QUINCY – A proposed cruise port and event plaza at the foot of Hampshire Street will be the first two projects Quincy Riverfront Development Corp will tackle as funding becomes available.
Jeff Steinkamp, chairman of the company’s board, said the board selected the projects at its meeting on Wednesday.
In the established Riverfront Master Plan, the cruise port wharf and associated parking lot would provide a method of generating revenue from visiting cruise ship passengers. The design would place the wharf, along with green space and parking areas, just south of Maine Street.
Steinkamp said the event plaza planned for the Hampshire Street base would incorporate a stepped plaza design, similar to that on the east side of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, leading to the Mississippi River. The space would be leveled to provide a flat area with a low flood wall to protect the space from river flooding. The event plaza, according to the master plan, would include landscaping, lighting, electrical hookups and Wi-Fi access.
None of these projects is ready to come out of the ground. The first waterfront facelift project will come with the burial of the power lines and the removal of the towers. This project is currently expected to start in the spring. The Cruise Port and Events Plaza are prioritized by the Riverfront Development Council as first stops due to their location.
“We need to raise the level of the park around the fountain to try to prevent flooding,” Steinkamp said. “We can’t build the roof and then start on the foundations, so projects in this area will have to wait. As they are further south, these are works we can start earlier.”
Although funding has been secured for the power line project, the Riverfront Development Corporation will need to apply for grants and seek other sources of funding. One such source will be the Riverfront Development Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable group that was established to receive tax-deductible donations for work on the riverfront. Once the funds have been disbursed, the Foundation will defer to the Board of Directors how the money will be spent.
“The Foundation is getting ready to start fundraising,” Steinkamp said. “They will be printing brochures and other things to get that message across. We wanted to make sure we knew what the starting point would be when the funds started coming in.”