Engineering, design and regulations compliance concerns:

books file on shelf

Re: Stop all RFP pending Comprehensive Cost/Benefit Studies of Pier 5

Restoration VS Demolition and other Site Conditions

Dear Director Brian Golden and BPDA Co-Ordinator McDaniels,

This BPDA RFP for CNY Pier 5 has not been comprehensively and responsibly

thought out prior to issuing the “AS IS” offering —which is excerpted here:

“The Property is intended for disposition by a long term ground lease by the BRA

pursuant to the RFP. The Property is being offered as is, without warranty of any

kind, express or implied. If concerned about the Property’s condition, legal or

physical access and the maintenance thereof, property lines or boundaries

or any other matter affecting the Property, prospective developers should

investigate and conduct whatever due diligence and inspection deemed


This letter is to demand that the BPDA stop this irresponsible RFP process until

all the information and determinations required are obtained, comprehensive

studies made by independent third parties, and all options evaluated and

properly priced, etc.

Perhaps the most essential and fundamental of the multitude of questions that

have been compiled in this comment period is —What are the costs, impacts and

benefits of:

Demolition, hazardous materials clean-up, and reconstruction of the entire

pier for heavy multi-story construction and requiring transport and

disposal of enormous volumes construction waste. – vs. pier restoration and “Leeds” 

environmental re-use and audit to support a straightforward lightweight park 

platform for a public use pier using pile wrapping techniques use for underwater 

bridge foundations piers. This Cost / Benefit conclusion would appear to be a 

no-brainer, especially when you enter in Leeds audit, loss of public amenity, 

loss of tourism, the legal determinations such as whether the demolition or 

change of shape of the pier is even permitted by the original agreement with the 

U.S. Navy, etc.

In attempting to obtain answers, there is the hesitance of political pressure on

engineers and contractors who are asked. The only way to by-pass this

information blocking is to request an independent study financed by the BPDA

prior to proceeding with any action on the current RFP. It may be that the

consultants needed for a true independent cost / benefit analysis might be from

outside of the regional sphere of influence.

What detailed engineering drawings, specifications and condition reports, both

existing and proposed, are actually available in full? Is there any change in the

existing structure under the crane track?

Toxic waste removal situation? Archeological, environmental and biological

resource assessments? Climate resiliency? “Highest and Best Use” Alternatives.

What are the actual requirements of the U.S. Navy Transfer Documents

regarding demolition, restoration or any change of shape, size or structural


Is there a comprehensive analysis of all the Piers in Boston Harbor to determine

historic, structural, environmental, climatic resilience, urbanistic vista values and

best uses of our “Harbor Fringe of Piers” ? This is required by any professional

Planning Department.

Why is Charlestown Navy Yard Urban Pier 5 referred to in the Request for

Proposals (“RFP”) as “a ground lease of a vacant parcel of land”, when it is

actually an historic pier structure over Ch. 91 MA flooded tidelands which could

be demolished. Does this require a unique “air rights” lease over flowed

waterways and how is that worded?

To consider demolishing such a large and important historic structure as

opposed to its environmentally responsible reuse is a reckless misuse of

resources. The issuing of an “As Is” RFP with complications of this magnitude is

disrespectful of both the Community and the Proposers and wasteful of

everyone’s time and money —especially tax payers. Due diligence has not been