Davis Companies Unique Collaboration to Transform Chinatown

Boston – A three-building new development project in the South End recently cleared a significant hurdle when the Boston Planning and Development Agency Board voted to approve the planned development area (PDA) for The Shawmut/Washington Street Block, providing a green light for this transformative development.

The project represents a collaboration between The Davis Companies, a Boston-based real estate investment and development firm, and two Chinatown community organizations, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England (CCBA) and Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC).

The approval paves way to develop three new buildings:

  • A 13-story residential complex with approximately 139 market-rate homeownership units, to be developed by The Davis Companies at 112 Shawmut Avenue.
  • New expansion of the BCEC building at 120 Shawmut Avenue to house church worship space and community programs and to develop up to 84 housing on the upper floors, enabling the possibility of consolidating BCEC’s services onto one site.
  • A building of up to 313 residential units and ground-floor retail space at 50 Herald Street, currently owned by the CCBA, which will provide at least 26% affordable units, which will be subsidized by inclusionary zoning funds from the Davis project.

Courtesy BPDA, Davis Companies, TAT

A direct result of this  partnership will be the creation of up to 536 rental and home ownership units — including at least 26% dedicated to affordable housing, as well as ground-floor retail, commercial, community, and cultural spaces. The PDA will also provide 27% public open space at the project, 7% above what is required, as well as underwriting the design and engineering for a new park at 142 Shawmut Avenue.

An east/west pedestrian connection, which was recommended as part of the neighborhood planning process, will provide residents of the South End and Castle Square Housing with a safe, well-lit public pathway to the Washington Street Corridor that does not exist today.

“This unique partnership will provide much-needed affordable housing for the community, as well as three new public open spaces for residents and neighbors alike,” said Brian Fallon, President of TDC Development Group, a subsidiary of The Davis Companies.  “Our nonprofit partner partners in this innovative three property PDA have been stewards of the community for many years, and this development will ensure that they will be able to serve the community for years to come, in addition to collectively bringing new housing and jobs to our city.”

“This project will allow us to create a new, larger church to better serve God and our community. It will provide expanded social programs such as ESL and citizenship classes, afterschool programs for middle school students, summer day camp. Our ministries, from children to elderly, are open to all. “said Steven Chin, Senior Pastor of the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church.

“The CCBA is a nearly 100-year old Chinatown institution with an accomplished track record owning affordable housing projects in the neighborhood, including Tai Tung Village and Waterford Place.  We will continue our legacy by providing at least 26% affordable housing on this site, leveraging linkage payments which will flow from the Davis building to CCBA,” said Paul Chan, President, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England.