2017 will be bringing some new developments and other changes to the Boston area. Here are a few projects to keep an eye out for next year.
Development of South Boston Helipad
The city and the state have selected a South Boston pier to serve as downtown Boston’s first public-use helipad in 16 years. The landing platform, which will be located on a city-owned pier behind the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, will be tied to the future Fort Point headquarters for General Electric. Officials estimate that the helipad could accommodate up to 20 flights per day.
All of the details for the new helipad are yet to be worked out, with options including building on the pier, creating a floating barge next to the pier or building the helipad on adjacent property controlled by the Massachusetts Port Authority. The construction timetable and the cost of the project are also currently up in the air. A task force has been formed to look into the project and will report back to the city and the state by mid-January.
Redeveloping the Volpe Transportation Hub
M.I.T. was recently selected by the federal government to redevelop the Volpe transportation hub in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. Considered to be one of the nation’s choicest development sites, the 14-acre site was once rumored to be the eventual host of New England’s tallest building. Following years of speculation and several months of formal request for proposals, the federal government chose M.I.T. over at least six other entities that wanted to build on the land. Details regarding M.I.T.’s plans for the site have not been released, but the university is expected to develop a new Volpe hub along with something else.
Soccer Stadium Comes to Boston
2017 could also be the year that a soccer stadium comes to Boston. Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh have both voiced their support for the development of a soccer stadium in Dorchester. The idea has been proposed by Robert Kraft, who has holdings in both the New England Patriots football team and the New England Revolution soccer team. Kraft’s proposal involves building a stadium that would seat 20,000 to 25,000 people on the site of the shuttered Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester. The Bayside site is currently owned by the University of Massachusetts, but negotiations for the site are reportedly ongoing. Of course, there are other issues to deal with as well, such as how to handle the increased traffic to the area and how to compensate residents who will be affected by the construction.
Starting the Green Line Extension
A Green Line extension through Somerville into Medford has been under discussion for some time now, with no real movement forward. As proposed, the project would be the biggest transit project in the region since the Bid Dig and one of the biggest in the country. Numerous delays have stood in the way of its development, but 2017 is likely to be the year that it either finally gets underway or is scrapped completely.