BPDA Board approves new housing in Allston, Dorchester, and the South End

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BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved six new development projects and three updates to previously approved projects. The new projects will create 164 residential units, 29 of which will be designated income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent approximately 410,018 square feet (SF) and will support approximately 376 construction jobs and 292 new permanent jobs.

Development Projects

Dorchester Fieldhouse to become hub for youth on Columbia Point in Dorchester

Serve: Serving 50,000 potential, flexible community event space, year round athletic facilities, enrichment spaces
Work: 474 construction jobs, community cafe, 24 total employees, workforce development and training opportunities
Connect: 20 visitor bike spaces, proximity to MBTA routes, BGCD shuttle service
Sustain: LEED Silver, all efficient electric design

The Dorchester Fieldhouse at 315 Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester will bring youth programming and employment opportunities to the neighborhood through the construction of a new three-story recreation complex. The project, proposed jointly by the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester (BGCB) and the Martin Richard Foundation, will include an indoor athletic field and courts, track, fitness and training rooms, classrooms, teaching kitchen, event space, and office space. The essential programming of the building will be supported by an on-site cafe. The fieldhouse will be accessible to Boston Public School (BPS) students at McCormack Middle School, Dever Elementary School, and any potential future schools operated in the Columbia Point neighborhood. In addition to creating employment opportunities for students and local residents, the fieldhouse will also facilitate workforce development programs utilizing the new spaces, in areas such as the culinary arts. The event and conference space will also be open for use by the local community. This project will also provide Bluebikes in the vicinity of the fieldhouse, and support the Bluebikes program with a $49,000 contribution.

BPDA approves new artist live-work spaces in Allston Brighton at 90 Braintree Street

Live: 111 rental units, 22 income-restricted, five artist live-work spaces, artist workspace and display area
Work: 200 construction jobs, three permanent jobs
Connect: Bicycle storage, building wifi, Bluebikes station, $75,000 towards mobility improvements identified by the Allston Brighton Mobility Plan
Sustain: Targeting LEED Gold, all electric, Zeo Net Carbon Design, new street trees

90 Braintree will support the artist community in Allston by creating new housing, as well as new income-restricted artist live-work space.This new six-story building will create 111 new rental units, 22 of which will be designated income-restricted, and five of which will be designated as artist live-work space. The artist working space will be located on the main floor of the building. The units will be a mix of studios, one bedrooms, two bedrooms, and three bedrooms. The project is located within the Brighton/Guest Street Planning Study boundary, which was adopted by the BPDA Board in 2012. The study called for an updated street network and outlined public realm guidelines for future projects. This project will provide garage parking for cars, as well as bicycle spaces on site. The project will contribute $500,000 to the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation to help fund 20 affordable housing units on Hano Street. Additional community benefits include $75,000 for bike lane improvements as part of the Allston Brighton Mobility Plan, $49,000 to create a new Bluebikes station, and $111,000 for improvements at nearby Penniman Park.

1154-1156 Dorchester Avenue brings new housing to Dorchester Avenue

Live: 20 homeownership units, three income-restricted
Work: 55 new construction jobs
Connect: Replacement of sidewalks adjacent to the project site, plant new trees

Located in Dorchester, this project will build an addition onto the existing building at 1154-1156 Dorchester Avenue to create a transit-oriented five-story building. The project is responsive to the BPDA’s PLAN: Glover’s Corner draft recommendations and will create 20 new homeownership units, three of which will be income-restricted, as well as commercial, office, and community space on the ground floor. The units will be a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. There will also be bike parking on site. As part of this project, the developer will widen a portion of the sidewalk on Dorchester Avenue and design and install an ADA-accessible crosswalk across Dorchester Avenue at Greenmount Street and Dewar Street to improve pedestrian conditions and access to existing transit. The project will contribute t $5,500 to the City’s Bluebikes program.

