The program of Blackstone Market has been designed specifically to support the Market District and surrounding communities.
The Blackstone Market team generated the initial Parcel 9 proposal in response to key stakeholder and community desires. With this goal as a continuing priority for the development team, the following changes have been made in response to community feedback received since the initial proposal (March 2012) and its subsequent addendum (November 2012) were made public:
• Add a much-needed community meeting room to benefit local neighborhoods. A dedicated community and function space now occupies the third level near Hanover Street and has 360 degree views to the green roof and the surrounding Market District.
• Additional height toward North Street would be okay as long as the portion of the building toward Hanover Street remains low and retains key views to the Blackstone Block. An additional two levels have been added to the residential portion of the development to add local patronage for the Market District and to strengthen the overall Blackstone Market proposal.
• What about the development of the Blackstone Block? The Blackstone Market team is in a unique position to accelerate the development of both sides of Blackstone Street and there is great interest in seeing this historic fabric regain a healthy level of activity and occupancy. New footprints to create a strong street edge and through-block pedestrian connections are show in plans throughout this revised proposal.
• Re-think the concept for the rooftop above level 2. Make the elevated landscape beautiful, but more flexible for future use. What was previously an urban agriculture center has become a flexible green roof that can be planted in phases with an eye toward an innovative future use.
• Set back the ground level of the building along Blackstone Street. The HPA needs to retain three rows of sales along Blackstone Street and a 20’ emergency vehicle access way must remain clear at all times so the ground level is set back 8’ from its previous location
In addition to the changes above, the following points are essential to achieving a symbiotic relationship between Blackstone Market and the surrounding neighborhoods it will serve:
• Noise. While the restaurants open on to dining terraces that face onto the street, the terraces are for seated dining and are not expected to generate the high volumes of sound that a bar or similar establishment might produce.
• Hours of operation. The market hours will be 9am-9pm to serve the needs of commuters on their way home and early morning weekend shoppers. The restaurant and residential program will add a hum of activity and a visual glow to the neighborhood when the Market District shuts down for the evening.
• Views. The Blackstone Market design arises primarily from the desire to preserve and frame excellent views to the historic urban fabric within which it sits and to create a pleasing vista from the North End and the Greenway. Views from the building out into the urban context are also integral to the design of the restaurants, residences and community/function room above the market.
Few cities in the country have the ingredients to create a successful Market District. Boston has just such an opportunity, given the active and successful mixed-use neighborhoods surrounding the Market District, and the alignment of development opportunities at the critical node between Quincy Market and the North End. Coupled with the Public Market in Parcel 7, the important Haymarket pushcart operations, and the successful restaurants and food purveyors of the Blackstone Block, the North End, and Quincy Market, Blackstone Market will complete the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realize the long-desired Boston Market District.
The Blackstone Market development partnership is formed by Ed Nardi of Cresset Group, developer of Liberty Wharf on the South Boston waterfront, and Philip DeNormandie of the DeNormandie Companies, owner of ten properties on the historic Blackstone block. Cresset’s success at Liberty Wharf and their significant urban residential experience, combined with DeNormandie’s knowledge of Haymarket vendors and the Blackstone Block, ensure a successful mixed-use project that will be informed by both relevant development feasibility and deeply embedded knowledge of the site and stakeholders.
The architectural team is led by Tim Love of Utile, architect of the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and Sy Mintz, architect of the Bostonian Hotel on the Blackstone Block. Tim’s deep dedication to the public spaces and buildings of Boston, in combination with Sy’s breadth of local experience and long-standing relationship with the HPA, form a design partnership that will enable excellent urban design and a building that fits seamlessly into the current cultural and historic fabric.
Blackstone Market strengthens the pedestrian connections between the North End and Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market. By removing the curbs along Blackstone Street and providing clear and convenient connections through the Parcel 9 block, our proposal will also enhance and increase the pedestrian links between the Greenway and the historic Blackstone Block while creating a better environment for the Haymarket pushcart vendors and their patrons.
The Blackstone Market has been conceived as a key piece of a larger Market District redevelopment-all catalyzed by the City of Boston's vision for the Market District and the new life downtown since MassDOT's completion of the Central Artery/Tunnel Project and the Greenway.
Blackstone Market, as a physical place and in its diverse programming, will serve as an important anchor for the Market District and will help define a powerful, inviting pedestrian link between Quincy Market and the North End.
Along with the Boston Public Market, the Haymarket pushcart vendors, and existing food purveyors in the Blackstone Block, Blackstone Market is a key element in the success of the Market District. The carefully designed uses complement and enhance pre-existing local program with the goal of bringing more life and activity to the district as a whole.
The scale, materials, and texture of the new building harmonize with existing buildings on the Blackstone Block. While resonating with its historic surroundings, Blackstone Market will meet contemporary expectations for environmental sustainability through major design considerations such as a green roof and a highly efficient HVAC system. The project will also create a storage and operational infrastructure that aims for a zero waste solution to the complex disposal needs of the surrounding vendors and interior uses.
Blackstone Street...is the chief street of the market district and demonstrates the fact that food, like life, can be beautiful. Blushful tomatoes greet the eye; red, russet, and yellow apples; jolly peppers and sweet corn grinning toothfully. A sunset in vegetables! The red, red cheeks of the salesmen matching their choicest sirloins!