To read a thread of postings regarding this project, click here.
To better understand SAND's view of this project, click here.
"We believe this will be the standard that future developers will be held to."
--Lincoln Property representative
FOR THE RECORD: Fort Point residents spurn private invitation to meeting regarding Lincoln Property NPC
Public meeting was requested by invitees and State Representative's office
On May 8, 2008, a meeting was held in Fort Point by Lincoln Property regarding the company's proposed project at 316-322 Summer Street. It was a closed-door meeting.
The project itself sets a troubling record in Fort Point for a privately negotiated outcome before, during and after a BRA-hosted public hearing and the BRA's official public comment period. Even abutters at a residential building (300 Summer Street) have been unable to understand why the BRA is granting a variance for two additional floors on another office project, or on what basis it is steamrolling over zoning and planning ideals -- not to mention Lincoln Property's deeded rights, as-of-right zoning and BRA-approvals already in hand.
Dozens of the area's similarly beautiful historic buildings are being resold and re-tenanted for office space at record prices without further BRA intervention to provide additional floors.
A select group of approximately two dozen Fort Point community members were invited to attend the private meeting, which was announced to these individuals with 3-day notice. BRA representatives were also invited to attend.
Among others, the following community members were excluded from the invitation list:
- Community members who had submitted written comments on the Project Notification Form (PNF) for which Lincoln Property filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC)
- Members of the BRA's Fort Point Advisory Committee
- Members of the BRA's Impact Advisory Group (IAG) on the Project Notification Form (PNF) for which Lincoln Property filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC)
- Project abutters including residents of 300 Summer Street
- Members of community organizations (SAND, FPAC) that had filed written comments on the Lincoln Property Notice of Project Change (NPC)
A significant number of Fort Point invitees immediately declined the invitation, politely requesting that the BRA and Lincoln Property instead host a public community meeting to announce revisions to this project.
Lincoln Property declined the request to reschedule or broaden participation to the above list of community members who had engaged in the BRA's "official" planning dialog. Instead, Lincoln Property held the private meeting. BRA representives, included on the invitation list and in the loop on requests for public participation, were silent during the three day period of this conversation.
And so, the Fort Point community learned of the latest plans for the Lincoln project through an e-mail (below).
Nearly every invited community member refrained from attending the private meeting. The meeting was attended by a a representative of the arts organization being offered low-cost space in the building and a representative of State Representative Brian Wallace's office who reiterated concerns registered by invitees who had asked for a public review.
The Lincoln Property project proposes new construction of an 18,800 s.f. rooftop addition on two historic Summer Street buildings, to be used for office space / retail. With this proposal, Lincoln Property has abandoned a residential project (approved by the BRA in 2006) that was to include 87 residential units and 4 artist live/work studios.
At that time , the BRA informed the Fort Point community that by approving a variance for a rooftop addition, the residential project would be viable in a strong office market. Lincoln Property's rooftop addition will be visible along the entire length of Summer Street, from the Summer Street bridge to the Convention Center and beyond.
The e-mailed notice excerpted below disclosed Lincoln's latest proposed "trial balloon" to garner community support, including an offering of 5,500 square feet of low-cost rental space to the arts community.
According to Lincoln Property, this offer will set a "standard" for future projects in Fort Point that seek additional density on top of historic buildings.
Subject: 316-322 Summer Street Meeting
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 15:22:47 -0400
We are sorry to hear that several of you will not be attending the meeting tomorrow; we certainly understand the demands on everyone’s schedule.
The purpose of this meeting was to provide an update to those residents who had expressed concern over our project during the public comment period. The BRA heard the residents’ concerns, as did we. We are putting forth a designated area for both artist live/work space, as well as studio space within our building. We believe this will be the standard that future developers will be held to.
- Approximately 5,500 square feet designated as studio and artist live/work space.
- The artist live/work space will be rental units made available at affordable housing rates and design standards as set by the City of Boston (80% of the median income).
- Studio Space – our proposal makes space available to accommodate a local studio, such as Studio Soto, at deeply discounted terms.
Again, it is unfortunate that you are unable to attend this meeting and we understand the demands on everyone’s schedule. We are happy to discuss the inclusion of affordable artist live/work and studio space, either in person or by telephone, at your convenience. Feel free to contact me at 617-951-4100.
We hope that you share our feeling that this project has been made better through the process.
Lincoln Property Company
Your comments as a visitor to the SAND website would be appreciated and forwarded for discussion.