City of Boston Plans to Sell 18-Acre Parcel

This past Wednesday, 1-acre of land in Kendall Square fetched $50.5m, a record-setting number. Now, Boston City officials are planning to sell an 18-acre property along Frontage Road to what could become a one-of-a-kind redevelopment opportunity. Located just south of the property is Widett Circle, an 18.5-acre industrial parcel currently owned by the New Boston Food Market.

Currently home to a City tow lot, the property at Frontage Road was once a “key part of the Boston 2024 committee’s stadium plan before the Olympics bid imploded,” according to the Boston Globe. Today, the site has been in discussion to house the New England Revolution after plans to construct a stadium at Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester derailed following fierce neighborhood opposition.

Frontage Road & Widett Circle Aerials

Proposed Olympic Stadium at Widett Circle. Source: Boston Globe/IOC

Chris Osgood, a top aide to Mayor Walsh, said “something needs to happen soon [at Frontage & Widett Circle]. Upkeep is getting more expensive for the property’s aging structures… the AC went out in one of the Frontage Road buildings this morning.”

Regardless, Mayor Walsh’s administration will need to vote to transfer the parcel to the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). Similarly, at the previous Winthrop Square Garage, a City-owned asset, local officials needed to vote before listing the property. Today, Millennium Partners plans to construct a $1.3 billion, 691-foot-tall tower. The development will contain 500 luxury condominiums and host over 750,000 square feet of Class-A office space.

Rendering of Winthrop Tower & Previous Garage Site. Source: David Ryan/Boston Globe

Although both Frontage Road and Widett Circle encompass nearly 50-acres of developable land, the second largest re-develop play within the Urban Core and second only to Suffolk Downs, the sites will require major investment and rezoning.

Heather Campisano, chief of the BPDA said her agency is “still crafting the bidding parameters; factors will likely include economic impact and climate resiliency. The goal is to cast a wide net, and be open to a range of possible projects. And yes, she says those parameters might accommodate an athletic facility, should one be in the mix.”

Source: Boston Globe