Maritime Industry Important To Boston’s Economy

Marketing brochures, real estate analysts, urban planners and developers are relentlessly touting to bankers and investors that Boston, its waterfront and in particular the greater South Boston neighborhood is the place to invest their money.

Just last week, the Boston Globe spotlighted the use of the government’s EB-5 visa program, which grants a green card to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in a US business that creates at least 10 jobs. 10 Jobs?

The backdrop was the development called Echelon Seaport — $900 million worth of luxury condos and apartments set to rise from a parking lot on Seaport Boulevard. The developer’s spokesperson Alex Shing of Los Angeles-based Cottonwood Management spoke about the strong interest from investors all over the globe who wanted to buy into Boston’s booming Seaport. His quote is startling in and of itself,  Bottom of Form

“This is probably the most valuable piece of dirt in the world”.

This phenomenon underscores the efforts of South Boston’s elected officials, residents, the shipping industry, seafood processors and other waterfront businesses and service providers, not the least of which being the stevedores, dockworkers and operators of the International Longshoreman Association, many of whom are local residents, to oppose the current proposal for the Edison Power Plant as it winds its way through the maze of public agencies. We are talking more than 7000 jobs.

The agency of focus is the Coast Zone Management division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (see accompanying article elsewhere in this publication titled CZM-A Condensed Overview). CZM has responsibility for reviewing the request by the developer of the Edison Plant to remove key restrictions relative to housing, hotels and other public access matters from the DPA protection.  If the working port is important to our readership, your voices can be heard through the public comment process.

The deadline for comments is tomorrow Friday August 11 by close of business (see contact names and info below). The CZM also conducts a thorough information gathering process once the comment period closes, but within no more than 6 months.

The concern for maritime jobs, coupled with the $75mm public investments already made to the Haul Road, which alleviates traffic congestion and facilitates timely truck transport in and out of Conley Terminal and the nearly $1 billion state and federal for the dredging of Boston Harbor, begs the question about the need for yet another raiding of a valuable asset necessary to preserve and protect the maritime industry and related commercial interests. Let your voice be heard.


For comments:

Bruce Carlisle – CZM Director

Email: 617-626-1205


Lisa Berry Engler – CZM Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator 
Email: 617-626-1230