All along, city leaders, primary among them City Manager Jay Ash, knew that the FBI move to Chelsea was a certainty.
The deal had been years in the making.
Unbelievably, the city went head to head with Boston as a finalist for the project and won.
Despite the fact the FBI move to Chelsea was a done deal months ago, a lawsuit got in the way of the development plans.
The final decision to move here wasn’t on an absolutely clear track until that law suit filed by a South Boston property owner hoping for the FBI to locate on his land was dismissed.
“Chelsea is experiencing a building boom. The development that is ongoing there is made all the more remarkable by what came before in the dark days after the 1973 fire and receivership. Chelsea has come a long way over the years,” said Congressman Mike Capuano, Chelsea’s man in Congress and a great friend of the city.
City Manager Ash said the news about the coming of the FBI was a fait accompli months ago.
“I am pleased the suit has been dismissed. ACS, the FBI and the GSA are in sync with the project at this point. When finished, it will be a crowning touch in what used to be the redevelopment district,” said Ash.
The new FBI regional building will be a 220,000 square foot building located on several acres of land off Everett Avenue across from Chelsea’s two major hotels – the Wyndham and the new Marriott on land that has been vacant for nearly a half century.
The structure will cost approximately $100 million to build.
The building will be built and owned by ACS Realty which is owned and operated by the Simboli Family, perhaps the largest owners of commercial real estate in the city.
ACS has leased the building to the General Services Administration for a long term. The GSA in turn has rented it to the FBI.
According to the FBI and Ash, as many as 500 men and women are likely to call the new regional center their home.
This translates into a very large new group of day to day Chelsea consumers.
It will also add to already strained traffic patterns in the area although mitigation efforts now underway should lessen the traffic load on Everett Avenue in the immediate vicinity of the new complex as well as the mall.
Design efforts are now underway. First renderings have not yet been released to the public but they are expected shortly.
The construction of the building, expected to begin sometime late in 2013 will be complete by the early part of 2015 if everything goes according to schedule.
For the city of Chelsea, the go ahead for this project signals a boom town of sorts for the district where it will be located.
There will be a sizable building permit sought at city hall. Its cost will total hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The construction itself is expected to cost in the tens of millions.