To some, it’s a surprise that Boston still has a working port, but of course, without out, we’d have no “Seaport”, now, would we?
There are several different distinct neighborhoods in the Seaport: the “Seaport”, which is where all the new construction is going; Fort Point Channel, which has existed as a neighborhood for decades; and the Boston Marine Industrial Park (BMIP), where things related to ships and shipping still take place. All together, some would consider it the “South Boston Waterfront”, but you can call it what you want (except when talking to a person from South Boston …).
Within the BMIP, there are restrictions on what types of companies can operate, the idea being that the city wants to maintain the fishing / shipping industry within the city’s borders, for economic reasons. An active port means jobs plus accessibility to products coming in from around the world. (The city is dredging its harbor, btw, so that the biggest of container ships can dock in Boston.)
This doesn’t mean that other industries can’t set up shop within the BMIP, just that the BPDA/EDIC regulates how much of each is within the park’s borders. (There is some legality to this, although I’m not sure how restrictive the rules are, or who made them ..)
Non-marine industries are opening in the BMIP all the time, most recently with Reebok leasing space in the (massive) Boston Design Center (itself a non-marine use). (That building has been re-branded as the Innovation & Design Center, btw.)
It’s a combination of activities that makes this area of Boston different than a lot of places and what will drive tenants into the market,” said Quentin Reynolds, managing director of investments for Boston-based Davis Cos., at a NAIOP Massachusetts forum Tuesday. “They’re not looking at shiny glass towers. It’s this mixed use of technology and gritty manufacturing and process.
Meanwhile, two new hotels are on the boards for construction in the coming years.