Business & Tech

Massport picks developers for two prime waterfront parcels

The Massachusetts Port Authority has hooked two more developers for one of Boston’s last vacant waterfront properties.

The agency on Friday said it picked Cape Cod Shellfish & Seafood Co. to develop a three-acre piece of its “Massport Marine Terminal” in South Boston that will expand the seafood company’s seafood processing and shipping business. The agency also chose Pilot Development Partners to develop a 6.5-acre parcel for a mix of seafood uses. The two projects could create more than 100 new jobs.

Massport declined to divulge the financial terms of the two deals.


The agency has struggled for years to develop 30 acres in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, an industrial area in South Boston. Earlier this year, executives from Millennium Partners agreed to carve out seven acres for a seafood processing facility to be anchored by Stavis Seafoods. Massport then put the remaining 23 acres, spread among five parcels, out to bid.

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Massport said on Friday that it’s not ready to award development rights for the three remaining parcels. Instead, those parcels will be used for now, in part, for cruise ship parking and construction staging.

The marine terminal parcels come with a major hitch: a state requirement that the land be devoted to maritime industrial uses. The property is owned by the city, but controlled by Massport through a long-term lease.

The property landed in the public spotlight in 2015 after backers of the city’s bid for the 2024 Summer Games eyed the land for a new home for the New Boston Food Market wholesalers at Widett Circle, an industrial area between South Boston and the South End, to make way for an Olympic stadium in the Widett area. Mayor Martin J. Walsh still wants to see Widett Circle redeveloped, given its proximity to downtown Boston and the MBTA’s Red Line.

New Boston Food Market representative Michael Vaughan said the wholesalers remain open to moving and committed to working with Walsh’s office on those plans. It’s possible that they may consider one of the last pieces of the Massport site, he said, or another property in the South Boston industrial park.


“If we moved, the next logical place for us to go would be the South Boston Seaport,” said Vaughan, pointing to the variety of commercial tenants in the area. “The balance [of uses] that’s been achieved over there in the Ray Flynn Park ... is awesome.”

Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.