Boston Planning & Development Agency approves 1.5 million square feet of development

BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved three development projects representing a combined investment of $501.5 million at the November 30 meeting, the agency said in a statement.

The approved projects will yield 1,047 jobs supporting construction activity and 3,816 permanent jobs.

Development Projects

BPDA Board approves Fenway’s Landmark Center as a Development Impact Project (DIP)

Live: 1.1 acres of open space, LEED Gold certification, $150K to Emerald Necklace
Work: 3,000 office jobs, new retail and restaurant space
Connect: Creates over 450 feet of multi use pathway,  roadway improvements at Brookline Avenue and Fullerton Street

The proposal presented to and approved by the BPDA Board included the following updates to the project originally approved in 2014:

  • Maintain and reconfigure the existing parking garage;
  • Remove the 600 residential units to exist in four towers;
  • Reduce the retail and grocery components, including removal of the retail podium; and
  • Expand the office component.

Phase One of the 2014 approved project is currently under construction, this approval will be recognized as the second phase of the project. As proposed, Phase Two will call for the construction of a 14 story, 506,000 square foot office and laboratory building with retail uses on the first two floors. The new building will be constructed around and above the existing parking garage, with some renovation to the garage entrance and demolition of the exterior ramps. The new building will include an approximately 6,000 square-foot plaza on the corner of Brookline Avenue and Fullerton Street.

Due to the size and types of uses anticipated for the project, the Board approved the consideration of the project as a Development Impact Project (DIP) under Article 80. Therefore, the project is subject to DIP exactions for its commercial/retail space uses. Based on the current plans, there will be approximately 506,000 square feet of DIP uses subject to DIP exactions. As proposed, the project will provide an estimated $3,386,040 in linkage funds for the Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT) and $678,020 for the Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT).

Approval of Harvard University IMPNF/NPC updates Allston-based Science and Engineering Complex

Live: $3.8 million in payments to the Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT)
Work: 800 construction jobs, $800K in payments to the Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT)
Connect: Building to house growing school of Engineering and Applied Sciences

In September of this year, Harvard University filed an Institutional Master Plan Notification Form (IMPNF) for an amendment to the 2013 Institutional Master Plan (IMP) for the school’s campus in Allston. This filing, combined with a Notice of Project Change (NPC; together IMPNF/NPC) considers the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) project and consists of three components:

  • The construction of a new building at 130-140 Western Avenue;
  • The renovation of an existing building at 114 Western Avenue; and
  • The construction of a new above-grade district energy facility.

This IMPNF/NPC is intended to modify the gross floor area calculation of the SEC and does not propose any changes to the 114 Western Avenue or district energy facility. The changes in gross floor area are due to the reallocation of interior spaces and the methodology for calculating gross floor area per the Boston Zoning Code. This change in gross floor area will not increase any of the impacts studied in the 2016 IMP Amendment.

Additional office space approved for South Boston Waterfront’s 63 Melcher project, preserves community-use space

Live: Nine units of affordable housing, 29 homeownership units
Work: 2,695 square feet of office space
Connect: Preservation of community-use space

As proposed, this project will change approximately 2,695 square feet of existing residential space in the basement of the existing building at 63 Melcher Street. The building and this space is being renovated for office, cultural and/or community use.

The office space at 63 Melcher Street will be available for use by area arts and/or community organizations. The space is also being proposed for cultural and/or community use in addition to office use. The cultural and/or community use of the space is intended to be consistent with the current use of the space as a residents’ and public amenity, as well as consistent with the use of similar ground-floor spaces in nearby buildings, which are available to the public and used by neighborhood arts and community groups.

In addition, the market rate units at 63 Melcher Street were proposed to be changed from rental units to homeownership units. The condominiums, four affordable innovation units, along with the existing five affordable artist units, are to remain as individual affordable rental units. The remaining existing 29 market rate residential rental units at 63 Melcher Street will become individual condominium units, without change to their numbers or dimensions and offered for sale at market rate.

In addition, the revisions to the project will generate more public benefits in the form of the of DIP uses, including $21,209.65 toward the NHT and $4,231.15 toward the NJT.

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