1395 Washington Street will create new homeownership opportunities in the South End

Live: 33 homeownership units, four of which will be income-restricted
Work: New retail space to will provide employment opportunities
Connect: 99 Walk Score, bicycle spaces

This project will build 33 new housing units in the South End, four of which will be income-restricted. The developer will demolish the existing building and construct a new six-story building containing housing and commercial retail space. The units will be a mix of studios, and one-bedroom units. The building will also include 34 bike parking spaces. As part of the community benefits for this project, the developer will contribute $25,000 for open space improvements in the South End and widening the sidewalk in front of the project site.

Cross Street Boutique Hotel project to revitalize prominent North End gateway

Live: $1.3 million in community benefits
Work: 87 full and part-time jobs, 930 construction jobs
Connect: 134 new hotel rooms, state of the art technology
Sustain: LEED Gold certifiable, designed to prepared for sea level rise, low impact development

Boston’s gateway to the North End will be revitalized with a hotel project on Cross Street between Salem and Endicott Street. The project, following the BPDA’s Greenway District Planning Study, will construct a five-story, 124 room hotel that will also house two restaurants and a seasonal rooftop dining terrace while transforming the existing plaza into a more pedestrian-friendly space. An open air passageway will connect Cutillo Park with the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and the developer has agreed to create ADA access to the park. Furthermore, the developer will contribute $100,000 to Cutillo Park, enter into a maintenance agreement with the Parks Department, implement rodent control measures as well as trash enclosures for area business trash receptacles.

Herb Chambers Honda dealership to invest in climate resiliency measures along Morrissey Boulevard

Connect: Streetscape improvements; Connection to future Morrissey Boulevard path and Neponset River trail extension
Sustain: $100,000 towards measures identified through Climate Ready Dorchester

The Herb Chambers Companies will redevelop the existing Honda auto dealership on Morrissey Boulevard. The redevelopment will fund streetscape improvements, including a ten foot wide sidewalk along Victory Road to provide access to the future bike and pedestrian path along Morrissey Boulevard and the Neponset River path extension that is planned to run parallel to I-93. The project will contribute$100,000, which will be matched by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, to fund the design and implementation of Tenean Beach and Conley Street improvements, as well as a deployable flood gate, as recommended in the planning study Climate Ready Boston, Coastal Resilient Solutions for Dorchester.

New Sweeney Field project at Wentworth Institute of Technology transforms parking lot into school’s athletics complex

Live: Community benefits include community use of the Athletic Field and new laptops for neighboring residential communities as well as student computer training assistance
Play: Conversion of 3.06 acre surface parking lot to Athletic Field serving WIT and community athletic programs, students
Connect: Three new crosswalks and two raised intersections along Parker Street; Significant improvements to project area landscape
Sustain: 25% parking spaces will have electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

A massive surface parking lot in Mission Hill will be transformed into Wentworth Institute of Technology’s (WIT) new athletics home. The new turf field will be built over a parking level, of which 25 percent of the spaces will have EV charging stations. The project will dramatically improve the streetscape and pedestrian areas along Parker, Station, Halleck and Prentiss Streets. While the field will primarily serve WIT athletic and student programming, WIT will provide opportunities for the community to use the facilities and provide support for athletic and pipeline programs managed by the Tobin Community Center, RAMP and Dual Enrollment. As part of a community benefits package, WIT will also upgrade computer equipment in the Mission Main Community Center.

In addition to the New Sweeney Field, the BPDA Board approved two other updates to previously approved projects:

  • 87-93 West Broadway, South Boston: The Board approved a change in ownership of the site, as well as a reduction in parking spaces.
  • 380 Stuart Street, Back Bay: The Board approved a reduction in loading bays for the project, as well as slight design changes to increase the public realm of the project.

Urban Renewal Actions

The BPDA Board voted to send a proposal to the Boston City Council that would seek an extension of nine Urban Renewal plans until the end of 2022, while permanently sunsetting five. Through the community process since the last extensions in 2016, the BPDA determined that it will be appropriate to sunset five Urban Renewal plans, Brunswick-King, Boylston-Essex, School-Franklin, Park Plaza, and Kittredge Square, in April. The Wu Administration and BPDA are seeking to extend the remaining nine plans until the end of 2022, in order to develop a plan to retain certain community benefits in the plans such as affordable housing and open space protections.

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