Port Norfolk’s Neponset Wharf project updated; traffic stirs talk

Rendering of some of the 2 acres of open space proposed for the marina-adjacent site at Port Norfolk. A map shows the placement of 4 buildings and ground level floor plans for the 7.6 acres of City Point Capital's project.

A new waterfront development featuring 150 condos, a small hotel, a restaurant, and marina uses proposed for Port Norfolk will see about 1,440 new vehicle trips per day pass through the site, according to project forms submitted to the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on Friday.

South Boston-based City Point Capital plans to raze the MarineMax/Russo Marine site at 24 Ericsson St. and construct the condos, a 25-room hotel, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, 185 parking spaces, and a boat storage facility that could handle about 75 vessels, the submission said.

The 7.6-acre site includes about 3.6 acres of developed land and 4 acres of watersheet. It hosts water-dependent uses, including a marina of some 75 slips and supporting buildings for marine services, retail, and storage, according to the project and environmental notification forms filed with the BPDA. 

“The entire site was first filled and developed for industrial and commercial uses over 100 years ago, and has continued to serve water-dependent uses since,” the filing reads.

RODE Architects is working on the design for the development. City Point states in the filing that an 18-month construction schedule could begin in the fall of 2018, with substantial completion of the project expected in spring 2020.

Four new buildings, with a total of 307,000 square feet, would spread along the Neponset River waterfront, and developers say they will maintain the existing marina usage. City Point would reconfigure docks and piers and build a Shore Shack refreshment stand with public restrooms.

“The new residential units, retail and hotel uses complement the water-dependent facilities by adding vitality and activity to this prominent location where the Neponset River meets Boston Harbor,” City Point states.

About two acres of landscaped outdoor space would be featured at the Shore Shack on the site, along with a dog park, tidal garden, game court, public fishing pier, Harborwalk, facilities for kayak launching and storage, and a marina support building with bait, tackle, ice, fuel, and other supplies.

The Neponset Wharf development “will provide over 50 percent of the site for public outdoor space, and significantly expand public accessibility to this unique waterfront property,” the filing reads. 

Locals were abuzz on Twitter this weekend about the amount of new vehicular traffic, which had been a chief concern at the first meeting to discuss the project in early June. The 1,440 daily new trips account for both local modes of transportation sharing and normal occupancy. “For a conservative analysis reflecting limited transit service, it is assumed that zero percent of trips will be transit trips, and five percent of trips will be bicycle or walk trips,” the filing reads.

A new pedestrian bridge across Pine Neck Creek to connect the project site and Tenean Beach is also being floated by the developers.

City Point said in its draft environmental impact report that a detailed traffic analysis will identify existing and future (year 2024) traffic conditions, informed by input from the community as well as BPDA and transportation officials. “Improvements to address existing problems as well as potential impacts due to the project itself will be explored,” the firm said.