BPDA Board approves 135 new residential units in Dorchester, East Boston and Downtown

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BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved three new development projects and two Notice of Project Changes (NPC) at their November meeting.

The projects will generate a total of 135 new residential units in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, East Boston, and Downtown.  In addition, the projects will create nearly 800 jobs upon their completion. 

The BPDA continues to make progress towards Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class. Since the start of 2018 over 20 percent of all residential units approved are income-restricted. In total, 883 of the 4,345 residential units approved this year will be income-restricted for low or middle-income families. Earlier this fall in response to increased population growth, Mayor Walsh announced updated housing targets supporting the creation of new affordable housing, increased access to homeownership opportunities, and preventing displacement of residents.

Development Projects

500 Talbot Avenue approval to bring 40 residential units, retail space to Dorchester

Live: 35 market-rate units, five affordable units, two Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible units
Work: 40 construction jobs, future job opportunities in retail spaces
Connect: New on-street parking, transportation and pedestrian infrastructure improvements, new 4,500 square feet of public space
Size: 49,500 square feet

As proposed, the 500 Talbot Avenue project will be a five-story, mixed-use building. The project site, located one block north of Peabody Square and well served by multiple bus lines and the MBTA Red Line, will contain 40 residential units, five of which will be Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units. There will be a mix of seven studio units, 22 one-bedroom units, eight two-bedroom units, and three three-bedroom units.  

The ground floor of the building will consist of 3,000 square feet of commercial retail space and 1,815 square feet of multipurpose space serving a local Lutheran Church and the community. A commitment of $250,000 has also been made towards improvements to the public realm around the project site. The project will generate new pedestrian and retail activity along Talbot Avenue and improvements to the pedestrian realm around the project site, including new sidewalks, trees and open space. Transportation infrastructure improvements will be coordinated with the City of Boston’s Transportation Department and Public Works Department.

Mixed-use project approved for 205 Maverick Street in East Boston

Live: 49 new residential units, community development without displacement, ground floor retail and market
Work: 75 jobs created
Connect: 34 parking spaces, bike storage room, five minute walk to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Maverick Station
Size: 60,071 square feet

The proposed 205 Maverick Street project will demolish the existing single-story commercial structure that occupies the site in order to construct a five-story, mixed-use building with 49 residential rental units, seven of which will be IDP units. As currently proposed, the 49 residential units are anticipated to consist of 12 studio units, 17 one-bedroom units, and 20 two-bedroom units. The project will also feature two commercial retail spaces, 34 off-street parking spaces, and at least 49 on-site bicycle storage spaces. 

A $20,000 contribution will be used to fund a transportation analysis, and/or implement pedestrian safety enhancements, vehicle calming measures, and public realm improvements in and around the Maverick Street corridor upon consultation with the City of Boston Transportation Department, Public Works Department, and other applicable public agencies. 

Kenmore Square Redevelopment in Fenway moves forward

Live: $75K toward open space, $1.5 million in Housing Linkage
Work: 767 permanent jobs and 500 construction jobs
Connect: Over 400 feet of cycle track, sidewalk and public realm improvements on Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street
Size: 320,500 square feet

The proposed Kenmore Square Redevelopment project presents two distinct developments on two separate parcels. The project entails new buildings located at 533-541 Commonwealth Avenue and 650-660 Beacon Street. 

The redevelopment of the Commonwealth Redevelopment Parcel will entail the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of an eight-story, 112-foot tall commercial building, including 8,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and 119,000 square feet of office space above. Two floors of below-grade parking, including 60 spaces, will be at the basement levels. 

The redevelopment of the Beacon Redevelopment Parcel will include the renovation of 660 Beacon Street, which will be connected to a new building in place of 650- 656 Beacon Street. The new construction portion will be seven stories and 100 feet tall. The Beacon Building will include 125,000 square feet of office space above ground floor and below-grade retail space. 

The project will generate a number of community benefits, including sidewalk improvements along the site, a cycle track, and $75K toward the design and restoration of Charlesgate, an Olmsted-designed connection between the Charles River and the Back Bay Fens. 

Notices of Project Change (NPCs)

47-55 LaGrange Street NPC approval to generate up to 176 residential units in Downtown Boston

The 47-55 LaGrange project was originally approved by the BPDA Board in June 2017. At that time, the original project proposed a 157,000 square foot, 21-story residential building that was to include up to 130 rental units and 1500 square-feet of associated retail space.

On September 12, 2018 a NPC was submitted to the BPDA, proposing to change the previously approved project from ‘up to 130 dwelling units’ to ‘up to 176 dwelling units’. No other aspect of the originally approved project is proposed to change. The revised project will be subject to ongoing design review.

Approval South Boston’s Old Colony Phase Three NPC to rejuvenate BHA sites

The Boston Housing Authority has proposed to demolish the existing public housing buildings and construct two affordable housing residential projects on the project sites. Old Colony Phase Three will construct 115 one, two, three and four-bedroom residential units in one four-story elevator building, known as Building B, with accessory property management and maintenance space located on the first floor. 

A second building will be comprised of 55 one-bedroom units in one four-story elevator building, known as Building C, with first floor resident service space for low-income seniors. Parking is available on the adjacent public streets and project site amenities include laundry rooms, bicycle storage, trash and recycling, and the Tierney Learning Center (TLC). Built as part of Old Colony Phase One, all residents will have access to the TLC. The TLC has become an invaluable resource for the Old Colony community by creating a safe environment where the staff can deliver high quality, impactful services to children, youth and adults. The TLC partners closely with the following agencies: Head Start Program, South Boston Boys and Girl Club, Doc Wayne Youth Services, Boston Afterschool and Beyond, Boston Community ESOL Center, Notre Dame Educational Center, and EmPath.