Earlier this month, State Representative David Biele (D-Boston) filed legislation which would mandate state review and legislative approval before residential housing can be built at 776 Summer Street, the former Boston Edison Power Plant. 

The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) currently holds a residential deed restriction which prevents housing from being built at the Boston Edison Power Plant, which abuts Conley Terminal.  Massport, which operates Conley Terminal, negotiated the deed restriction in 2014 during planning of the Thomas Butler Freight Corridor, which connected Conley Terminal to Summer Street. 

Rep. Biele’s bill, HD3913: An Act relating to public land use restrictions in the South Boston section of the City of Boston, would require analysis of the deed restriction’s fair market value by several legislative committees and the inspector general.  Following review, the bill would also require two-thirds approval of the Massachusetts Legislature to lift Massport’s deed restriction.

 “We are in uncharted territory because Massport has never held a residential deed restriction” said Rep. Biele.  “In recent years, the state and federal government have approved over $450 million in investments for Conley Terminal, a vital economic engine for the Commonwealth and this region.  This legislation will establish a clear and transparent process to help guide review of proposals at this location, while also protecting Conley Terminal and port operations.”

The bill will be assigned to a legislative committee for further review and is guaranteed a public hearing to discuss its merits.