BPDA approves multiple projects

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BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved development projects in neighborhoods across the City of Boston, which will result in new residential units, economic development and jobs. Included in this month’s Board approved projects are three, fully affordable residential projects located in Roxbury, including 597-599 Columbus Avenue and 75-81 Dudley Street and a Notice of Project Change at 387-397 Dudley Street.

These three projects will bring 79 new income-restricted units and 12 renovated income-restricted units to the neighborhood, making progress towards Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class.

Overall, the new development projects approved this month will create an additional 598 residential units, including 151 income-restricted units, and 399 construction jobs, 30 direct jobs and 213 indirect and induced jobs.

The Board also approved the direction of up to $5 million in Housing Linkage Funds from the Government Center Garage Redevelopment Project in support of Pine Street Inn and The Community Builders, Inc proposal to create 202 units of supportive and income-restricted housing at 3368 Washington Street in Jamaica Plain. These funds will contribute to construction costs and the creation of the affordable rental housing units on-site. 3368 Washington Street was approved by the BPDA Board in November 2019, making progress on Mayor Walsh’s commitment to end chronic homelessness in the City of Boston.

After an open and transparent Request for Proposal (RFP) process, the Board authorized the tentative designation for the long-term lease and redevelopment of 24 Drydock Avenue in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (RFLMP) to The Cronin Group, LLC. This designation advances the opportunities called out in the RLFMP Master Plan Update, including the promotion of maritime economic development and the retention of jobs by allowing Boston Ship Repair, the largest ship repair company in New England, to remain on-site.

The BPDA selected The Cronin Group based on their proposed public benefits, including a permanent space for the development team to assist non-English speaking employees with language skills, a permanent, programmable space for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and dedicated on-site classroom space for Ron Burton Training Village, a community-based, youth-focused education and workforce training program. The RFP language included diversity and inclusion requirements that the BPDA now includes in all RFPs for publicly owned land.

Development Projects

75-81 Dudley Street moves forward, bringing 20, 100 percent income-restricted homeownership units to Roxbury
Live: 20, 100 percent income-restricted homeownership units
Work: Ground floor commercial space with 2 retail jobs
Connect: Consistent with the community goals outlined in PLAN: Nubian Square, formerly known as PLAN: Dudley Square

75-81 Dudley Street will construct a new, four-story, 20-unit, 100 percent income-restricted homeownership building on two vacant parcels owned by the City of Boston. The building will also contain ground floor commercial space and bicycle storage. The proponent was selected through an open Request for Proposal (RFP) process run through the City of Boston in collaboration with the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee and the Highland Park Project Review Committee.

75-81 Dudley Street is consistent with the community goals outlined in PLAN: Nubian Square, approved by the BPDA Board in 2019 as PLAN: Dudley Square, which includes prioritizing the use of public land for public good.

597-599 Columbus Avenue (Northampton Street Residences) will bring 47 rental units, all of which are income-restricted to Roxbury 
Live: 47 rental units, all of which are income-restricted
Work: 70 construction jobs
Connect: BPDA utilized Urban Renewal powers to allow the fully affordable housing project to move forward, preserve 97 expiring income-restricted units at adjacent site

The Northampton Street Residences will redevelop a 9,586 square foot surface parking lot into a new five-and-a-half story residential building with 47 rental units, all of which are income-restricted. More than 25 percent of units will be family sized units. There will also be 47 bicycle storage spaces available on-site.

The project is located on an Urban Renewal parcel  and the BPDA is utilizing its Urban Renewal powers to allow the fully affordable project to move forward. The Urban Renewal actions are also allowing the preservation of 97 expiring income-restricted units at the adjacent Newcastle/Saranac Apartments to move forward.

Co-living building at 525 Lincoln Street in Allston approved with 80 rental units or 278 bedrooms, 16 units or 48 bedrooms of which are income-restricted
Live: Co-living building contains 80 rental units or 278 bedrooms, 16 units or 48 bedrooms of which are income-restricted
Work: 140 construction jobs, 8 full-time management jobs
Connect: 278 bicycle storage spaces

The approval of 525 Lincoln Street will construct a six-story, co-living building, totalling approximately 125,175 gross square feet in Allston. The project includes 80 rental units or 278 bedrooms, with a proposed unit mix of 10 traditional studio units, 12 three-bedroom co-living suites, and 58 four-bedroom co-living suites. Of the total number of units, 16 units or 48 bedrooms will be income-restricted.

There will also be approximately 1,250 square feet of flexible community space on the ground floor, 4,500 square foot open courtyard, 30 at-grade parking spaces and 278 bicycle storage spaces.

Residents will rent their own private bedroom and bathroom and share common areas, kitchens, living rooms and other amenity spaces with their suitemates. Monthly rent will include utilities and other associated building amenities, including internet and laundry.

1252-1257 Boylston Street in Fenway moves forward with 451 rental units, including 68 income-restricted units, creates 10k square foot LGBTQ-centric non-profit theater
Live: 451 rental units, including 68 income-restricted units
Work: 310 new construction jobs, 125 permanent jobs
Connect: 10,000 square foot LGBTQ-centric, non-profit theater

1252-1257 Boylston Street will bring a 15 story, 226,700 square foot mixed-use building with 451 rental units and ground-floor retail space to the Fenway. Of the total rental units, 68 will be income-restricted.

In recognition of the site’s history and affiliation with the LGBTQ community, the development team has signed a Letter of Intent with The Theater Offensive (TTO) to develop a Black Box Theater as part of the development. The 10,000 square foot performing arts venue will include a 156 seat and dedicated community space, flexible space, actor spaces, public spaces and support spaces. TTO is a 30-year social change organization that uses theater and the creative process to deconstruct oppressive practices and policies to liberate queer and trans people of color.

The newly-approved project will bring a number of community benefits to Fenway and the City of Boston as a whole, including transportation, landscape and streetscape improvements to cultivate pedestrian activity and enhance the public realm. There are no parking spaces associated with the project.

Notice of Project Change for 387-397 Dudley Street in Roxbury moved forward this month. This NPC doubles the number of income-restricted homeownership units from 12 to 24 units, all of which are income-restricted. 387-397 Dudley Street is part of the Dudley Crossing project originally approved by the BPDA Board in 2013. Once complete, Dudley Crossing will now contain 47 income-restricted units or 100 percent of the total units.

The Board approved a Notice of Project Change (NPC) for Washington Village located at 235 Old Colony Avenue in South Boston. The NPC updates the previously approved project to increase the number of rental units from 124 units to 214 units.

The Board also approved a NPC for 154 Terrace Street in Mission Hill which represents a reduction of 18,750 gross square feet, three stories, 49 units and 59 parking spaces. The NPC also includes a total of 46 income-restricted units, 20 more than were included in the originally approved project.