In 2018, BPDA Approved 12.1 Million SF, Nearly $7 Billion in New Development

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44 North Street rendering

BOSTON–The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved 12.1 million square feet of new development projects, valued at nearly $7 billion, BPDA said in a statement.

“In 2018, the BPDA approved nearly $7 billion in new development, 12.1 million square feet, an increase of 1.8 million over 2017,” the statement said. “The approved projects will generate over $37 million in funding for affordable housing and job training this year, $30.9 million for housing and $6.2 million for jobs. Twenty percent of all residential units approved are income-restricted. In total, 891 of the 4,405 residential units approved this year will be income-restricted for low or middle-income families.”

BPDA also announced that its Board of Directors approved development projects in East Boston and Allston that will create 60 residential units at their December meeting. 

In addition to the two new projects, the Board approved tentative designation for the redevelopment of the BPDA-owned Parcel 12, located at 280 Tremont Street in Chinatown. The proposed project includes 152 income-restricted rental and homeownership units to be developed by Asian Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Millennium Partners.

A portion of the affordable units contribute to the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) requirement for the Winthrop Square project. The tentative designation of the parcel follows a robust community process with the Chinatown community about the vision for the site, which is currently used as a parking lot. In addition to the affordable residential units, the project proposes to expand the adjacent Double Tree Hotel and the adjacent Tufts Shared Services garage, and will include an activated community space. The proposed project will continue to be evaluated with the community through the Article 80 review process.

The projects moving forward make progress towards Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class.  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

44 North Beacon Street approval to bring 30 residential units, commercial/office space to Allston

Live: 30 residential units, four IDP
Work: 26 construction jobs, 2-4 full-time property management jobs
Connect: Commercial/office space
Size: 34,580 square feet

The 44 North Beacon Street project in the Allston neighborhood proposes the construction of a new five story building with 30 residential rental units and one commercial/office space. The 30 rental units will consist of four Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units and two units will be compliant with Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) Group 2 regulations for accessible design. As currently proposed, the 30 rental units will consist of two studios, four one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units, and 12 three-bedroom units. 

Loading and unloading for the building will be provided in the rear of the project site, in addition to 19 parking spaces. A bike storage and maintenance room will be provided within the building, just off the front entrance lobby, to promote accessibility and ease of use. The project will aim to meet LEED Silver certification levels. The proponent will work with the BPDA Urban Design during the design review process to address concerns related to the architectural design.  

656 Saratoga Street approval to bring 30 rental units, four IDP to East Boston

Live: 30 rental units, four IDP units
Work: 21 construction jobs
Connect: Supporting East Boston organizations with local programming
Size: 28,645 square feet

The approval of the 656 Saratoga Street project will yield the construction of a three story building with 30 rental units, including four income restricted units, 30 off-street parking spaces, and at least 30 on-site bicycle storage spaces. As currently proposed, the 30 residential units are anticipated to consist of 14 studio units, seven one-bedroom units, and nine two-bedroom units. 

This project will also include a financial contribution of $28,500 to be used toward the relocation of the MBTA bus stop and shelter on westbound Bennington Street/Moore Street on the Route 120 to the far side of the intersection. This transportation enhancement will improve operations on the Route 120 bus and improve pedestrian safety. In addition, a $3,000 contribution to the Salesian Boys and Girls Club Incorporated will be used for general operating capital for the club which provides athletic, tutoring, dance, cooking, and educational programming for local children. Another contribution of $3,500 to the Veronica Robles Cultural Center Corp. will be used for general operating capital needed to sustain and implement youth programs which include art making, dance, and musical activities.