BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved 5 new development projects and 2 Notice of Project Changes (NPC). The new projects will create 544 residential units, a minimum of 79 of which will be designated income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent 592,700 square feet and will support 452 construction jobs and 126 direct jobs.
The BPDA has selected Ameresco, Inc. to construct a solar PV canopy above the Marine Industrial Park Garage in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (RLFMP). The installation will provide a new renewable energy source to the RLFMP and will further the City of Boston’s resiliency and carbon emission reduction goals.
The system will install over 3,500 solar panels on the roof of the garage and is expected to generate nearly 2 million kWh of power annually and reduce 1,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. In partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Related Beal, the system will allow for Boston’s first LEED Platinum Life Sciences Campus. The new solar panels will also lower electric bills for Boston’s low-income residents through provisions in the Massachusetts SMART program.
With 23% of our carbon emissions due to building construction materials, the City of Boston and the BPDA see the expansion of mass timber/cross-laminated timber (MT/CLT) construction practices as a critical step. To broaden awareness of the low carbon benefits and accelerate the utilization of MT/CLT practices in Boston and the New England region, the BPDA will implement a technical assistance program to support early phase active development projects in assessing the carbon reduction benefits of MT/CLT strategies. Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan Update responds to Boston’s carbon-neutral 2050 goals with a range of policy development mandates focused on reducing building related carbon emissions. One such policy, the Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning Initiative, is proposed to “strengthen green building zoning requirements to a zero net carbon standard.” With funding support from the USDA Forest Service, the Softwood Lumber Board and the Climate Work Alliance, the BPDA will offer $250,000 in grant funding to competitively selected project teams.
Charlestown Navy Yard Activation
The BPDA is committed to the activation of the Charlestown Navy Yard by providing programming that promotes accessibility and community.
- Shipyard Park: The BPDA Board voted to authorize a licensing agreement with Groovy Baby Music Inc. for use of a portion of Shipyard Park. Groovy Baby Music Inc. will use their portion of the park, which is BPDA-owned land, to provide childrens’ community music classes. The company is planning to provide outdoor music and movement classes for children and their families. Classes are open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. The classes will be in July and August.
- Navy Yard Garden Association: The BPDA Board voted to authorize a licensing agreement with the Navy Yard Garden Association to install an interactive public art display known as “Night Skies.” The Garden Association was able to purchase the installation through private donations and a grant from the Browne Fund. The BPDA will help install the mesh light art exhibit which is coming in four large sections from Germany. The display will be installed on the mezzanine of the building at 0 Terry Ring Way. The exhibit will be installed this fall and the Garden Association will program the art exhibit to change seasonally.
Kosciuszko Circle/William T. Morrissey Boulevard Corridor Study
MassDOT, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the City of Boston, and the BPDA have agreed to undertake a joint planning study to evaluate the existing and future transportation conditions at Kosciuszko Circle and along William T. Morrissey Boulevard. The Study will develop and analyze alternatives for the corridor that are intended to improve the public realm, mobility, connectivity, safety, and climate resiliency throughout the area. The Study area will extend from Preble Street on the north to Neponset Circle on the south. It will formally launch later this summer, take 12 to 18 months to complete, and involve significant community and stakeholder engagement.
Jan Karski Way Extension Project creates new residential housing and retail space, with plans to increase affordable housing contributions in the future
Live: 403 Residential units, 60 affordable units
Work: 400 Construction jobs, 50 Permanent jobs
Connect: 47,786 square ft. of publicly accessible open space
Sustain: 60+ LEED Gold Certifiable Credits
This proposed project on Jan Karski Way will transform an underutilized site in Dorchester by adding 403 new residential rental units; 60 of those units will be designated as affordable units and the proponent has agreed to provide additional affordability beyond what is required by the City’s Inclusionary Development Policy. This project will create approximately 400 construction jobs and an estimated 50 additional full-time and part-time retail jobs. Another example of transit oriented development, this project is consistent with smart-growth development principles. The site is within a 10 minute walk of Andrew Station and a nine minute walk to Commuter Rail service at Newmarket Station. The project will improve the public realm with enhanced streetscapes, including the construction of new streets and sidewalks. The proponent will provide $35,000 to fund a bus queue jump along Boston Street from Massachusetts Avenue to Mayhew Street for implementation by BTD. The project will also add approximately 14,665 square feet of retail space, bicycle storage space for 488 bicycles, and 47,786 square feet of new publicly accessible open space.
