Boston Planning and Development Board Discuss Developments in Seaport

In an old city like Boston, there is something about development in the red-hot Seaport that gets people to take notice.

"The Seaport is interesting to everybody," Brian Golden, Director of the Boston Planning and Development Agency said. "It is very rare in an old big city to have hundreds of acres ripe for developments."

On Thursday, the city's planning agency set to decide what to do with 7.86 million square feet of prime space in Seaport Square.

WS Development wants to build 700 housing sites, three civic spaces, and three perfuming arts venues on the site, adding it will lead to 9,000 permanent jobs, over 100 shops, cafes, restaurants and office spaces.

"There is going to be significant new open space that could be a magnet for people," Golden said.

Ahead of Thursday's vote, WS Development is offering additional incentives, including agreeing that District Hall, a communal meeting space can stay until 2033. Its current lease could end as early as 2023.

"For us it is definitely a relief, but nothing is signed yet but we are very cautiously optimistic, Becky Donner, Director of District Hall, said. "I think by knowing how long our lease is going to extend we are able to plan a little bit more for the future."

Robert Strubie has worked in the Seaport for the last 28 years.

"This all used to be dirt,' Strubie said, pointing to a building. "You really don't know what is going on because there is so much work here."

The full Boston Planning and Development Agency board is set to consider the development on Thursday night. Golden said his agency is recommending the project move forward.

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