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A dream deferred: Progress elusive on Parcel P3

Melvin B. Miller
A dream deferred: Progress elusive on Parcel P3
Maybe by the time you have grandchildren there will be something built here.

Boston is rebuilding. Cranes are everywhere, but they are missing from the section of Roxbury where development has been long awaited. The ill-fated “Southwest Expressway” plan that was launched in Lower Roxbury in the 1960s has left an 8 acre parcel called P-3, stripped of houses and greenery. The undeveloped lot across from Ruggles Station seemed to be a desirable development site.

Finally, the National Museum of African American Artists conceived of a development plan that would create space for the museum and provide regular funding revenue. When progress on the plan stagnated, the development designation was lost. Feldco, a real estate developer, became the museum’s partner in 2010, but the project failed to go forward.

While the citizens would like to see the museum on sound financial footing, the people also want the commercial and residential mixed use aspects developed. This project has been underway for 10 years. In much less time, the waterfront has gone from an area of parking lots to occupied offices, restaurants and condominiums.

While the ambience of the waterfront has completely changed, weeds have been growing on P3. It is time to find a new developer if Feldco cannot get the job done after nine years of effort.