The City Council unanimously approved a loan order in the amount of $1.7 million for the purposes of acquiring by eminent domain the property known as “The Boatyard” located at 29 Thayer Avenue.
The property, located next to Gibson Park, is an essential piece in the RiverFront Master Plan for the neighborhood located in the Point of Pines section of Revere.
Residents have been excited about The Boatyard property since it was first announced that a new maritime center might be constructed on the property, opening the door for recreational activities such as paddle boating, rowing, and kayaking on the Pines River.
Elle Baker, open space and environmental planner in the Planning and Development Department, told the Council that “the acquisition of this property at 29 Thayer Avenue is a monumental step toward advancing the goals of the RiverFront Master Plan and to expand and enhance our recreational opportunities.”
Baker said The Boatyard property offers appropriate waterfront access for non-motorized boating, including a suitable site for a dock to support rowing as an official elite sport for “the youth and the entire community.”
City Planner Frank Stringi said, “I think we’re all aware how important it is that we seize this opportunity in acquiring this parcel, 50,000 square feet, approximately 200 linear feet of shoreline. It’s an intricate component of the RiverFront Master Plan. When you add this piece to the puzzle, that will give the City of Revere ownership of over 3,000 linear feet of shoreline along Mills Avenue, unobstructed all the way along Gibson Park. And when you add the development of the G and J site with their proposed boardwalks and opening up access to that section of the river, that adds another 1,000 linear feet.”
Elaine Hurley, a member of the RiverFront advisory group, offered her support of the property acquisition. “Tonight, 2021, we finally have the development that fits our neighborhood perfectly, a place for children to learn just how important the ocean is,” said Hurley, crediting the late Ward 5 city councillor, John Arrigo (father of Mayor Brian Arrigo), whom she said worked tirelessly to protect the property when it was very vulnerable to development.
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers began his remarks by thanking “Mrs. Elaine Hurley for defending the neighborhood down there for so many years.”
Powers also lauded his Council colleagues for defeating other development proposals for the property, including one for 74 rental units.
“I want to thank my colleagues and ask them to support this 100 percent,” said Powers. “It’s probably one of the best things we’ll do on this City Council in the term we’re on now.”
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino said, “I had the pleasure of sitting on the advisory board with many people that are here today, and I am so excited to support this project. This parcel of land was an integral part of the big picture and a big part of this project. It’s so important that we have more open space in the City of Revere that we can actually access the water. This project is going to be phenomenal. This proposal is just a huge sigh of relief not only for the Council, but for the residents of that neighborhood to know that this area will be a place the public can utilize and will not be residential. And it will be a space the city can take care of and that generations can enjoy that have never had this before.”
Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe said he didn’t think the acquisition “would happen this quickly.”
“I challenged the mayor and his administration to hold his feet to the fire and it was less than two months from the approval, so I’m excited that they moved quickly and swiftly to get this done,” said Keefe. “I agree with Councillor Powers that this might be one of the most important, beneficial projects that we’re getting in the city in the next couple of years, so beautiful work.”
“I’m in awe how great this project’s going to be,” offered Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky.
Concluded Council President Anthony Zambuto, “This is a long time coming, and like some of my colleagues have said, there were a lot of skeptics. Some of us kept pushing back and saying that this is going to be transformational for that neighborhood. This is part of keeping the promise. That boatyard was absolutely an integral part of the Master Plan. This is a great night for the City of Revere. It’s a great night for the Point of Pines and the Riverside area. I just hope I’m around to see this transformation of that neighborhood and I want to see the kids taking kayaking lessons and all that good stuff that’s going to come along with this wonderful thing.