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Old 06-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #18
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Join Date: May 2006
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Re: Parcel 9 - The Greenway

from today's Boston Globe:

Firms tout credit as they seek to build
Interest high in Haymarket area

The Turnkpike Authority plans to choose a developer to build a complex on public land at North and Blackstone streets, near the Haymarket produce vendors. (John Tlumacki/ Globe Staff/ File 2008)
By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / June 2, 2009

Developers vying for the right to build on public land next to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston are trumpeting more than just aesthetics to garner support for their building proposals.

The four firms are also trying to out-duel each other on financing, each arguing that in this age of limited access to credit, its ability to secure funding should improve its standing in the eyes of the selection committee. The companies are competing for selection from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to build on a parcel of land at North and Blackstone streets, next to the weekend gathering of the Haymarket produce vendors.

"We've already obtained financing and we intend to do a responsibly-scaled project," said Eamon O'Marah, managing principal of Eastat Realty Capital LLC. The company is proposing to construct a five-story apartment building over a food and retail market and has produced written backing for funding from the AFL-CIO's investment trust and MassHousing, the state's affordable housing bank.

His competitors are also claiming the financial strength to deliver on their visions for the property. They include the Boston Museum, the DeNormandie Cos. of Boston, and the Gutierrez Co. of Burlington.

Gutierrez has proposed a six-story office building with a food market, and a company executive said the firm is prepared to commit millions of dollars to the project and has a strong relationship with Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and other large lenders.

"We're well capitalized and we have the equity in-house," said Bill Caulder, managing director of Gutierrez. "We have no reason to worry about setting up the capital structure."

The turnpike authority is expected to take months to select a developer for the site and an adjacent parcel it has slated for development. The city's planning arm, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, envisions a district similar to Seattle's popular Pike Place Market, and so is pushing for projects that would realize that vision as well as complement the existing Haymarket vendors.

Philip DeNormandie, principal of the DeNormandie Cos., which already owns a row of shops on Blackstone Street, said his plan would create the most sweeping changes for the Haymarket area. He's proposed building a glass canopy for the produce vendors, and a five-story building with a restaurant and market on the ground floor; the upper floors would contain art galleries or offices.

DeNormandie said his project has out-of-state financial support from the Rockefeller family. "We've been thinking about and waiting for this opportunity for years and years," he said. "If we are designated the developer, the result will be a fabulous project that unifies the whole area."

Executives with Boston Museum said their project, while short on cash currently, will attract a flood of investment if selected. Their proposal is for a five-story glass and terra cotta facility with a market and restaurant on the first floor, with the upper floors devoted to exhibits on Massachusetts history.

The proposal also includes a pedestrian bridge connecting the new building to Christopher Columbus Park on the waterfront. So far, museum officials said, they have raised about $8 million of the estimated $120 million cost, but they said its financial feasibility is supported by a study conducted by the research firm ConsultEcon Inc., which predicted the museum would generate up to 535,000 visitors annually by 2013.

"This is a tremendous educational economic development opportunity," said Frank Keefe, chief executive of Boston Museum. "Once we get designated, we will have a wonderful product to sell."

Casey Ross can be reached at

Here is one of the comments to the article, does anyone know anything about this:

FredQuimby wrote:
They should also finish the Haymarket-I93 on-off ramp in front of J. Pace's store and Haymarket Garage/Bus station while they are at it. It was never finished because the YMCA was supposed to be built above it, but it never went anywhere. Its kind of a no-mans land and really needs something to finish it off.
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