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Construction company proposes renovating hulking old Navy building in South Boston

Inside 25 Fid Kennedy Ave.

Inside Building 16.

J.C. Cannistraro of Watertown today proposed leasing and renovating a large and long vacant building in the Boston Marine Industrial Park - as an assembly plant for construction components.

25 Fid Kennedy Ave. originally went up in the early 1940s as part of the South Boston Naval Annex, which the federal government shut in 1974. In an application filed with the BRA, Cannistraro says:

The proposed Project will substantially rehabilitate the existing, vacant, industrial building for use as a plumbing, HVAC, fire-protection, and related construction industries product assembly plant incorporating fabrication, staging, storage, shipping/receiving and associated office functions. The Proponent will salvage and restore materials when feasible, and where not feasible, will replace materials with materials of similar appearance so as to preserve the historic character of the building.

Cannistraro proposes a 50-year lease with the BRA, which owns the property.

25 Fid Kennedy Ave. project notification form (20M PDF).

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Comments

Can they dig for bodies first, though?

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Visions of $5 t-shirts and mom jeans for a moment.

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We might consider relocating some of those Widett circle locations to a renovated building here if the space - which looks very "adaptable" - could be appropriately adapted. Except Boston doesn't do planning.

We wait for a proposal, downsize it 2.687906%, add parking and affordable housing to meet community objections and then approve it.

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...unless you plan on bringing all of Boston's food in by ferry and delivering it by drone? Oooh...or maybe by race-car?!

Widett Circle is located near multiple major arteries - both inter- and intra-metropolitan, rail and road. I understand that this makes developers salivate, but how is that not a perfect place to put such a large collection of food wholesalers? (ie keeping Boston's restaurants and markets stocked should trump an in-city soccer stadium for Mr. Kraft).

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That location is FAR too valuable for housing office and retail. We will need another location for that type of zoning. Will admit - when I saw Navy I thought this was over in Charlestown. But no matter - you do realize there's a container port right next to that location - if you can get containers in and out - I'm guessing you can get some trucks with food in and out too.

If that's not the best location - fine - but it's going to have to move. Widett's fate as a future large scale mixeddevelopment site is sealed. Maybe not in the next 5 years - but in 10-20 for sure.

Done right the city will help them find a new location and help them move. Then they'll take it by eminent domain and rezone it and work with one or more developers to build desperately needed housing.

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That location is FAR too valuable for housing office and retail.

If that area were so appealing for that purpose (absent some huge land-grab/tax break scheme on the part of the city) then why hasn't adjacent Andrew Square/Upper D already seen more (ie 'any') development of that sort?

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Dot Ave is seeing the development activity, which is why the city just started a planning process to get some zoning in place before the horse is out of the barn.

As for your "tax break scheme" comment about Widett Circle, there already is one. The land owned by the New Boston Food Market in Widett Circle sit has been designated as "blighted" under Chapter 121A (the same designation those fat-cat developers get to lower their taxes), which depresses the assessed value of the land and corresponding taxes paid to the city (less than $1m per year.) If assessed and taxed for its fair market value, I think the wholesalers would think differently about staying there.

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Right now there's probably limited availability of land and zoning which prohibits very dense growth in the areas you mention. Compare and contrast to what you can get when you can basically build out an entire area - South Boston Waterfront prime example - but as others have pointed out - the waterfront is critical there. But look at the ink block and Washington Street as additional examples - and now Fenway and the up and coming DTX area. Still problems and a ways to go for all those areas - but when you do large scale development like that, one success seems to breed another and then two more and then four more. Lots of risk on the pioneers though - which is taken away in an area like this.

I don't have a dog in this fight except for a) reading the tea leaves and b) our city needs transit convenient reasonably priced housing ($1500-$4000 per month - which is "reasonable" in these parts). There are very few locations like this and the city is going to step in in some way in the not too distant future and make that happen.

Oh - and one more thing. The city basically can only raise money these days through property taxes. It has to build and build big or it can't pay its bills - which is troubling because if/when this building boom comes to a halt we have a lot of commitments that are going to be difficult to fill if we can't get more money out of the property tax and I don't see a city income tax flying.

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Widett future = rail infrastructure or you choke the system.

'' but how is that not a perfect place to put such a large collection of food wholesalers? "

They were basically already there and moved = / - , proximately. Stop and Shop used to run meat and produce warehouse out of D st. , among other food segment operations. Its "Déjà vu all over again"

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Call it The Lawn in the Navy Building in SoBo.

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Hipsters gotta eat ya know.

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This way if it rains we still have a lawn to play at!

- The Original SoBo Yuppie

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... I just saw the photo and the words "South Boston" and I thought somebody took my idea of an elevated line in Southie seriously enough to submit a proposal.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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I'm just shocked that it isn't going to be any of the following:

a Bank
a Froyo Shop
a Dunkin Donuts
a CVS
Overpriced "luxury" condos
Mixed Use

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But Boston needs Irish Pubs and generic Sports Bars too!

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As somone who works on drydock ave I can say this area desperately needs a CVS.

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I love this space, always thought it would make great artist space.

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Didn't there used to be an auto/truck mechanic in the far end of that building about 10-15 years ago?

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What is the Fid in Fid Kennedy Ave?

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The name Fid Kennedy Ave. honors the memory of Thomas "Fid" Kennedy, 1906-1961, a life long South Boston resident for the International Longshoreman's Union, Local 800 for 18 years. Fid, who started work on the docks at age 14, contributed greatly to the welfare of longshoremen who presently work the docks at the Park.

Source.

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