Proposals for a two-building hotel on the edge of Lewis Wharf on the waterfront have been ruled out by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

They stated that the developers cannot build onto the wharves, piers and pilings that currently sit below water at high tide, meaning that the developers behind the 277-room hotel need to rethink their plans.

This is not the only development proposal that is under scrutiny by state regulators, due to concerns that new developments will block off public access to the harbor.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is currently in the process of rezoning the downtown waterfront, from Long Wharf to the Northern Avenue Bridge and these changes could allow for at least two towers to be built, but they also need to be signed off by the state.

The environmental regulators view the waterfront development differently than the BRA, but the decision for Lewis Wharf could potentially affect other proposed developments such as the tower at 150 Seaport.

Plans for Lewis Wharf include a two-building hotel, a park and an underground garage. Of the complex development, 2.4 acres would sit on the wharf and another 1.6 acres has been planned to sit on the decayed piers in the harbor.

Since most of the piers are submerged at high tide, it was ruled that they don’t count as existing pile fields and developers can not build on them.

These rulings are not the final say on the project, however it could mean that the shoreline for the project will be significantly reduced.

Many community groups and organizations are fighting against more waterfront development, worried that it is too aggressive for the neighborhood and takes away from public space.

Check back for an update on further developments. 

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