190 Dudley Street project brings new transit-oriented residential housing, commercial, and community space to Roxbury
Live: 28 total housing units, 4 designated affordable, community space
Work: 31 new retail jobs, new retail space, and two start-up subsidy units
Connect: 44 Bike Storage Spaces
Sustain: LEED Gold Certified
This five-story building will add 28 units of housing, four of which are designated as affordable, as well as new ground floor commercial space. This project is an example of transit oriented development, as no on-site parking is included in the project. With its close distance to Nubian Station, the development will incentivize the use of public transit, car sharing, bicycling, and other modes of transport. The proponent is determined to improve pedestrian experience, emphasizing walking and biking that will reduce reliance on cars to minimize traffic impacts. The project will contain 44 bicycle parking spaces on site. An estimated 31 construction jobs will be created by the project, and the retail space will allow for permanent jobs after the development is built.
601 Newbury Street project goes forward to bring new, compact, transit-oriented housing to Fenway neighborhood
Live: 71 housing units, 9 IDP units, contributions to the IDP Fund
Work: 75 Construction jobs
Connect: Dedicated bike storage and repair room, close proximity to public transit
Sustain: Use of native plants in landscaped areas, EnergyStar appliances
This project on Newbury Street will add four additional stories atop an existing three-story building to allow for 71 new compact living rental units which includes 50 studios, and 21 one-bedroom units. Nine of these units will be income-restricted. The proponent will also be contributing $87,400 to the City’s IDP fund. The project includes approximately 4,176 square feet of shared space, which is in compliance with the Shared Spaces Size Requirements of the Compact Living Policy (CLP). The Shared Spaces include a fitness room/gym, a dining room with kitchenette, a work space/meeting room, a theater/media room, and an exterior landscaped area and patio. This development will be transit-oriented, as it is in close proximity to several transportation options. The building will also include 86 bike parking spaces and a bike repair station. In addition to sidewalk improvements at this site, residents will also receive a free three month MBTA pass.
555 Metropolitan Avenue builds new residential housing in Hyde Park
Live: 21 residential units, 3 affordable units
Work: 30 construction jobs
Connect: Wired for Internet, improved access to transit
Sustain: LEED Certifiable
This project in Hyde Park would redevelop an existing parking lot into 21 condominium units. Three of the condos will be income-restricted; the remaining 18 will be available at market rate. The housing will be a mix of two and three bedroom units. There will also be onsite bike and car parking for residents and visitors. As part of mitigation funding for the three-story property, the proponent will contribute $29,663.00 to fund street improvements nearby. They will also create a pedestrian pathway to connect Metropolitan Avenue to Hyde Park Avenue.
69 Bailey Street project brings new compact living to Dorchester
Live: 21 compact living units, public community space, shared rear lawn recreation area
Work: 45 construction jobs
Connect: 50 percent subsidized transit in perpetuity
Sustain: Solar voltaic panels, Dark Sky Initiative compliant
Located in Dorchester, this project would create a new three-story building containing rental housing including 21 compact living units, three of which will be income restricted. The proponent will be demolishing the one-story building currently on the project site which used to be a VFW post. There will also be eight parking spaces and 21 bike parking spaces. The proponent will also offer 50 percent subsidized transit, two car share spaces, and on-site bicycle repair to fulfill their Transportation Demand Management requirements. As part of community benefits, the proponent will contribute $5,775 to the City’s Bluebikes program, and another $18,550 to fund either green space initiatives or nearby street improvements.
In addition to the new projects, the BPDA Board approved two Notice of Project Changes:
- 69 A Street: The Board approved a change from office space to lab/research and development space. This will simply repurpose the intended use of the site; it will not change the footprint of the physical building.
- 321 Harrison: The Board approved a change from office space to lab/research and development space. In response to community concern, the Proponent has agreed to place a restriction on the Biosafety Level that any prospective tenants can work at, restricting all future work to Biosafety Levels 1 and 2 (BSL – 1, BSL – 2) by amending the PDA to include a process by which the Proponent is required to receive additional BPDA Board approval before converting to a Biosafety Level 3 lab, and prohibiting Biosafety Level 4 lab use.