The project will be developed on land created by the East Boston Land Company pursuant to legislative authorization dating to the mid-1800s that allowed the filling of a portion of the Chelsea Creek to connect Noddle’s Island and Breed’s Island to further expand East Boston by creating the Flats of East Boston and thereby setting the foundation for what has become the Orient Heights neighborhood.
While the Grand Junction and Eastern Railroad tracks (predecessor to the current Pan Am Railways) separated the area from the active waterway, the filled land was primarily used for industrial purposes since its creation in the early 1920s. Prior to World War II, the US Navy acquired almost the entirety of the East Boston Flats for development of a naval fuel depot consisting of over 20 massive fuel tanks and this fuel farm was connected by an underground pipe to naval facilities through East Boston. Following the war, the tanks were slowly decommissioned and the property ultimately sold in pieces with the largest single plot being sold to the Grossman Family in the late 1960s. At this point, the Grossman’s commenced a gradual construction of small warehouse and industrial buildings that were occupied by an assortment of companies ranging from airport warehouse and trucking companies to auto repair shops. In the mid-1970s the Park, Shuttle & Fly airport car parking lot was created. While the names and companies have certainly changed over the years, the basic uses and business haven’t evolved much since.