BPDA approves 3,335 housing units, including 1,156 income-restricted units at January meeting

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BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved 7 new development projects and 2 Notice of Project Changes that will result in new market-rate and income-restricted residential units, economic development, and jobs across the City of Boston.

The development projects approved this month will create an additional 3,335 residential units, including 1,156 income-restricted units, and a potential of 3,843 construction jobs, 2,249 direct jobs, and 3,093 indirect and induced jobs. Approximately 1,010 of the income-restricted units approved this month are direct replacements of existing units at the Boston Housing Authority’s Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment in Charlestown.

The projects approved this month make progress on Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle class. Since 2014, the BPDA has approved approximately over 86 million square feet of development worth more than $43 billion. This includes approximately 45,514 residential units, 9,880 of which are income-restricted units, and 80,972 construction jobs and 69,613 direct jobs.

In addition, the Board authorized the agency to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of the Crescent Parcel in Roxbury’s Nubian Square. The RFP language was created in partnership with the community through the agency’s ongoing PLAN: Nubian Square process.

Planning

The Board amended the agency’s consultant services contract for the completion of the PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue Transportation Plan.The amendment will allow for additional coordination with local elected officials and the community. The BPDA launched this transportation plan last year to further analyze, refine, and advance the proposed multi-modal network recommendations of the original planning initiative.

Development Projects

A new, vibrant mixed-use development, 776 Summer Street, is expected to bring housing, office/research space, civic/cultural uses, and more to the former L Street Power Station in South Boston

Live: 636 housing units, 16 percent on-site income-restricted units
Work: 2,500 construction jobs, 1,500 permanent jobs
Connect: 95,000 retail and civic use square feet
Sustain: 5.7 acres of open space

The BPDA approved a Master Plan for 776 Summer Street, which will yield up to 1.68 million gross square feet, including multiple buildings and rehabilitation of existing buildings. Altogether, the project will construct approximately 860,000 square feet of office/research and development space, 115,000 square feet of hotel space with up to 240 rooms, 80,000 square feet of retail space, 610,000 square feet of residential space with up to 636 residential units, 15,000 square feet of civic/cultural space and 1,214 parking spaces.

The project is expected to create approximately 5.7 acres of new, public open space. Additional community benefits associated with the project include new, improved connectivity to the Harborwalk, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit improvements, and new civic and cultural amenities for all to enjoy.

Each phase of the Master Plan will require Article 80 review alongside the community, as well as BPDA Board approval. The project is expected to be constructed in phases over the next 10-15 years.

Innovative public-private financing partnership will reconstruct over 1,000 Boston Housing Authority (BHA) homes at Bunker Hill Housing in Charlestown

Live: 2,699 total housing units, 1,010 of which are direct, income-restricted BHA replacement units
Work: Approximately 1,500 construction jobs
Connect: Located in Charlestown, where the agency is conducting ongoing planning study

Following a nearly five-year community process and with support of local elected officials and the Charlestown Resident Alliance, the BPDA Board has approved the Boston Housing Authority’s Bunker Hill Housing Redevelopment in Charlestown, representing an innovative new public-private real estate financing model that will result in the renovation of over 1,000 income-restricted public housing units. Existing residents will be provided with replacement housing during the construction process, and will be allowed to return to a BHA replacement housing unit following the completion of construction.

The newly-approved project will construct a new, multi-phase, mixed-use development that will include15 residential buildings. Once complete, the project will consist of 2,699 residential units, 1,010 of which will be deeply affordable, BHA replacement units and 1,689 of which will be market-rate. An additional 100 BHA units will be relocated off-site in Charlestown.

The project site is located on an approximately 1.15 million square foot area of land currently occupied by 1,110 BHA public housing units across 41, three-story buildings. Once complete, the project will also create approximately 2.7 acres of publicly-accessible open space, approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space, an approximately 14,000 square foot community center, up to 1,400 vehicle parking spaces, and up to 2,699 bicycle storage spaces (1:1 unit to bicycle storage ratio).

Construction of the project will begin with Phase One which will demolish 6 existing buildings that contain 111 BHA public housing units and construct 2 new residential buildings with 358 mixed-income residential units, 158 of which will be direct BHA replacement public housing units.

The project is located in Charlestown where the BPDA is currently leading the PLAN: Charlestown planning initiative. Guided by Imagine Boston 2030, PLAN: Charlestown seeks to establish a comprehensive and coordinated plan to support neighborhood needs in the areas of transportation, parks and open space, climate resilience, education and affordable housing.

