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Pier 4 owner and BRA solicit ideas for 20,000 square feet of new civic and cultural space in South Boston Waterfront

Apr 07, 2015

Proposals should enhance access to harbor by creating a vibrant public destination
The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and Colorado-based real estate investment trust firm UDR are working together to flesh out plans for 20,000 square feet of new civic and cultural space at UDR’s almost complete 100 Pier 4 development. The 21-story apartment building in the South Boston Waterfront, whose 388 units are now being leased, includes two levels of interior space as well as ground-level outdoor space that will help activate the building on the water’s edge by serving as a public destination. UDR and the BRA have released a Request for Interest to solicit programming ideas and a potential operator for the space. An informational meeting will be held at 100 Pier 4 next Tuesday, April 14, to share more details about the opportunity with interested parties.
“We have an opportunity on the harbor to transform Pier 4 into a destination that will bring tourism and fuel our local economy," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Arts, culture and innovation are how we will create a thriving 21st century city, and this project gives us the opportunity to meet those goals and liven up a public space."
Qualified uses could include museum, library, exhibition, gallery, theater, performance, or aquarium space. The exterior and first floor civic and cultural areas are intended to be interconnected with similar space on the building’s mezzanine level, in terms of both design and programming.
“The South Boston Waterfront continues to be one of the city’s most attractive places to live, work, and play, and we want to ensure that public space and access to the harbor remains a top priority,” said BRA Director Brian Golden. “We have a unique opportunity with the space at Pier 4, and we’re encouraging applicants to think creatively and present us with a wide range of ideas for what this could become.”
Responses to the Request for Interest are due on Monday, May 4. The BRA and UDR will review submissions in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the state’s waterways regulations, with the goal of selecting a successful proposal by June 1.
The 20,000 square feet of civic and cultural space at Pier 4 is part of a larger plan to activate 127,000 square feet of dedicated public space along the waterfront, as envisioned by the municipal harbor planning process that the BRA has led with the community. The neighborhood is already home to such destinations as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston Tea Party Museum, Artists for Humanity, Midway Studios, the Fort Point Arts Community, and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
100 Pier 4, which includes retail and restaurant space in addition to the civic and cultural space, is the first of three projects planned to redevelop the entire pier. Phase two calls for a 15-story office tower, and nearly 200 condominium units are planned for a 9-story building in the final phase. The master plan for the area also includes a waterfront park, extension of the Harborwalk, and a water commons for water taxi service and touch and go public docking.

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