Fidelity proposes a new public plaza as a part of the Trade Center overhaul

New Developments News Boston South Boston
Rendering of the proposed Seaport World Trade Center project.
Rendering of the proposed World Trade Center project. Renders created by Cityscape Digital for Pembroke

“Transformative” was the word Pembroke, the real estate arm of Fidelity Investments, used to describe the proposed overhaul of the World Trade Center and Commonwealth Pier in the Seaport.

If approved, the project would demolish Commonwealth Hall and replace it with public outdoor space on the waterfront totaling roughly 163,500 square feet, according to a news release. Shovels would be in the ground early next year, with the project completed by 2024.

The proposal includes 25,000 square feet for a “public plaza,” with areas for “outdoor events, open markets and year-round activities,” the release said. There would be substantially more retail and restaurant space, some 45,000 square feet on Seaport Boulevard, as well as within the Headhouse itself.

The sidewalks along Seaport Boulevard will be widened, plus it would be easier to get into the trade center’s upper level, according to the release. The Seaport Hotel would have new spaces for events and conferences. Loading docks would be taken out to help make the area more pedestrian friendly.

Rendering of the proposed World Trade Center project. —Renders created by Cityscape Digital for Pembroke

The trade center itself will receive a face-lift to improve the facility for the Fidelity Investments employees who work there — The Boston Globe reports that’s about 1,500 people now and that the company anticipates that number to stay about the same after construction. Fidelity controls the roughly 800,000-square-foot complex through a long-term lease with the Massachusetts Port Authority. 

Pembroke first notified the city of the project on Dec. 7 with a letter of intent. The company hasn’t revealed how much the project would cost; Michael Aalto, a spokesman, would say only that it’s “a first-rate, high quality project.”

“While the existing building and Project Site require a significant infrastructure investment to enable the adaptive re-use and revitalization, the Project has the potential to create an exciting, flexible and creative workspace that attracts and retains talented employees and provides a unique waterfront experience for the public,” the letter says.

Pembroke was slated to file more detailed plans with the city on Wednesday, according to the Globe.

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