Our petition to the Mayor of Boston expresses concern over the current RFP process from BPDA that aims to privatize Pier 5, adjacent to the Courageous Sailing Center.
The three submitted proposals were open for public comments until April 5, at the BPDA web site . However, this is just the beginning. There are multiple ways to take action and make sure the BPDA plan is rejected and replaced with a public friendly solution for the next generations.
All three proposals will adversely impact the view corridors along the harbor walk, the quality of the waterfront experience and quality of life, for the community and visitors alike.
Historic Pier 5, at the Head of Boston Harbor in the Charlestown Navy Yard, is owned by the BPDA and has been neglected for decades. In September 2020, an RFP was issued by the BPDA for redevelopment of Pier 5. Only three proposals were received, all for residential housing which is not an original M.G.L. Chapter 91 water-dependent use. None of the three met the Open Space requirements for waterfront development. If any one of these proposals were to go forward, one of the last remaining open piers in the Boston Harbor will be closed off for public use. We, the Pier 5 Association, believe this beautiful, historic and prime location can have new life as a public open space for the entire community to enjoy. Fortunately, with the latest announcement from the BPDA and tremendous support from the entire Charlestown community, this vision moves one step closer to reality.
On November 21, 2021 the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) withdrew its Request for Proposal (RFP) for housing to be built on Pier 5 in the Charlestown Navy Yard. In addition to announcing the withdrawal of the RFP, the BPDA indicated its support for a waterfront public park on the Pier. Further, the BPDA indicated it is “highly supportive of public open space along the water’s edge and ensuring access to the harbor” in the Charlestown Navy Yard and would support increased open space and/or park creation at the Pier through philanthropic or private financing. In their statement, the BPDA states it would also “be willing to accept an asking price of $0 for Pier 5 if this was economically necessary to support additional public open space or other exceptional benefits on Pier 5”.
We believe that privatizing Pier 5 is not appropriate and contrary to the concepts of social justice.
Presently, Pier 5 sits behind a chain link fence and consists of a vacant, underutilized and inaccessible pier structure which has been left to decay under the stewardship of the BPDA. It is an iconic location with a profound historic significance and is central to a National Historic Park. Pier 5 provides view corridors from the Harborwalk in both directions and is central to experiencing the monumental open space that characterizes our magnificent Boston Harbor. Its location provides a place that can offer a large population of inner-city residents as well as visitors access to this unique open space. At less than 2 acres, this is a location of historic significance and importance that belies its small size.
Links to the various proposals and alternative concepts can be found below the petition.