BPDA Board approves new development in South Boston, Charlestown, Roslindale, and Bay Village

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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 58 residential units, a minimum of 15 of which will be designated income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent 668,978 square feet and will support 461 construction jobs and 479 direct jobs.

Allston-Brighton Neighborhood Transit Connector Route Plan

The Allston-Brighton Mobility Plan, approved by the BPDA Board in May, calls for a Neighborhood Transit Connector Route Plan to evaluate options that will make travel into, out of, and through Allston and Brighton more efficient. The BPDA approved funding for the study which will be led by A Better City. The scope of work for the plan is to evaluate all current transit options, including the growing number of private shuttles operating in the area, and analyze the overlap and gaps in coverage based on the current and future development projections. This comprehensive plan will propose the nature, scope, routes, and frequency of a publicly accessible Neighborhood Transit Connector service. The goal is to make transit into, out of, and within Allston-Brighton more efficient through new options and aggregation of existing resources, ultimately reducing congestion.

Blair Lot Activation

The BPDA Board voted to authorize license agreements with community applicants for the temporary use of the BPDA-owned Blair Lot in Nubian Square for Arts, Culture, and Economic community activation programming. The parcel was designated for development to Nubian Ascend Partners in December 2020 through a public RFP process to create a cultural and economic development destination comprising a cultural hall and theater, marketplace to support local businesses and artisans, as well as a food hall. The BPDA, working with Nubian Ascend Partners, will prioritize the use of the Blair Lot for community activation programming to benefit Nubian Square and the Roxbury community during the pre-construction phase of the development.

Since April, multiple community organizations have applied to manage different versions of Arts, Culture, and Economic programming in the space. Organizations have applied to host a series of events featuring food trucks, farmers markets, and vendors, as well as cooking demonstrations, children’s programming, and live entertainment. Applications have also included programming slated toward helping Roxbury residents with business development and wealth creation, and also to promote civic engagement. Other potential uses for the Lot include providing space for many Black-owned restaurants that were unable to offer outdoor dining at their businesses, and neighborhood clean-up efforts.

To amplify and diversify the opportunities for programming, the Blair Lot application will be available through the end of 2021. All applicants must complete the form at least 30 days prior to proposed usage and work with BPDA Staff to finalize a license agreement.

The application can be found here as the ‘Blair Lot Interest Form.’

Rent deferment for qualified BPDA tenants extended

The BPDA Board voted to extend rent deferment lease amendments to tenants on BPDA-owned properties that have been severely financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since being authorized to approve rent deferral requests starting in April 2020, the BPDA has received 20 rent deferral requests, and granted a total of $2,394,696 in relief. Tenants must go through a rent deferment application process.

Development Projects

Faulkner Hospital’s Inpatient Addition and Campus Improvements moves forward, will bring significant transit improvements and new bicycle facilities along Centre Street

Live: 12,000 inpatients discharged per year, 11,000 new surgical procedures, 30,000 Emergency Department visits, 200,000 outpatient visits, 78 new inpatient beds
Work: 1,900 Employees (40 percent are Boston residents), 250 new construction jobs, 300 new permanent hospital jobs
Connect: Transit improvements, including:

  • New protected bike lane on Centre Street in front of the hospital
  • 25 new Bluebikes and new stations on Centre Street
  • 87 additional bike parking spaces
  • New accessible ramp from the MBTA Bus stop
  • New sidewalk along Allandale Street
  • Crosswalk at the Allandale and Centre intersection
  • New and expanded shuttle/bus shelter and improved frequency of shuttle services to and from Highland and Forest Hills
  • New signage and wayfinding from the Forest Hills T Station

Sustain: LEED Silver, new 1.3 million kWh/year Solar Array (enough to power 121 homes), 49 new electric vehicle charging stations, over 100 net new trees will be planted

The approval of this Institutional Master Plan (IMP) for Faulkner Hospital allows for the approval of multiple proposed projects. The Inpatient Addition will be constructed on the southern side of the Main Building and will include approximately 98,000 square feet with 78 new inpatient beds. The East Garage Addition includes the construction of three new parking levels on the existing East Garage, adding approximately 171 parking spaces. The Replacement West Garage entails construction of an approximately 952-space parking garage on the site of an existing 131-space surface parking lot. The existing 580-space West Parking Garage will be demolished and replaced with surface parking and landscaped areas. Additionally, a new driveway will connect the Replacement West Garage to Allandale Street. The IMP also calls for 10,000 square feet of additional campus additions and improvements.

The hospital will provide numerous transportation improvements and benefits including 54 new bike parking spaces for staff, as well as 34 short-term bike parking spaces for visitors. A new separated bicycle lane and a new Bluebikes dock, that will accommodate 25 bikes, will be added along Centre Street. The project includes a new and expanded bus and shuttle shelter and will be making efforts to improve the frequency of services to nearby MBTA stations.

