Boston – The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) board of directors recently approved five new development projects representing 1.6 million sq. ft. and supporting approximately 1,493 construction jobs and 1,844 permanent jobs.
Located within the Western Avenue Corridor Study and Rezoning (WACRZ) area, the 176 Lincoln Street project in Allston will build a new mixed-use development comprised of lab, office, residential, restaurant, retail, and cultural space. The project follows the guidance set forth in WACRZ in programming, dimension, and density requirements. Of the 252 residential units on site, approximately 45 will be income-restricted, including ten artist live/work units. Features of the project include almost two acres of green space, close proximity to public transit, and the completion of Telford Street.
Located on the former Boston State Hospital property in Mattapan, the Olmsted Village project will build six new buildings of residential housing. This project is located within the boundaries of Boston’s only Smart Growth Overlay District, which was originally established through the State 40R Smart Growth program to encourage diverse housing developments with various housing and transportation options within Mattapan.
Located in Roxbury, the One Elmwood Street project will construct a 7-story building containing 40 residential units, seven of which will be income-restricted. The units will be designed under the guidelines of the Boston Compact Living Policy, focusing on smaller units, more shared amenities, no parking, and ample bike storage. The building will also include retail and commercial space. This project will improve the public realm by increasing outdoor seating and bike storage, and making nearby intersections and road crossings safer. The project makes significant contributions toward the goals of the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan.
What is currently a vacant building at 1035 Commonwealth Avenue in Allston will become a new 6-story mixed-use building including residential housing and retail space. There will be 55 residential units, nine of which will be income-restricted. The project contributes to the overall walkability and transit-oriented development described in the Allston-Brighton Mobility Study, as it will prioritize bicycle, public, and pedestrian movement, and does not include parking. This project also contributes to goals of increased housing within walking distance of public transit and bike infrastructure.
The project at 1320 Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester will build a new 6-story mixed-use development comprised of residential and commercial space. The building will contain 70 compact studio units, 11 of which will be income-restricted. In support of open space, this project will contribute $50,000 to the City’s Fund for Parks to fund efforts to maintain green space at nearby Ronan Park.
The BPDA board also approved changes to the Linkage policy that would increase fees for lab and commercial uses to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing, as well as to support the job training and job readiness needs of Boston’s residents. This updated policy will now go to the Zoning Commission for approval to formally amend the zoning code.
Additionally, the BPDA board approved the release of two RFPs related to reforming the Article 80 process. Mayor Wu and Chief Jemison have charged staff with the responsibility of creating a more clear and predictable development review process for all stakeholders. This new process will support Mayor Wu’s stated goals of affordability, resiliency, and equity, in addition to providing increased predictability, transparency, and accountability. The goal is to envision and implement a transformed development review process that will improve how communities, developers, and the BPDA work together to shape the city. One RFP will focus on reforming the Article 80 code and development review process, while the other will focus specifically on reforming community engagement that takes place as part of Article 80 review. Together, the RFPs represent one comprehensive reform effort.