Inside Southie’s Boston Edison power plant, where developers are planning something ‘spectacular’

Boston Business Journal | By Catherine Carlock
January 21, 2017

At South Boston’s decommissioned Boston Edison power plant, a bust of the Roman god Mercury stands atop a soaring arched window. Inside, the window sheds light on a hall that spans several hundred feet, with bright-green tiles lining the walls and ceilings that reach close to 90 feet.

That window could “be the heart and soul of this redevelopment,” said Ralph Cox, a principal with Redgate Real Estate, at a community meeting this week.

A joint venture of Redgate and Hilco Redevelopment Partners is planning an expansive “live/work/play” redevelopment at Boston Edison, a decommissioned power plant that dates back to 1898. Redgate and Hilco planned to hold walking tours of the plant’s interior on Jan. 21 and Jan. 28, followed by two design charrettes in February.

The industrial site has numerous challenges, notably environmental contamination and height limitations from the Federal Aviation Administration. What’s more, state regulations place the site in a designated port area, a parameter set up in the 1970s to preserve urban harborways throughout the commonwealth. To achieve the broad mix of uses the developers will seek for the site, the city of Boston would likely have to petition the state to take it out of the South Boston DPA.

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