A developer on Friday will begin construction of a 21-story apartment tower at Pier 4, kicking off a multi-year effort to remake one of the last prime pieces of real estate on the South Boston Waterfront.
Hanover Co. of Houston will construct 369 apartments, retail space, and underground parking at the beginning of the pier on Northern Avenue, the company's first major project in Boston. Future phases will bring a condominium building, offices or a hotel, restaurants, and a public park at the tip of the pier.
The Hanover project, estimated to cost $195 million, is the fourth large apartment complex to get started this year on the waterfront, which is finally seeing the kind of construction activity that has been promised for decades. An executive with the company said its new building, 100 Pier 4, will be attractive to renters because of its sweeping views.
"It will stand out as one of the few apartment buildings in Boston that actually touches the water," said David Hall, a partner with Hanover Co., whose architect, ADD Inc., has designed the building in an L shape to maximize its exposure to the harbor.
The remaining phases of work on the pier will be led by New England Development, which bought the property from Anthony Athanas, the original owner of Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant, in the late 1990s. A spokesman for Anthony's said yesterday its owners are still working on plans to reopen in one of the new buildings, but no formal deal has been announced.
Athanas's plan to redevelop Pier 4 in the 1980s initiated the much broader effort to transform this largely industrial area into a new mixed-use neighborhood with offices, homes, public parks, and restaurants. Now, it is one of the last sites along the water to be redeveloped.
In total, the pier will get three new buildings. The apartment tower will be followed by two other large buildings that will contain a mix of stores, hotel rooms, and offices. The public park will be situated where Anthony's Pier 4 now stands.
Hall said 100 Pier 4 will include 258 underground parking spaces and units from studios to three bedrooms. Of the 369 apartments, 50 will be so-called "innovation units" which are designed to be more compact and affordable for young workers in the district. Rents for the units have not been determined.
The project also contains a larger ground-floor retail space, although no tenant has been named.
In a statement yesterday, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who has renamed the area the "Innovation District," said redevelopment activity is accelerating across the waterfront. "We have four major housing developments under construction, the future headquarters of Vertex Pharmaceuticals well underway, and the nation's first public innovation center scheduled to open this spring," the statement said.
Casey Ross can be reached at email@example.com.