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Boston Garden Development Corporation selected as partner for the enhancement of City Hall Plaza

March 3, 2016

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that the City has selected Boston Garden Development Corporation as the vendor who will work with the City of Boston to enhance City Hall Plaza.

"I am confident that the City of Boston has a great partner in Boston Garden Development Corporation who will help us make the best use year-round of the space we have at City Hall Plaza," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank all respondents for their thoughtful proposals and I look forward to the next steps as we reimagine the plaza as a thriving, healthy and innovative space."

As the result of a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP), which the City released in September 2015 and re-issued in February 2016, the selection of the Boston Garden Development Corporation marks the start of a three-year contract to improve City Hall Plaza. Boston Garden Development Corporation will have the opportunity to add new programming elements to complement existing activities on the plaza, and add new temporary amenities.

"Mayor Walsh has a vision for revitalizing City Hall Plaza into a thriving, healthy and innovative civic space," said CEO for Delaware North's Boston Holdings Charlie Jacobs. "I am proud that the Boston Garden Development Corporation has been recognized for sharing the Mayor's vision and that we are fully committed to a significant investment that will transform City Hall Plaza into a year-round destination.  We're looking forward to partnering with the city and exploring these proposed concepts, in collaboration with numerous local civic, arts and community organizations, to co-create and re-energize the plaza for the benefit of residents and visitors alike."

The proposal represents a first step towards a vision for what City Hall Plaza can become, but is not a binding contract that will determine what will appear on the plaza. The City will work with the Boston Garden Development Corporation to determine what is feasible over the next three years.

On Wednesday, February 17 and Thursday, February 18, the Selection Committee for the Enhancing City Hall Plaza RFP heard presentations from the three proponents. After reviewing each proposal and their pricing structures, the Selection Committee strongly recommended the Boston Garden Development Proposal.

In the second round of the RFP, the City received three proposals:

  1. Boston Garden Development Corporation: This proposal calls for year-round programming of the Plaza, including an ice skating path in winter months and a "beach" set up for the summer. The proposal also called for separate activation of the different zones of the Plaza, which would still accommodate all the City's previously scheduled events. The plan also calls for the potential for an iconic observation wheel and a restaurant structure with a liquor license that would be run by Delaware North's Patina Restaurant Group.
  2. The Anthem Group: This proposal called for year-round programming under the names "Winter's Landing" and "Summer's Landing".  Winter's Landing would involve a skating rink and a large, 200 seat Polar Bar that could host dinners and events. Summer's Landing would also have a dining option name City Bistro, and would involve over 800 programming options through the spring and summer. Winter's Landing encompasses a larger footprint on the Plaza.
  3. Biederman Redevelopment Ventures: This proposal calls for a more measured approach than the previous two proposals. BRV was focused on giving ideas of the types of things that worked in other locations they have worked on, and the need to build-up to full scale over time. Plans could involve a winter skating feature, but that would depend on sponsorship agreements. There were also certain proposals that they would implement right away on certain parts of the Plaza, but they would rely on focus groups and interviews with users to decide how and where to expand.