BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved five new development projects and three Notice of Project Changes (NPC).
The projects will create 255 residential units, 121 of which will be designated income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent 1,092,091 square feet and will support 996 construction jobs and 671 direct jobs.
The BPDA Board voted to tentatively designate Habitat for Humanity of Greater Boston as the developer of affordable housing at 104 Walter Street in Roslindale. Last year, the BPDA acquired 104-108 Walter Street in Roslindale to both expand the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild and create affordable housing.
PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Ave. Transportation Plan Adopted
Following a year and half of public engagement, the Board adopted the PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Ave. Transportation Plan, a main recommendation of the previously adopted planning study. The Transportation Plan builds on the goals identified in Go Boston 2030 and Imagine Boston 2030, presenting specific recommendations that will further analyze, refine, and advance the proposed multi-modal transportation network recommendations of the 2016 planning study. The Transportation Plan responds to the anticipated growth in the South Boston Dorchester Avenue study area and the subsequent demand on the transportation network.
Based on community feedback, the transportation plan establishes a framework to outline the goals, objectives, and evaluation metrics that support of the planning study’s vision. These principles include:
- Mobility: Provide quality mobility options to connect people to life’s activities
- Safety: Ensure the safety of all travelers
- Environment: Prepare for climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Equity: Improve transportation for vulnerable populations
- Investment: Encourage financial stewardship and implementation mindset
Key recommendations include a new well-connected street network, pedestrian and bicycle connections, and improvements to transit access and connectivity. Other recommendations include immediate improvements to safety, and transportation demand management initiatives to encourage mode shift from cars to walking, bicycling, and transit.
This Transportation Plan will serve as the blueprint for the neighborhood’s future network, and will drive future investment, inform development decisions, highlight priorities, and define the steps to achieve transportation access that is in line with Go Boston 2030.
Resilient Fort Point Channel Infrastructure Project moves forward, Woods Hole Group to complete Environmental Review
The BPDA has taken the next step in moving the Resilient Fort Point Channel Infrastructure Project forward, hiring the Woods Hole Group to complete the Environmental Review process for the project. The project builds off of the climate vulnerability analysis and resilient strategies developed through Climate Ready Boston and the Coastal Resilience Solutions for South Boston report in 2018. The project will implement vital flood protection infrastructure in a portion of Boston’s Fort Point Channel to reduce flood risks to South Boston and adjacent neighborhoods. Woods Hole Group will be tasked with laying out potential environmental consequences of the project and recommending feasible measures to minimize and mitigate the project’s impact on the environment.
Continued investment in PLAN: Mattapan
Since launching in the fall of 2018, the PLAN: Mattapan team has conducted 12 public meetings, 18 soft engagement events, and attended 65 neighborhood association meetings and community gatherings. The planning study was paused at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and BPDA planners used the time to re-evaluate the initiative and identified the need for further analyses on how existing realities, including COVID-19, exacerbate inequities in Mattapan. Following re-evaluations, the BPDA has decided to invest additional resources for the PLAN: Mattapan initiative, increasing the scope of the contract with Mass Design Group, the lead consultant and partner of the BPDA for the study. The additional scope of work will include further refinement of development scenarios based on community feedback; exploration of additional and unconventional financing strategies due to the impact of the pandemic on existing financial resources; further community engagement in remote and hybrid settings, and additional collaboration with City Departments to explore urban design and landscape strategies that reduce environmental burdens like urban heat island and air quality.
Adjustments made to zoning rules in the South End to support cultural spaces
In 2012, The Harrison-Albany Corridor Strategic Plan recommendations were adopted into the South End Neighborhood District Article 64, governing affordable commercial and cultural space provisions.
The recommendations from the Harrison-Albany Corridor Strategic Plan have been successful in incentivizing on-site affordable commercial space in the Harrison-Albany area, but BPDA planners have determined further updates were necessary to ensure the continued provision of cultural spaces. As part of these updates, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will become the entity responsible for collecting, managing, and distributing funds in efforts to create affordable cultural spaces.
Parcels O+P project moves forward to bring growth to the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park; includes significant climate resiliency measures
Work: 950 permanent jobs, future home to Gingko Bioworks, 600 construction jobs, participation in CREST program
Connect: Seven art installations, 15,000 square foot public space
Sustain: 90 percent reduction in fossil fuels, designed to future net carbon zero standards, planting of 60+ new trees, 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions, resilient design and elevated first floor, LEED Gold
Located on the South Boston Waterfront, this project will demolish the current building on Parcel O (formerly the Au Bon Pain headquarters), and build a new eight-story life sciences/research and development building. It will also rehabilitate the building on Parcel P to be used as amenity space for tenants in the Parcel O building. This will be the first development project to participate in the City of Boston’s Climate Resiliency Fund. The proponent will make annual contributions for investments in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (RLFMP) to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise for the RLFMP. The building designs and configuration of rooftop equipment will allow for optimized onsite renewable energy generation, while solar photovoltaic systems will be installed once construction is complete. These investments are expected to lead to a reduction of approximately 40 percent in carbon emissions and 90 percent in fossil fuel consumption. In support of water-dependent uses and transit access to the RLFMP, the project will contribute to the design of Pier 10 in the RLFMP to explore possible ferry service from North Station to the Marine Park. The project will construct new sidewalks and improve the landscaping in the area. The final project will support shuttle and/or bus transit services to connect the RLFMP with neighborhoods across the city. The project responds to the BPDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirements by including MBEs or WBEs in pre-development, construction, ownership, and ongoing operations. They will also participate in the CREST program (Commercial Real Estate Success Training) which offers a paid summer internship to support commercial real estate and related companies in their commitment to attract underrepresented students of color and women to the industry.
