BPDA Board approves seven development projects, 223 residential units


BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved seven development projects at their August meeting. The projects will generate a total of 223 residential units, 42 of which will be affordable. In addition, the projects will create over 4,000 jobs upon their completion.

Included in the approved projects is Exchange South End, a 1.6 million square foot mixed-use office, commercial, technology and life science research space that will create thousands of permanent jobs, a 1.1 acre new publicly accessible open space, local transportation improvements, and over 30,000 square feet of civic space.

The BPDA continues to make progress towards Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal ofincreasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class. Since the start of 2018, 20 percent of all residential units approved are income-restricted. In total, 769 of the 3,760 residential units approved this year will be income-restricted for low or middle-income families.

Development Projects

Exchange South End approval paves way for 1.6 million square feet of life science, technology and commercial space, thousands of jobs

Live: $12.5M payment to create affordable housing
Work: Over 4,000 permanent jobs, over 3,000 construction jobs
Connect: 30,000 square feet of civic space situated around over an acre of new central publicly accessible open space, known as the Albany Green
Size: 1.6 million square feet

Located on a 5.6 acre property at 540 Albany Street, bordering Lower Roxbury, Dorchester and South Boston, the Exchange South End will convert the former location of the Boston Flower Exchange into 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use commercial, technology, and life science research space. In addition, the project will include 30,000 square feet of civic space situated around Albany Green, a new publicly accessible open space, and up to 1,155 parking spaces. The project will consist of the phased construction of four buildings.

The project is designed to integrate multimodal transportation site-access improvements, including direct connections to the I-93 corridor, the South Bay Harbor trail, the South End neighborhood, and nearby transit stops. The proposed implementation of pedestrian friendly streetscapes, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps, designated bike lanes, bike share and storage infrastructure, and traffic signal upgrades will serve to promote safe, accessible, and healthy mobility options.

The project will contribute $12.5 million in housing linkage funds to support affordable housing, and $2.5 million in jobs linkage funds to support job training and workforce development.

Consistent with the Smart Utilities Policy passed by the BPDA in June, the project is working closely with BPDA staff to conduct an analysis of the technical and economic feasibility of implementing a district energy microgrid as part of the project.

30 Penniman Road to bring affordable units to Allston, revitalize Penniman Park

Live: Six affordable housing units, direct access to Penniman Park, over 51 percent owner-occupancy
Work: 100 construction jobs, new residents to support local businesses
Connect: A quarter mile from closest transit, improved pedestrian amenities, walking distance to Boston Landing and MBTA Green Line
Size: 47,640 square feet

The proposal for 30 Penniman Road in Allston includes a new seven-story, 46-unit residential condominium building, including two artist live/work units. The building will have 42 parking spaces, consisting of 40 mechanical garage parking spaces and two accessible parking spaces.

As proposed, the 46 residential homeownership units will consist of 40 market-rate units and six Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units. There will be a mix of unit-types, with one studio unit, 34 one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units, four three-bedroom units, and two loft style units with direct access from the street.

The approved project proposal also includes a contribution of $46,000 toward improvements and upgrades to Penniman Park.

90 Antwerp Street to create 20 new homeowner units, including 12 affordable units and new open space in Brighton

Live: 20 new units, 12 affordable
Work: 30 construction jobs
Connect: Over 10,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space, 20 bike storage units
Size: 28,500 square feet

The 90 Antwerp project consists of 20 homeownership units, including 12 income-restricted units. The project will create over 10,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space to benefit the neighborhood.

This mixed-income residential project in Brighton was proposed in response to the 2017 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the parcel, donated by Harvard University, with the goal of creating affordable homeownership opportunities and publicly accessible open space.

The project will include 20 on-site parking spaces for residents, two visitor parking spaces, bicycle parking, community amenity space, and other support spaces.

Sixty percent of all units will be income restricted units affordable to families earning 80 percent or 100 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). The unit types will be a varied mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units.

40 Mount Hood Road to bring homeownership units, transportation improvements to Brighton

Live: 151 homeownership units, 16 percent income-restricted
Connect: Funding for Allston-Brighton Mobility Study, support for use of public transportation
Size: 74,052 square feet

The 40 Mount Road project will transform an existing hotel into 151 homeownership residential units. The project will be a mix of studios, one, two and three-bedroom residential units, and is located in proximity to the B Branch of the MBTA Green Line.

The public realm surrounding the project will be improved with approximately 10,000 square feet of landscaped space lining the property on both Mount Hood and Egremont Roads, creating an active edge along a corridor that connects the residential neighborhood to Commonwealth Avenue. The area will be enhanced for pedestrians with new street furniture, trees, plantings, lightning and path patterning.

40 Mount Hood Road exceeds the required IDP and will have 16 percent of units as income-restricted. This means 24 of the total units will be income-restricted, of which 10 will be made affordable to households earning no more than 80 percent AMI.

Included in the project is a robust transportation mitigation package, consisting of $75,000 toward the Allston-Brighton Mobility Study, $20/month per unit for five years for a shuttle service, MBTA, or other transit measure deemed appropriate by BPDA, and the installation of a Blue Bike Station on the project site or in close proximity.

The developer will also contribute $75,000 toward public realm improvements along Commonwealth Avenue, including necessary upgrades to the pedestrian signals and accessible ramps at the Commonwealth Avenue and Mount Hood Road intersection. In addition, the developer will contribute $25,000 to the City of Boston’s Parks and Recreation.

Notices of Project Change (NPC)

Parcel U in Jamaica Plain to create 54 homeownership units

Live: 54 homeownership units, seven homeownership income-restricted units
Work: 40 construction jobs
Connect: Two new public pocket parks

Located on an approximately 126,070 square foot former MBTA site in Jamaica Plain and bound by Hyde Park Avenue, Ukraine Way, Tollgate Cemetery, and the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks, Parcel U will create 54 homeownership units, over the course of two phases. Originally approved in 2014, the approval of this NPC will increase the number of units in Phase B of the project from 24 to 30. The project will also create two new pocket parks for the public.

69 A Street in South Boston moves forward with proposed project updates

Work: Over 70 construction jobs over the length of the project, 33,700 net square feet of new office space for a vibrant live/work/play environment
Connect: Developer partnering with students and schools in South Boston to participate in student exchange and cultural learning opportunities provided by CIEE, Inc.

The 69 A Street project site consists of three adjacent parcels located in South Boston. There are two existing structures at the site, a three-story brick and beam building formerly used as a rivet factory and a two-story building.

The project was originally approved in 2016, but the approval of this NPC will revise the original project to include the removal of the project’s sixth story, the removal of the originally approved rear addition to the existing three-story building, a decrease of commercial gross floor area, a 5,900 square foot floor plate reduction, the removal of 1,300 square feet of deck space, and the relocation of 1,070 square feet of roof deck from the rear of the building to the front of the building, stepping back the fifth floor.

As a result of these proposed changes, the proposed development will now consist of the demolition of the existing two-story building at the rear of the site, as well as the renovation and two-story addition to the existing building. This will include 33,700 square feet of commercial space and 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail space with 18 off-street parking spaces.

Revisions to East Boston’s 187-191 & 211 Condor Street given green light

Live: 21 homeownership units, three IDP
Connect: Pedestrian access improvements, including new sidewalks in and around the project site, a financial contribution to local East Boston community organizations

Originally approved in 2017, an NPC was submitted to pull the new structure back from the edge of Condor Street, away from the waterfront along the Chelsea River. As a result, the building will be smaller upon completion. The following changes were made to the proposed building located at 211 Condor Street: a reduction of two residential units, a reduction of three off-street parking spaces, and a reduction in the gross floor area.