The City of Revere moved a huge step closer to the redevelopment of the Boatyard property at 29 Thayer Ave. following a communication at the City Council from City Auditor Richard Viscay requesting a loan order for $1.725 million for the purpose of acquiring the property.
The property is located next to Gibson Park and is part of the Riverfront Master Plan that will also see a major residential development by Redgate on the nearby G and J Towing site. One of the long-term goals is the construction of a maritime center that would facilitate community boating programs and ultimately the launching of a Revere High School rowing team.
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino said she was “so excited” to see the acquisition of the property move forward.
“This property has given the residents in Riverside anxiety for so many years,” said Giannino. “I want to applaud the City for stepping up and for purchasing this land – for open space, greenspace, recreational space – quite frankly, that’s what we’re in need of right now. We don’t have enough of that in the city of Revere. We have a beautiful waterfront, but we don’t have a way for people to access it. We don’t have a boat ramp, we don’t have a way for people to get into the water and take advantage of it, so I think this is great and I’m really excited.”
Councillor-at-Large Gerry Visconti commended Mayor Brian Arrigo for “making this happen.”
“[Councillor Keefe] and I thought purchasing the Boatyard was an intricate part of the Riverfront project and there were questions on whether or not that was going to take place,” said Visconti. “The Arrigo Administration got it done, and I want to say thank you to the Administration for getting it done. It’s the start of a new development down there that’s going to transform that whole area, and I’m glad to see we are moving forward in that direction.”
Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe said he was happy to see the property acquisition process taking place.
“As Councillor Giannino mentioned, we’re a huge oceanfront, riverside community with no public launch, no public access – outside of the Beach, which is beautiful,” said Keefe. “To be able to open this up and create this key parcel for the boating community, for the rowing community, for recreational space – I promised the Mayor and Mr. Viscay and many others that I would bring this issue up every single month. I’m glad to hear this is going to be happening.”
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers, who has long sought to redevelop the property with the best interests of the neighbors in mind also welcomed the key step being taken toward the transformation of the Boatyard property.
“Once and for all, this will be put the people’s minds in Riverside to rest, without having to worry about developers coming in there and developing,” said Powers. “It’s an R-A (Residential, Agricultural) District down there, so it’s very important the city owns this property to fend off any future development proposals. I talked to Mayor Arrigo and we’re looking to putting in community boating and [an RHS] crew program.”
Powers said he could envision a day that Revere High students would be eligible for college scholarships in the sport of crew.
Council President Anthony Zambuto said, “This [property] was the key piece to make that whole transformation of that neighborhood happen. I am thrilled we got this done early. Well done to the Arrigo Adminstration, good job.”