80–110 West Broadway moves forward in South Boston, will bring new community, restaurant, and office space while preserving the facade of the historic Amrheins building

Live: Maintaining facades of Amrheins building, sidewalk improvements, reduction in curb cuts
Work: Research and development, new restaurant space in Amrheins building
Connect: Neighborhood incubator/ community space, connecting local crafts to local residents
Sustain: Improved building enclosure, efficient electric heating and cooling

The project at 80–110 West Broadway will convert the ground floor of the existing four-story building into a smaller restaurant/cafe space, while preserving the outer facade of the building. The remainder of the site at the corner of West Broadway and A Street in South Boston, including a parking lot, will be redeveloped with a new five-story mixed-use building including offices for product development and prototype manufacturing, as well as restaurant and retail space. The new building totals 87,000 square feet. The entire site comprises 12 adjacent parcels and is made up of 21,700 square feet. The developer has committed to providing 800 square feet of community and incubator space onsite that will be open to the public. Community benefits also include 700 square feet of open air public space, $87,000 in funding for the Boston Transportation Department (BTD) to provide street improvements in the vicinity of the project, bike parking, and parking for electric vehicles, space for a future Bluebikes station, and a contributtion of $75,000 to the City’s Bluebikes program. The project will generate 300 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs.

25 Isabella Street project to revitalize former Our Lady of Victories Church, bring new residential housing to area

Live: 18 residential units, 2 income-restricted, mix of 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms
Work: 100 construction jobs
Connect: Commuter rail, MBTA, bus lines within a half mile, bike storage, building wifi
Sustain: All electric systems, on-site storm water detention

This project in the Bay Village neighborhood will revitalize the vacant Our Lady of Victories Church on Isabella Street to turn it into a multi-family homeownership development through renovation and add-ons. This project will make the site better adhere to the character and needs of the neighborhood, while respecting the historic nature of the church. The development will include 18 residential units, two of which will be income-restricted, and will contribute $129,200 to the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) fund. It will also include 21 garaged parking spots, a bike room, improvements to the surrounding sidewalks, landscaping, and open space. The overall building totals 39,785 square feet. The developer has also committed to providing $15,000 in funding to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to be put toward the management and beautification of the Bay Village Neighborhood Park.

4198–4206 Washington Street project brings new community theater to Roslindale, as well as housing; at least 42 percent of units will be income-restricted with potential for increased affordability

Live: At least 42 percent will be income-restricted, with potential for increased affordability
Work: 4,272 square feet of retail space, 40 construction jobs, 12 retail jobs
Connect: 2,527 square foot community theater (The Rozzie Square Theater), new courtyard space
Sustain: 38 bike storage spaces, shared electric vehicle for residents

Located in Roslindale, this project would create a new five-story mixed use building, including 31 residential units, as well as retail space, and space for a community theater. At least 13 of the 31 units will be income-restricted (42 percent). The developer is currently working to secure more funding that would allow for up to 100 percent of the units to be income-restricted. Currently there is a one-story commercial building on this site. The existing tenants will be allowed to use the retail space on the ground floor of the new building if they so choose. The ground floor will also be home to The Rozzie Square Theater. This space will initially be occupied by improv group ComedySportz Boston, but will be available to the community when not in use by the tenant. The developer will also be partnering with Charles Sumner Elementary School to give students tours and lessons during construction, as well as furthering opportunities for children to take classes at the community theater. Community benefits will also include a new courtyard, widened sidewalks, and other improvements for pedestrians.

1-2 Thompson Square project builds an addition onto the Charlestown Savings Bank to create new home-ownership units, as well as retail and amenity space

Live: 9 Residential Units
Work: 220 construction jobs
Community: 1,910 square feet of retail space

Located in Charlestown’s Thompson Square, this project would demolish the one story addition on the west side of the existing Charlestown Savings Bank building and construct an approximately 23,826 square foot, 5 story, “L” shaped addition to the existing building that will include 9 residential ownership units, nine off-street vehicle parking spaces, at least nine on-site bicycle storage spaces, approximately 1,910 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and residential amenity spaces.

In addition to the new projects, the BPDA Board approved two Notice of Project Changes:

  • 771 Harrison Avenue will be changing its previous rental units to condos. The site, which was formerly the Immaculate Conception Church and Link Building, has 63 residential units, 51 of which were rentals. The Third Development Plan Amendment will allow for those units to be converted into condos. This includes income restricted units.
  • 43 Lochdale Road will be changing its 38 residential rental units to homeownership units, including six income-restricted units.
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