A development site next door to the Hub’s new convention center has emerged as a top contender as the FBI pushes ahead with plans to build a giant Boston area headquarters.
Hub developer Peter Palandjian has put in
a proposal to build the FBI a roughly 300,000-square-foot Boston command
center on D Street near the Boston Convention & Exhibition
Center, real estate executives familiar with the plan said.
Palandjian, who is head of Intercontinental Real Estate, is currently planning a major housing complex for the tract in South Boston’s emerging Seaport district. But the developer is prepared to switch projects if the FBI, which has taken a serious interest in his development site, wants to build its headquarters there, executives said.
“It’s certainly a site that would work for the FBI,” said David
Begelfer, head of the local chapter of the National Association of Industrial
and Office Properties. It’s also less expensive than competing sites, he
Another plus for Palandjian’s development site is that it meets several important FBI security requirements, including room for an extensive setback from the street.
Still, Palandjian’s drive to secure the prestigious FBI project faces stiff competition from several other developers. The most formidable opponent is the proposed Fan Pier project, slated to take shape on the harbor between the Moakley federal courthouse and Anthony’s Pier 4.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino has pushed the idea of locating the FBI headquarters at Fan Pier, currently slated to feature upscale condo, hotel and office high-rises and shops.
However, despite the mayor’s support, the idea of putting the federal complex on valuable waterfront land is generating some concerns.
Vivien Li, head of the Boston Harbor Association, fears putting the FBI complex on Fan Pier would disrupt long-standing plans for a lively waterfront development that would be welcoming to the public. The project has long been viewed as the future crown jewel of Boston’s waterfront, with plans for parks, shops and a marina, as well as other attractions.
“The FBI is not a use that is intended to enliven the waterfront,” Li said.