135 Dudley Street project approved, will create affordable housing and job opportunities in Nubian Square
Live: 168 units, including 60 income-restricted rental units and 27 income-restricted condominium units
Work: 285 construction jobs, 35 permanent jobs
Connect: Close to two parks and a bus station, bike share access for residents
Sustain: LEED Gold certifiable, increases groundwater infiltration
135 Dudley Street will construct two buildings with ground floor retail and cultural uses to enhance the vibrancy of Nubian Square. The 168 units will comprise 60 income-restricted rental units and 27 income-restricted condominium units. The project will provide office space to the Boston chapter of the NAACP rent-free for 10 years. The project site will include parking for resident cars and bikes, and 20 public parking spaces, as well as real time public transportation information on display. The proponent will also contribute at least $49,000 to Boston’s Bluebikes system. This project will provide a significant public open space to support existing uses in the area including the Roxbury Boston Public Library (BPL) Branch and Court House. The pedestrian experience will also be enhanced with new street trees and other streetscape amenities.
72 Burbank Terrace will create 27 affordable housing units in Fenway
Live: 27 compact living units, 100 percent affordable
Work: 50 construction jobs, access to career coaching programs for residents
Connect: Amenity lounge for residents, bicycle storage, free Bluebikes subscriptions to residents living there for first five years, subsidized MBTA passes, proximity to many transit options and parks
Sustain: LEED Silver certifiable, high efficiency
72 Burbank Terrace, proposed by the Fenway Community Development Corporation (CDC), will create a completely affordable housing opportunity in the Fenway neighborhood. The project consists of one six-story building containing 27 compact living units which will be a mix of studios, one bedroom, and two bedroom units. All will be income-restricted. Three units will be set aside for individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness. Additionally, two units will be reserved for clients of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Residents will be able to take advantage of a lounge space on the first floor, as well as bicycle storage. For the first five years, residents of the building will be given access to free Bluebikes subscriptions. For those who do not wish to use the bikes, they will be provided with subsidized MBTA passes. The facade of the building will be brick, consistent with the surrounding area. In addition, the Fenway CDC will contribute $10,000 to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to go towards the upkeep of nearby Symphony Park.
804 Hyde Park Avenue brings new housing to Hyde Park
Live: 34 units, 7 income-restricted units, rooftop deck, mix of unit sizes
Work: Approximately 50 construction jobs
Connect: Two relocated MBTA bus stations, up to $50,000 in transportation mitigation, bike storage
Sustain: Onsite Bluebike station, reduced car parking, solar-ready roof, EV parking space, energy efficient appliances
804 Hyde Park Avenue will construct one building with a three story section along
Hyde Park Avenue and a four story section along American Legion Highway, totaling approximately 36,000 square feet. There will be 34 units, 20 percent of which will be income-restricted. The units will be a mix ranging from studios to three bedroom apartments. The project will include 19 car parking spaces, 44 bike parking spaces, and a Bluebikes station on site. The project will contribute $50,000 to the Boston Transportation Department to relocate and enhance two bus stops, and will bring new sidewalks, street trees, and other pedestrian improvements to the site.
3-5 Woodlawn Street approved to create transit-oriented compact living units in Jamaica Plain
Live: 13 compact living units
Work: 10 construction jobs
Connect: transit oriented development
Sustain: 0 parking spaces to reduce auto emissions
Located in Jamaica Plain, 3-5 Woodlawn will build a new four story building containing 13 compact living studio units, two of which will be income-restricted. The first floor of the building will also include a shared space for residents. The project is transit-oriented and does not include any parking. It is located in close proximity to the MBTA’s Orange Line Forest Hills Station. As part of the community benefits for the project, $3,575 will be contributed to the Bluebikes program and $6,669 to the Boston Transportation Department to fund street improvements in the vicinity of the project.
In addition to the new projects, the BPDA Board approved three Notice of Project Changes:
- 601 Congress: The Board approved to change the original project from a single tenant office building to now include laboratory/research and development uses.
- 64 Allandale: The updated project will construct a total of 16 new units, including ten new townhouses, four residential units through the renovation of the existing house on the site, and the creation of two additional residential units through an addition to the existing house.
- 37 Wales: The Board approved a reduction in building height, as well as a reduction in total units.