of this particular project, SAND does not support any outcome that presents some slight compensatory adjustment or mitigation as an attempt to offset the impact of a rooftop addition. Either the Proponent should proceed “as-of-right” with the existing buildings for use as office space (no rooftop addition), or the BRA should consider the planning effort and Archon/Goldman’s history in seeking community approval for a rooftop addition.

2. SAND would support the 316-322 project as it was originally approved by Archon/Goldman: a residential condo project with four artist live/work units. As a substitute for the artist live/work units within a residential building, SAND would support comparable cultural space on terms favorable to the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC).

3. SAND supports the placement of rooftop mechanicals only upon the original roof, not raised above the original roof. Mechanicals should be positioned so as to be minimally visible from pedestrians walking along Summer Street.

4. SAND supports provisions for retail on first floor levels, both on Summer Street and on A Street. We do not support first floor use by an office lobby of office space.

5. With this project and others in Fort Point, pending artist displacements are routinely justified in the press by developers with the promise of “visionary planning ideals” that make the displacements palatable. Once the artists are displaced, the same “visionary planning ideals” are cast aside due to market-driven considerations. For this reason, the BRA should redouble its effort to work with FPAC, identifying real long-term solutions for the permanence of the arts community.

To conclude, it should be stated that SAND members have worked proactively with the BRA for a decade, through multiple economic cycles, to achieve a “neighborhood” vision. We have been patient, positive, and dedicated to a long-term approach, and we continue to see our relationship with the BRA as one of collaboration and productivity.

But while SAND members understand that our expectations for various elements of a “Master Plan” may not be feasible under certain market conditions, we are not content with a Planning Agency that providing incentives for the development of office space in the Fort Point District and Seaport District, or a Planning Agency that allows a nationally-recognized collection of historic buildings to routinely be marred by the formation of a rooftop shantytown.

We implore the BRA to consider all of the Fort Point District, including Summer Street, within the agency’s jurisdiction and subject to the application of sound urban planning and zoning ideals — no longer exempting buildings from sound planning simply because they are 50 feet outside the 100-Acre Plan’s bounds.

SAND members are very appreciative that Mayor Thomas M. Menino and BRA Director John Palmieri have taken a closer look at the history and outcome of this project, and have indicated a willingess to consider our points as this and other area projects move forward.

Best regards,

Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND)


Massachusetts State Senator Jack Hart
Massachusetts State Representative Brian P. Wallace
Ms. Casey Flynn, The Office of Honorable Mayor Thomas M. Menino
Mr. John Palmieri, Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority
Mr. Kairos Shen, Director of Planning, Boston Redevelopment Authority
Ms. Heidi Burbridge, Boston Redevelopment Authority
Mr. Michael Flaherty, Boston City Council
Mr. Bill Linehan, Boston City Council


About Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND)

Seaport Alliance for a Neighborhood Design (SAND) is a community group in the historic Fort Point District of South Boston, advocating for the long-term planning of Fort Point and the greater South Boston Waterfront as a mixed-use, urban neighborhood. Through its work with the community, elected leaders and area stakeholders, SAND’s mission is to ensure that our community evolves with a critical mass of residential development, adequate public realm amenities and recreational greenspace, civic and cultural space, commercial establishments and other neighborhood ideals as projects are approved. Over decades to come, SAND anticipates that over ten thousand Bostonians will choose Fort Point and the South Boston Waterfront as a neighborhood in which to invest their lives.

SAND has worked closely with the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) and we strongly support FPAC’s mission to ensure that Fort Point remain New England’s densest concentration of working artists, and a vital cultural engine for the City and region.

A Broadly Supported Community-based Vision

SAND’s vision for Fort Point and the South Boston Waterfront as an urban mixed-use neighborhood was developed through a public dialog with our community, developers, City officials, area stakeholders, and the traditional South Boston community. From 1997 through 2005, SAND shaped its plans and developed consensus, through the hosting of scores of public meetings and charrettes. Today, moving forward with a clearly defined set of urban planning principles and the broad support of the Fort Point community, we continue to advocate for these shared ideals.

A Decade of Proactive Planning at City Hall and the State House

SAND members have served on the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Fort Point Working Group (2002-2003), the Fort Point Advisory Committee (2003-present), the Boston Landmarks Commission Study Committee (2006-present). SAND members were represented and participated in each of approximately sixty (60) public meetings held by the BRA regarding the development of the 100 Acre Plan, and resulting in the 100 Acre Plan PDA. SAND was integrally involved in the drafting of the City of Boston’s South Boston Seaport Public Realm Plan in 1999 and the South Boston Municipal Harbor Plan in 2001.

SAND’s website is

Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.