News & Updates

BRA Board approves over $490 million in new development at February meeting

Feb 27, 2015

Major projects in Fenway, East Boston, and Dorchester set to move forward
Snow postponed the original date for the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s February Board of Directors meeting, but that didn’t prevent a flurry of development activity from being approved when the Board met yesterday afternoon in a rescheduled session. A total of seven development projects that will provide 787 units of housing and create 770 construction jobs were approved at the meeting. The 1.1 million square feet of new development represents a combined investment of over $490 million.
Most of the projects are housing related, with several including plans for retail space, but two of the city’s biggest institutions also received the go ahead to carry out new projects. Massachusetts General Hospital was approved to renovate the old Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital at 125 Nashua Street for administrative uses. And Boston College won approval to convert an existing apartment building at 2000 Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton into new student housing for 540 of its undergraduates. Together with a new residence hall that is under construction at 2150 Commonwealth Avenue, the college will increase its on campus housing portfolio by 1,030 beds, supporting Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of creating more campus housing opportunities for Boston’s college and university students.
Housing on East Boston’s waterfront continues to blossom, as the second phase of Portside at East Pier, a mixed-use development led by Roseland Property Company on Massport land, was approved by the BRA Board. East Pier’s Buildings 5 and 6, as they will be know, will contain 275 units of housing just a short walk from the MBTA’s Maverick Blue Line Station. The first phase of the project, known as Building 7, was completed last November, and those units are now being leased.
The following other development projects were also approved at yesterday’s meeting.

Fenway Point will create a new gateway to the neighborhood, adding hundreds of units of housing

Total Project Cost: $290,000,000
Total SF: 390,460
Construction Jobs: 370
Samuels & Associates continues to transform the Fenway neighborhood with new housing, retail, and commercial space, and yesterday the developer was granted permission to move ahead with the Fenway Point project. The corner of Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street will undergo a major facelift, as a series of one-story brick buildings and surface parking lots will be redevelop to make way for a new 30-story mixed-use building that will include 349 units of housing. The plan calls for 240 rental units and 109 condominium units, 41 of which will be designated as affordable. A two-story lobby with 25,000 square feet of retail space and 17,000 square feet of pedestrian open space outside of the building will help to activate the streetscape. The building itself will have a green roof and rooftop open space for residents.
The signature project, designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica, will create a new gateway to Fenway. Originally planned for 22 stories, the developer worked with the community and the BRA to revise the project proposal to include more housing units. The building will offer studio, one, two, three, and four bedroom layouts.

Samuels & Associates will also make a $50,000 contribution to the Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association for maintenance of future sidewalk improvements.

Transit oriented development to bring new affordable housing to Dorchester’s Ashmont neighborhood

Total Project Cost: $40,000,000
Total SF: 106,606
Construction Jobs: 72
Ashmont-TOD-2.pngThe site of an automobile service center will be redeveloped to create 87 new units of housing, 53 of which will be affordable, in the Ashmont TOD 2 project. The project proponents, Trinity Ashmont Two Limited Partnership, plan to construct studio, one, two, and three bedroom layouts. The top floor will house 17 loft style units, and a small 1,400 square foot roof deck will be available to residents.
The six-story, mixed-use transit oriented development will include an on-site garage, covered bicycle parking for residents, and almost 4,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial and retail space. The building will be conveniently located about 300 feet from the MBTA’s Ashmont Station. Given its proximity to public transit, the developers were able to lower the parking ratio to approximately .4 spaces per residential unit, which is consistent with the City of Boston’s standards for such developments.
The project, which will be LEED certifiable with multiple green building elements, was designed by The Architectural Team. The developer is familiar with transit oriented projects, as the same team was involved in the nearby Carruth TOD.

Next phase of Channel Center project in Fort Point approved

Total Project Cost: $16,000,000
Total SF: 72,562
Construction Jobs: 51
9-Channel-Center.jpgChannel Center is a multi-phase, mixed-use development containing traditional housing, live/work units, office, research and development, retail, and restaurant space, as well as open space. The project, which dates back to 2001, will move into the next phase, as the BRA Board approved plans for 9 Channel Center.
The developer, which is affiliated with Berkeley Investments, will rehabilitate an existing structure at 9 Channel Center in Fort Point to include approximately 66,000 square feet of office space on the upper six floors and 6,700 square feet of ground floor space that could become a restaurant.
The project will generate approximately $56,000 in community mitigation funds that will be made available to area non-profits to support a range of causes, from affordable housing to local arts and public realm improvements.

Entirely affordable Paris Village project to add housing in East Boston

Total Project Cost: $11,500,000
Total SF: 30,375
Construction Jobs: 23
Paris Village, a four-story project Paris-Village.PNGThe East Boston Community Development Corporation received approval for containing 32 units of housing, all of which are planned as affordable. The building, located four blocks away from the MBTA’s Airport Station, will house a combination of 21 two-bedroom units and 11 three-bedroom units.
The developer was able to surpass the city’s affordable housing standards by securing funding from the state to support the project. Construction is expected to begin later this year.


Underutilized Dorchester Avenue parcel to be redeveloped for housing in South Boston

Total Project Cost: $11,500,000
Total SF: 43,650
Construction Jobs: 32
248-Dorchester-Ave.PNGEverdeen Property Group will demolish an Enterprise Rent-A-Car facility to construct a new six-story housing development with 4,400 square feet of retail space at 248 Dorchester Avenue. The mixed-use building will include 33 rental units, four of which will be affordable, and on-site parking for every unit. While a majority of the apartments will be one-bedrooms, the project plans call for two studio units and seven two-bedroom units.
Designed by Utile, Inc, the project is expected to break ground by January 2016. It is located less than a quarter mile from the MBTA’s Broadway Station.

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