The $20M development project expands the seafood industry cluster in South Boston
Representatives of Boston Sword & Tuna (BST) and Pilot Development Partners, Inc. (Pilot) joined Congressman Stephen Lynch, Mayor Marty Walsh, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), and local officials in a celebration to kick off the construction of a new headquarters for BST, which expands the seafood industry cluster in South Boston.
“I am very happy to welcome Boston Sword and Tuna to South Boston,” said Congressman Lynch. “As someone who worked in the Port of Boston, I value the fact that the Massport Marine Terminal has provided great jobs for residents for many years and companies like Boston Sword and Tuna will help strengthen our community and advance commercial and industrial development.” The $20M development project creates a nearly 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art seafood processing plant for BST on a portion of a 6.5-acre Massport-controlled waterfront property known as Parcel 6. Parcel 6 is part of the so-called Massport Marine Terminal (MMT). Massport has a lease agreement with the Boston Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC) on the 40-acre site through February 2070.
“Boston Sword and Tuna has an incredible history from its Sicilian roots to its new roots in Boston, and now having their own building on Boston’s waterfront,” said Mayor Walsh. “This company is part of a growing seafood processing cluster that is important to Boston’s working port and our economy as a whole. I look forward to seeing their continued success as they grow their business and serve their customers here in Boston and around the world.” The seafood processing plant will include 36,000 square feet of processing area, a test kitchen for new product trials, 10 loading bays, a small gym for employees, and 13,000 square feet of mezzanine office space. A catwalk structure will also be built inside the plant to give customers and visitors a birds-eye-view of the facility during tours. Currently, BST is a tenant at the Harbor Seafood Center on Seafood Way.
“Having our own building in South Boston will have a big impact on how we do business,” said BST President Michael Scola. “The bigger space will enable us to meet internationally recognized quality standards that will allow us to grow and better serve our customers globally. The new facility will also give our employees a much bigger and brighter work environment. They deserve it because they all work so hard to make us the best seafood company out there.”
Scola came from a family of fishermen with roots in Sicily, Italy. Through the years, his family has left footprints along the South Boston waterfront, starting from the R&P Seafood/Shellfish (R&P) company on Fish Pier, which his father co-founded in 1972. Scola and his brothers, Paul and Steven, eventually took the reins of R&P. Then, in 1999, they started adding divisions in pursuit of becoming America’s one-stop-shop for seafood. In 2003, BST was born and merged with R&P in 2007. In 2010, Scola partnered with Larry Dore, whose 30 years of experience in the seafood industry helped guide the company’s continued growth.
The company currently has 135 employees from the Greater Boston area and has plans to hire 15-20 more local workers in the next couple of years. “I applaud Boston Sword & Tuna, as well as Pilot Development, for seeing the potential in the Massport Marine Terminal,” said State Representative David Biele (D-4th Suffolk). “The Port of Boston is alive and well. I am encouraged to see these types of investments in the South Boston Waterfront.” In June 2017, Massport tapped Pilot to develop Parcel 6 at the MMT. Pilot was approved to sublease a section of the vacant lot to BST in November 2018. “Boston Sword & Tuna is a leader in the seafood industry,” said Kathryn Maynes, Vice President of Pilot Development Partners, Inc. “We’re thrilled to have a wonderful client to support the seafood industry and the employees that they will be bringing to this part of the working Port of Boston.
Plans for the new building are environmentally-friendly. The building’s design complies with Massport’s Floodproofing Guidelines and meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifiability standards. “We have designed the project with climate change in mind,” said Eden Milroy, President of Pilot Development Partners, Inc. “We are adding more earth to the property and constructing the building 4 feet higher than usual based on calculations for sea levels and flood levels in 2070.” Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The location will keep BST within 3 miles from Logan International Airport. “Investing in the working port is essential to keeping these industries vibrant,” said Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty. “The Scola family has been down on the South Boston waterfront for decades, providing good jobs and great seafood.”
“The working port in Boston has provided quality blue-collar jobs for generations,” said Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn. “I am thrilled to see marine industrial development moving forward and Boston Sword & Tuna building a new home at the Massport Marine Terminal.” “This development represents a major milestone for the Port of Boston and the city’s maritime history continues to flourish,” said Acting Massport CEO John Pranckevicius. “This is just the first of what will be a number of seafood and maritime businesses on this blank canvas section of South Boston. We are delighted to see the Scola family and Boston Sword & Tuna grow their business on the Massport Marine Terminal. The proximity to Logan Airport, the interstate highway, and the Port of Boston make the Massport Marine Terminal a strategic location for future maritime businesses.
Pilot is also intending to develop a seafood processing plant or cold storage facility on an adjacent portion of Parcel 6. A 280-space mixed-use garage for maritime industrial uses, with a 2,500 square foot meeting hall for the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and a 5,000 square foot seafood/sandwich shop anticipated to be operated by BST, are also being proposed on the boundary along Fid Kennedy Avenue. The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field, and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $18 billion annually and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. For more information please visit massport.com.NOTE:
Please use the following credit for the rendering of the project: “Image Courtesy of Spalding Tougias Architects, Inc.” https://www.dropbox.com/s/ybiu6g0rbpwctjh/MMT%206%20BST%20Entrance.TIF?dl=0