In April 2013 COW publicly presented a concept as one alternative idea to the NRA’s plan to construct a private development of shops and condominiums on the city’s waterfront.

The concept sought to:

  • Integrate our waterfront park with the Merrimack River and celebrate Newburyport’s maritime history 

  • Preserve and enhance our existing waterfront spaces and activities 

  • Create new spaces and opportunities for additional waterfront activities

  • Design landscaped parking lots that are compartmentalized and allow flexible uses

  • Create environmentally sensitive areas that require minimal maintenance and are storm proof 


In 2016 COW revised its plan with these goals in mind:

  • Preserve, enlarge and improve the existing waterfront park

  • Preserve and enhance the Wayes to the Water

  • Provide a limited visual buffer from the parking lots

  • Visually improve the existing parking lots

  • Create compartmentalized and flexible-use parking

  • Integrate the Rail Trail into the Central Waterfront 






2013 Concept 





2016 Revised Concept  



In August 2016 the Waterfront Trust endorsed COW's new proposal in concept.

Here are some of the highlights of the revised vision:

Both the east and west sides of the existing waterfront park have been expanded.  




COW is encouraging the NRA and the city to restore the Lower Custom House Waye as it was originally planned.


 The new concept provides for a maximum amount of parking while keeping cars blocked from view.



A new feature is a waterway through hillocks that will provide drainage for the parking lots and a natural buffer from the cars. 



Framing this beautiful waterfront park, there can be a variety of restaurants and shops built on the surrounding land already owned by private developers.



 For a more detailed look at COW's latest concept, please watch our video powerpoint here:

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