By Bob Weiss, Travel Contributor

BOSTON (CBS) – It was the Super Bowl of real estate.

It was an all-pro team that gathered on the East Boston waterfront Monday afternoon for the groundbreaking of the first of seven buildings at Portside at Pier One with the best view of the city.

There were nine speakers, none of whom were called for delay of game. The co-captains at this event were Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino, who received two standing ovations from the standing-room-only crowd in a tent on the site.

Other speakers included: Congressman Michael Capuano, MassDOT & CEO Richard Davey, State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, House of Representative Carlo Basile, Massport CEO Thomas Glynn, Boston City Councilor Salvatore LaMattina and Marshall Tycher, Co-President of Roseland, the developer.

When it opens in the spring of 2014, the five-story building will contain 176 units, with 26 designated for affordable housing and retail space on the ground floor.

It was one of the mayor’s few public appearance in several months. He is scheduled to deliver his State of the City address Tuesday night at Faneuil Hall.

“How good it is to be in the public company of Mayor Menino,” said Patrick. “Any business knows that you get growth by investing.”

Investment has been a major theme of the governor in recent weeks.

“A good community is made up of all kinds of people with a welcome to all,” said Congressman Capuano.

Initial construction on the Massport site began in 2006 but was halted when real estate money became very scarce. The estimated cost of the first building is $46 million with RBS Citizens bank providing $42.5 million in construction loan financing.

The general contractor of Portside at Pier One is Cranshaw Construction of Newton with 200 jobs on site.

Roseland has been involved with Massport in developing the site for 12 years. The new buildings are expected to bring much more development on The East Boston waterfront in the next decade.

One of the great selling points of this project is its access to downtown on the Blue Line. Taking the MBTA to the groundbreaking, the trip between State Street and Maverick Station took just over four minutes in the new six-car trains. The south entrance of the station is a five minute walk to the site.

A major source of new occupants will be people who work at Logan Airport. Large jets do not fly over this part of East Boston.

All Things Travel Reports with Bob Weiss can be heard on WBZ NewsRadio


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