Bill Proposes Major Changes To Charles River Esplanade

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio)— A major development could be coming to the Charles River Esplanade.

A bill before the Senate Ways and Means Committee would allow the state to enter into a 30-year lease with the Esplanade Association to build and maintain a new development known as the Charlesbank Landing. This development would take up around 1.6 acres of land and include a visitor center, year-round bathrooms, a café, a roof deck with views of the river, and an outdoor classroom, according to the Esplanade Association's website.

The proposed site for the development is at the former area of Lee Pool on the Esplanade, in-between the Museum of Science and the Longfellow Bridge.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@karynregal) spoke with Michael Nichols, the Executive Director of the Esplanade Association, about the process for this proposal.

"Really in the last four years the conversation has heated up," Nichols said. "We were thrilled to announce this week is our commitment to funding what we believe is the right answer."

The Esplanade Association announced earlier this week a gift exceeding $20 million, funded through donations, to maintain the area for at least 30 years. The bill, introduced by State Sen. Sal DiDomenico and State Rep. Jay Livingstone, includes a potential 10 year extension of the lease if the Esplanade Association makes a "significant investment in the facility within the final years of the lease."

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@karynregal) has more.

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