MassDOT today announced a licensing agreement has been reached to provide parking in two lots under the elevated portion of the I-93 Southeast Expressway in Boston.
The agreement with GTI Properties, a locally owned and operated property management and development company, calls for management and security for 235 parking spaces available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for use by the public. Approximately 60 parking spaces will be set aside for use by the nearby Pine Street Inn non-profit agency serving the homeless and 15 spaces for the Zipcar vehicle-sharing service. The facility will also include up to 12 spaces for electric vehicle parking and provide bike cages for up to 23 bicycles. In addition, GTI will host up to 12 events throughout the year at the facility and work with MassDOT to maintain the current revolving artistic lighting installations.
“This public-private partnership represents a huge win on so many levels,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “We have converted a former storage area into a space that will be useful, attractive, and serve the public and important neighborhood institutions while advancing the goal of promoting healthy transportation options.”
“Putting the vacant land under the highway to good use has been a “someday” wish for the neighborhoods that surround it,” said John J. Kiger, Director of Commercial Leasing at GTI Properties. “GTI Properties is excited to be part of the team bringing much-needed parking, safety and convenience, and artistic expression to an area that could have been forgotten but that is about to be celebrated.”
The five-year licensing agreement with GTI Properties requires staffing the parking areas with operations and security patrols around the clock. The parking spaces will be used by employees, residents and customers of the businesses in the adjacent neighborhoods along with the SoWa Sunday market and other events and festivals, in addition to the spaces set aside for the Pine Street Inn and Zipcar.
There will be overnight parking for residents of the South End, South Boston and Chinatown neighborhoods with a resident permit parking sticker. There will also be a limited amount of free parking for those neighborhoods during snow emergencies declared by Mayor Walsh, with the exact details to be worked out.
The 235 parking spaces in two lots covered in the agreement with GTI Properties represent Phase 1 of the I-93 parking project. Phase 2 scheduled for substantial completion in December 2014 will include construction of approximately 200 additional parking spaces accessible from Traveler Street, a new multi-modal path connecting the South Bay Harbor Trail to Kneeland Street, and a new, transportation-themed public space which extends the Boston Harborwalk along the Fort Point Channel.
When both phases of the project are completed, the parking facility will cover approximately eight acres of property bound by Albany Street and Frontage Road and adjacent to the South End neighborhood of Boston to the West, the Fort Point Channel and South Boston to the East. The parking is strategically located where I-90 and I-93 highway ramps converge with local roads, multimodal paths, transit connections, and the Fort Point Channel in an area transitioning from industrial to residential and commercial uses. MassDOT previously used the property for construction staging and storage.
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