BPDA approves 1515 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton with 253 housing units, including 8 artist live/work units

Live: 253 residential units, including both home-ownership and rentals
Work: 260 construction jobs
Connect: 8 income-restricted artist live/work units, 1,200 square foot artist workroom
Sustain: LEED Silver Certifiable

1515 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton will demolish the existing structure, a long-vacant former hospital site, to construct a new, approximately 245,000 square foot residential building containing 253 units, including 39 income-restricted units. 151 of these units will be rentals, 25 of which are income-restricted, and 102 will be home-ownership, 14 of which are income-restricted. Eight of the income-restricted units will be artist live/work units.

Approximately 35 percent of the project site will be open space, most of which will be accessible to the public. The newly-approved project will also make a contribution to the BPDA for transportation improvements resulting from the agency’s ongoing Allston-Brighton Mobility Study.

44-46 Soldiers Field Place, formerly known as 1500 Soldiers Field Road, will bring 102 multi-family housing units to Brighton

Live: 102 residential units, 17 of which are income-restricted
Work: 70 construction jobs
Connect: Contributions to the BPDA’s ongoing Allston-Brighton Mobility Plan
Sustain: LEED Silver Certified

Located within walking distance of the Boston Landing MBTA Commuter Rail Station, 44-46 Soldiers Field Place, formerly known as 1500 Soldiers Field Road, will bring 102 multi-family rental units to Brighton. Of this total, 17 units will be income-restricted or approximately 17 percent of total residential rental units. The project will include 62 parking spaces, a ground floor retail/cafe space, and public realm, landscape, and open space improvements. The project will also contribute pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements that are consistent with the vision of the BPDA’s ongoing Allston-Brighton Mobility Study.

Fully affordable 37 Wales Street in Dorchester will create 23 rental income-restricted units for formerly homeless families

Live: 23 residential units, all of which are income-restricted and targeted to formerly homeless families
Work: 29 construction jobs
Connect: 23 bicycle storage spaces

The newly-approved 37 Wales Street in Dorchester will construct a five-story, 28,760 square foot building with 23 family-sized rental units, all of which are income-restricted. Additionally, all of the units will be targeted to formerly homeless families. The building will also include amenity spaces and on-site office space for the developer’s staff to provide supportive services to the building’s residents.

The project is being developed by Heading Homes, Inc, who has owned and operated housing at this location since 2011. Throughout this time, the property has provided an important housing resource for Boston’s most vulnerable families which, following BPDA approval, can now be improved and expanded upon. Due to significant structural issues, the developer decided to vacate the building and relocate tenants in early 2020.

Consistent with PLAN: JP/Rox 3371 Washington Street yields 39 housing units, 38 of which are income-restricted

Live: 39 residential units, 38 income-restricted units for low-income and extremely low-income seniors
Work: 80 construction jobs
Connect: Consistent with the goals outlined in BPDA’s PLAN: JP/Rox
Sustain: LEED Gold Certified

Located in Jamaica Plain, 3371 Washington Street will revitalize the site with the construction of a five-story, 36,834 square foot residential building with 39 total units, 38 of which are income-restricted housing for low-income and extremely low-income seniors. The project will include a 800 square foot restaurant space intended for the El Embajardo Restaurant, which is a current tenant on the site. This property was purchased by the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp., City Life/Vida Urbana and New Atlantic Development in 2020 with significant support from the community.

The project meets the goals of PLAN: JP/Rox including preserving density, enhancing neighborhood character, balancing growth, and accelerating affordable housing production.

Located in Dorchester, 780 Morrissey Boulevard will build 219 rental units and over 14,000 square feet of open space

Live: 219 residential units, 29 of which are income-restricted
Work: 177 construction jobs
Connect: Over 14,000 square feet of public open space
Sustain: Compliant with the City of Boston’s Climate Ready Dorchester

780 Morrissey Boulevard will construct a 179,435 square foot building in Dorchester with 219 rental units, 29 of which will be income-restricted. There will also be a ground floor bicycle storage room, and vehicle parking spaces.

The project is compliant with Climate Ready Dorchester, and includes raised residential entrances to mitigate the impact of sea level rise. Launched in October 2020, Climate Ready Dorchester builds on Mayor Walsh’s Resilient Boston Harbor plan to enhance Boston’s waterfront and protect vulnerable neighborhoods from sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Notice of Project Changes

The Board approved a Notice of Project Change for 139-149 Washington Street, also known as 143 Washington Street, in Brighton that would modify Building 2 by increasing the total number of homeownership units from 48 to 55, adding an additional income-restricted unit which would bring the total number of income-restricted units to 8.

The BPDA also approved changes to 28-30 Geneva Street in East Boston, which was approved by the BPDA Board in May 2019. These changes would decrease the height of the building and eliminate 7 residential units, 1 of which is income-restricted.