Three proposals to activate the Charlestown Navy Yard approved by the BPDA

Charlestown Navy Yard Aerial

BOSTON–Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) announced that three proposals to temporarily activate the Charlestown Navy Yard have been approved for the summer. The proposals include free public programming which will open up the Navy Yard and waterfront for residents and visitors from across Boston.

The BPDA received a total of six proposals in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) released last year. After a thorough review that included significant community engagement, three proposals have been offered temporary licensing agreements for operation in summer 2019. The proposals include:

  • An outdoor community gathering space with activities for residents and visitors of all ages, along with beer and wine service, will be sponsored by the Anthem Group. Activities will include exercise classes, performing arts events, movie nights, photography classes, family educational programs, and more. The pop-up space will move to different locations throughout Navy Yard over the course of the summer.
  • The Navy Yard’s USS Constitution Museum will offer free outdoor programming by bringing historical exhibits and signage outside of their current location to the new Dry Dock #2. The BPDA is supporting the USS Constitution with a $10,000 grant.
  • A tall ship, operated by the Charlestown-based Navy Yard Hospitality Group (owners of Pier 6 and the Reel House) will temporarily dock and be converted into a floating restaurant. The 245 foot long ship will include an artistic lighting installation connecting to Shipyard Park.

“By bringing activities for people of all ages to the Navy Yard, we hope to encourage a more inclusive and equitable waterfront for Boston’s residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Navy Yard is a place of national historic significance, and we are pleased with the creative proposals we received and the selections that will be moving forward this summer. We look forward to continuing to work with the community to ensure that the Navy Yard is a welcoming public space, while celebrating and respecting its history.”

“Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard is excited to see the implementation of the activation and programming initiatives,” said Michael Parker, Chairperson of the Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard, “The initiatives selected will highlight the Navy Yard’s maritime culture and the outdoor activities will bring the Charlestown community together along its beautiful waterfront.”

The proposals will operate on a trial period from May to October. Following the trial period, the BPDA will work with the community to assess the success of the programming. License agreements for the selected partners will expire at the end of October.

The BPDA has negotiated a rent structure which requires each revenue generating proposal to set aside a significant percentage of their gross sales for free public programming and investments in the public open spaces.

The BPDA also received significant support for the idea of bringing kayak rentals to the Navy Yard, but was unable to identify a financially viable location and partnership in the first round of responses. The BPDA is currently exploring releasing a new RFP specifically for kayak rentals in hopes of being able to deliver on this idea this summer.

Imagine Boston 2030, Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the city, identifies activation of open space along the waterfront to support future generations. The activation of the Charlestown Navy Yard is consistent with the goals of Imagine Boston 2030 by leveraging an underutilized waterfront site to support public open space, and expand connections to and the diversity of experiences along the waterfront. The BPDA has recently launched a new website on the history of Navy Yard Planning.