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This is the website for the City of Boston’s new Planning Department, which launched on July 1. The staff and many responsibilities of the Boston Planning & Development Agency have moved to the Planning Department of the City of Boston including planning & zoning, urban design, development review, and real estate divisions. Please excuse any misalignment you may see on our site as we transition to the City. Learn more

News & Updates

Mayor Menino Announces New Projects Moving Forward

May 16, 2013

510 Hotel Rooms Approved on South Boston Waterfront
Total Project Cost: $190M
Total SF: 135,448 SF (hotels) 107,747 SF (garages)
Hotel Rooms: 510 units
Jobs: 593 construction jobs, 150 permanent jobs

The BRA Board unanimously approved two new hotels and a parking garage for the South Boston Waterfront. These new developments, totaling $190 million, will play a key role in supporting the continued growth of the adjacent Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The project being developed by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority is located at 371-401 D Street. The two hotels, The Element and Aloft, will be complementary mid-priced hotels, with 510 total rooms. Aloft will be a select service hotel with 330 rooms oriented to business travelers with short stays. The hotel will include amenities like a business center and media pods, as well as ground floor retail. The Element will have 180 rooms and will be “extended stay” for guests planning a three to five day visit to Boston with rooms that include a small kitchen. An adjacent parking garage will contain spaces for approximately 1,350 vehicles and will replace an existing surface parking lot and will include ground floor retail.   New Housing Approved in Allston 
Total Project Cost: $17M
Total SF: 93,260 SF
Housing: 104 unit, 14 affordable
Construction Jobs: 260
  The BRA Board unanimously approved The Icon, a 104-unit apartment complex located at 75 Brainerd Road in Allston. The project will replace a low rise industrial building and an auto body shop, improving the streetscape and pedestrian experience in the area. The $17 million project being developed by the Mount Vernon Company totals 93,260 square feet and includes 108 parking spaces. The developer is providing $100,000 in community benefits, as well as new streetlights, sidewalks, landscaped areas, trees, and improvements to pedestrian connections between Brainerd Road and Commonwealth Avenue. The project is anticipated to break ground in 2013, creating 260 construction jobs, and has a 16 month completion schedule. The Icon is part of a “green district” the Mount Vernon Company is creating in Allston. Other abutting projects include the recently completed Element Building located at 9-23 Griggs Street, and The Edge at 60-66 Brainerd Road, which will break ground this year.   Condominiums Approved for South Boston
Total Project Cost: $4,000,000
Total SF: 26,814 SF
 Housing: 18 condominium units, 2 affordable units
 Construction Jobs: 100
  A four-story building at 309 E Street featuring 18 condominium units was unanimously approved by the BRA Board.  Two affordable units will be included – one unit for households earning at or below 80% the area median income (AMI) and the other for households earning at or below 100% of the AMI.  In addition, the developer will contribute $68,000 to the Inclusionary Development Fund to further create affordable housing.  The project is expected to break ground in June 2013.  The development team includes Michael McGough, developer, Dan Rull, legal counsel, and William Christopher, architect.   Funding Energy Efficiency Repairs for Affordable Housing With the unanimous support of the BRA Board, $250,000 has been allotted to make the City’s affordable rental properties more energy efficient.  Awarded to the Energy Retrofit/Renew Boston Fund, the source of the funds is the Inclusionary Development Program Energy Fund.  The qualifying properties are those owned by non-profits or properties where the tenants are responsible for their heat and electricity.  In addition, the qualifying properties have demonstrated a serious need for energy improvement and have tenants earning less than 80% of area median income (AMI).  The Energy Retrofit/Renew Boston Fund brings energy efficiency programs to Boston’s affordable housing.  The BRA, the Mayor’s Office of Energy Policy, the Department of Neighborhood Development, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and Action for Boston Community Development, work together to coordinate and fund the Energy Retrofit/Renew Boston Fund.   New Development Guidelines on South Huntington Avenue The BRA Board unanimously approved new guidelines that will inform future development on South Huntington Avenue in Jamaica Plain. The South Huntington Framework for Future Development establishes a comprehensive vision for the area primarily addressing the use mix, open space and connections, transportation impacts, the development footprint, floor area ratio, and building heights. The Framework breaks the corridor into three distinct areas with recommendations tailored to each of these locations. It also recommends action items and specific time frames to improve the public realm, address transportation needs, and manage future growth. The Framework is not an amendment to existing zoning, but will be used as reference during the Article 80 process and for basis during zoning variance consideration.  In addition the Framework provides guidance for exceptional public benefits for cases in which a project exceeds underlying zoning and is at the upper threshold of the recommended guidelines.

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