Boston – The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) board of directors recently approved seven new development projects which will support approximately 2,291 construction jobs and 159 permanent jobs.
The Mary Ellen McCormack Redevelopment Phase I project will redevelop more than half of the site of one of the largest public housing developments in New England, replacing 529 of the existing deeply affordable housing units and adding almost 800 mixed-income units. The new buildings will be built fossil-fuel-free Passive House certified. In addition to the 1,310 new units within eight new buildings, more than 2.5 acres will become publicly accessible open space. The new buildings will also include retail space and the new Billy McGonagle Community Center.
Located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, the Independence project will renovate 147 hotel rooms at the Constitution Inn into 100 income-restricted residential units. The remaining space within the building will be leased back to the YMCA, currently on site, which will renovate it for the continued operation of a fitness and wellness facility. Of the 100 units, 48 will be dedicated to the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) model. The PSH units will include on-site services for vulnerable populations that support stable tenancies.
The 25-39 Harvard Avenue project will build a 6-story building with housing and retail space in Allston. The building will contain up to 170 housing units, including 29 income-restricted units. An outdoor plaza connected to the residential lobby will be designed to hold both public and private events. The project achieves goals outlined in the city’s Open Space Plan and Urban Forest Plan by adding street trees on Harvard Avenue and trees in the courtyard.
The 131 North Beacon Street project will convert a North Beacon Street lot that currently has a vacant one-story commercial building and a parking lot into a new 6-story building with 76 home-ownership units and first-floor retail space. Of those units, 13 will be income-restricted. It is a transit-oriented development.
Located in the Fields Corner section of Dorchester, the 1420 Dorchester Avenue project is a 5-story building providing 46 housing units and retail to the neighborhood. There will be 26 one-bedroom units and 20 two-bedroom units; seven of the units will be income-restricted. This development will include indoor and outdoor bike parking and provide space on site for a future public art installation.
The 81 Hancock Street project on Hancock Street in Dorchester will bring 36 housing units to the neighborhood, while maintaining the operation of the site’s current retail space. Six of the units will be income-restricted. The all-electric building will have 40 bike parking spaces for residents, and approximately 16 new trees will be planted, along with other public realm improvements.
The 415 Newbury Street project includes a 3-story building with 38 homeownership units and an 11-story building with 95 housing units on what is currently a parking lot on Newbury Street. A total of 23 units will be income-restricted. The project will also create residential amenities and new facilities for the Harvard Club of Boston. The project will create a new dedicated bike lane on Newbury Street between Massachusetts Avenue and Charlesgate East.
Located in Dorchester, the Columbia Point Crossing project at 35-75 Morrissey Boulevard has received a Planned Development Area (PDA) Plan Approval
(individual development projects within these PDAs will be considered by the board separately). The project will completely redesign the existing site with seven new buildings to include a mix of residential, retail, commercial, and office space. Almost half of the site will be made up of publicly accessible open space, and new roadways and connections.
Additionally, the BPDA board:
- Adopted the PLAN: Downtown planning initiative which establishes a new framework for the growth, enhancement, and preservation of Downtown Boston as a 24-hour neighborhood, balancing livability, affordability, walkability, climate change preparedness, access to open space, and a dynamic mix of uses.
- Approved the South Boston Seaport Strategic Transit Plan, worked on in partnership with the Boston Transportation Department (BTD), as well as staff from the MBTA and other state agencies. It includes 27 transit network and policy improvements which respond to the need for better local, crosstown, and regional access to the South Boston Waterfront.
- Approved changes to Article 60 of the zoning code, the zoning article for the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood, to implement planning recommendations from PLAN: Mattapan.
- Authorized a contract with a consultant to create an illustrated guide, known as a “pattern book,” that will serve as a guide for the most feasible options for property owners in Boston who may want to build ADUs on their property.
- Authorized the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to retain a consultant who will support the city’s new “Greening while Growing” urban design study.
- Approved the final designation of the Maple Street Stewardship Team and the Boston Food Forest Coalition to redevelop the parcel at 44 Maple Street in Roxbury into a community garden.
- Approved the Notice of Project change at 554-562 Columbia Road, which will now restore the existing mixed-use Fox Hall building, as well as introduce new senior housing units to the project. It will also eliminate the original proposed parking.
- Approved the second Notice of Project change at 270 Dorchester Avenue to change from condominiums to rental units.
- Approved the extension and renewal of the Boston Children’s Hospital Institutional Master Plan.
- Approved the Notice of Project change for Parcel 25 to reduce the overall size of the project and the parking on site and change the use from office to residential.