Despite a personal plea to state Environmental Affairs Secretary Robert Durand, entertainment mogul Donald Law is apparently facing an uphill battle in his effort to keep a concert tent at Wharf 8 in South Boston, with a key waterfront trade association indicating it will fight the proposal.

According to industry sources, Law recently asked Durand to let the 5,000-seat FleetBoston Pavilion remain at the site on Boston Harbor beyond the 2003 summer season, maintaining that there are no alternative sites to place the structure. The tent received a five-year permit to operate at the pier in 1999, even though state regulations forbid non-maritime uses for that location and other sections of the so-called Designated Port Area.

State officials last week extended a comment period on the matter another 30 days, but early signs are that harbor interests will not soften their position. In a recent letter to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Waterways Regulation Program, Boston Shipping Association Executive Director Alfred Frizelle said the attempt to lay the foundation for another temporary stay at Wharf 8 should be nipped in the bud.

If FleetBoston Pavilion is unable to find a site outside the DPA … then it’s only alternative is to fold its tent and leave, Frizelle wrote in the letter.

Calls to Law were not returned, but Environmental Affairs spokesman Doug Pizzi acknowledged that the meeting took place earlier this month. Pizzi said Durand suggested Law broaden his search for alternative locations, including the notion of locating the tent on one of the Boston Harbor islands. Obviously, there are some logistical issues that go into that, but the secretary suggested it be looked at, Pizzi said.

Beyond that, Pizzi said the agency would prefer to let the process speak for itself, with pubic hearings on Law’s proposal slated at DEP’s headquarters at One Winter St. in Boston on February 7 and 11.

A harbor watchdog group, The Boston Harbor Association, also has concerns about Law’s plans, said Executive Director Vivien Li. She said a planning study by Law that said there are no alternative sites available was not broad enough. There are other sites to be looked at, Li said. It’s a very big city and a very big waterfront.

Concert Pavilion Seeks to Stay On

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min