News & Updates

BRA Board approves over $215 million in new projects at April meeting

Apr 23, 2015

Projects will create over 500 units of new housing for residents and students
The Board of Directors for the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approved ten development proposals at a meeting held last Thursday, April 16, 2015. Combined, the projects represent over $215 million in new investment in Boston’s economy. New housing projects were approved for Downtown, South Boston, East Boston, South End, Allston, Brighton, and Mission Hill. Emerson College’s planned renovation of the Little Building on Boylston Street also cleared an important hurdle, receiving final approval to move ahead with a much-anticipated rehabilitation and expansion to create more beds for the college’s students.

Several of the approved projects involve adaptive reuses of existing buildings. Below is a summary of the projects that are set to move forward.

Emerson College to renovate and expand Little Building for growing student population

Total Project Cost: $100,000,000
Total SF: 275,900
Construction Jobs: 416

Emerson College has received final approval to renovate and expand the Little Building at 80 Boylston Street. These adjustments would increase the current residential student population there from approximately 750 to approximately 1,050. The approved plan entails the construction of an 89,900 square foot, 400 bed dormitory expansion for the school’s growing student population.
The updated design by Elkus-Manfredi architects consists of modifications to the historic façade through a combination of repair, replacement and restoration. Interior renovations will occur on floors 2-12 and a newly constructed 13th floor will be creatively tucked away behind an existing 14-foot parapet.

New state-of-the art three-rink facility to replace Brighton’s abandoned Boston Tech Center

Total Project Cost: $45,000,000
Total SF: 190,000
Construction Jobs: 129

The Skating Club of Boston has been granted approval to build a state-of-the-art, three-rink skating facility in Brighton. The new facility will host a variety of Skating Club programs, as well as community- and hockey-related activities through a partnership with the Allston-Brighton Youth Hockey Association.
The facility would transform the 450,000 square foot vacant structure formerly known as the Boston Tech Center, along with the surrounding environment. Streetscape beautification plans call for eco-friendly sidewalk repaving, new trees, and enhanced street lighting. The developer anticipates that the new facility and accompanying public realm enhancements will achieve LEED Gold certification
The Club also pledged to award ten Skating Academy scholarships to Allston-Brighton area children and make its space open to the public as a general athletics center and function hall.

Market Street site to be redeveloped for new housing in Brighton

Total Project Cost: $4,900,000
Total SF: 6,116
Construction Jobs: 4

Demolition of a single-story, commercial building currently occupied by the Brighton Beer Garden has been approved to make way for new construction on the site. 386 Market Street Realty can now advance plans to construct a five-story residential building. The design by Neshamkin French Architects would feature residential units on the upper stories and about 600 square feet of ground-level retail space.
Two units would be created as affordable housing, and upon issuance of the building permit, a $44,000 affordable housing contribution would be paid to the City, in conformance with the Inclusionary Development Policy.
Residential parking would be provided at an on-site garage parking garage, accessed off Henshaw Street. Construction is set to start in July, with project completion expected sometime in September 2016.

48 rental units approved for Malvern Street in Allston

Total Project Cost: $11,500,000
Total SF: 31,564
Construction Jobs: 80

HSH Realty Limited Partnership gained approval to construct a six-story, 65-foot high residential building consisting of 48 rental units, six of which will be restricted for affordable housing. In lieu of a seventh on-site affordable unit, an off-site contribution will be paid to the Oxford Ping housing project in Chinatown.

The space would be enveloped in a Belden Beaver Blend brick-laid façade with two styles of windows, cantilevered bow and large aluminum double-hung. A green roof, meant to serve as a shared space, would crown the design by Developmental Resources. Sidewalk improvements adjacent to the new building will allow for the installation of bicycle racks, while the site itself is ideally located to take advantage of numerous public transportation services.

An open-air parking lot and single family home would be razed before redevelopment of the site begins in later this year.

Old warehouse building in South End to be revitalized with housing and commercial space

Total Project Cost: $8,000,000
Total SF: 64,530
Construction Jobs: 49

Holland Development, LLC received approval to redevelop an existing four-story warehouse building into a 64,530 square foot mixed-use development. The existing building will be partially demolished leaving the front and west facades in place, while three additional levels will be added to the stripped framework, bringing its total height to 87 feet.

The Factory at 46 Wareham will house modern amenities, retail, two floors of residential units (15 total units), and one level of below-grade parking. The housing will be comprised of a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, and a restaurant or gallery is planned for the ground floor. Two onsite affordable units will be created for artist live/work housing.

The project would also provide additional benefits to the South End through improvements to the public realm. The addition of new streetscape features and a potential new tenant, the Boston Arts and Crafts Society, are expected to enhance the residential and pedestrian environments.

Building on Liverpool Street to be renovated and expanded for new housing in East Boston

Total Project Cost: $5,750,000
Total SF: 38,000
Construction Jobs: 24

Charmed Life, LLC received approval to complete a rehabilitation and expansion of an existing two-story, building at 151 Liverpool Street in East Boston. Construction of a 22,000 square foot, three-story addition will create a 38,000 square foot five-story building. The completed project will consist of 24 mixed-income residential rental units. Three of those units would be dedicated for affordable housing, and residents would have access to 35 off-street parking spaces and enclosed bicycle storage.
The developer expects to begin construction later this year. 

New housing near East Boston’s Maverick Square to take the place of auto repair shop

Total Project Cost: $3,500,000
Total SF: 23,319
Construction Jobs: 18

Waypoint Companies received approval to redevelop the site of Future Automotive Inc in East Boston for a new housing project. The auto repair shop at 31 Orleans Street will be cleared to make way for a new four-story residential building. This project will create 14 apartments and 14 new parking spaces conveniently located near the MBTA’s Maverick Station on the Blue Line. Of those 14 units, two will be restricted as affordable.

The design by Peter Quinn Architects LLC reflects careful consideration of surrounded buildings. The Webster Street-facing façade primarily features traditional brick while the section that faces Orleans Street has a more contemporary blend of brick and other materials. The development will also be sustainable and built to LEED Gold standards.

Changes to New Street project on East Boston Waterfront receive approval

Total Project Cost: $132,000,000
Total SF: 242,615
Construction Jobs: 222

Plans to redevelop a roughly 4 acre site along the East Boston waterfront will incorporate changes approved by the BRA board. This is the second round of updated approvals for the development team led by Gerding Edlen, which purchased the plans to construct hundreds of units of housing on New Street from another developer after a long period of inactivity.

Gerding Edlen first proposed adding a seven-story vertical addition to an existing 9-story structure. However, structural engineers deemed it better to demolish the 9-story site in order to build a completely new 16-story residential building on the same footprint.

Architects at ADD Inc. have designed a LEED-certifiable project comprised of 223 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom residential rental units, as well as ground-floor lobby space, interior bicycle storage, and other amenities. To improve connections to the waterfront and surrounding neighborhood, an open-air, public walkway linking New Street and the Harborwalk is planned, along with construction of a new docking facility for water taxi services.

Former New England Baptist Hospital building to be transformed into housing for Mission Hill

Total Project Cost: $7,000,000
Total SF: 33,020
Construction Jobs: 25

Jamaica View, LLC received approval to redevelop two buildings formerly owned by New England Baptist Hospital for housing. Originally built as dormitories for nursing students, the lot at the intersection of Parker Hill and Sunset Avenues would be converted to traditional residences with on-site parking accommodations.

In response to community feedback, the developer reduced the total number of units from 46 to 40 while increasing the number of on-site affordable units to seven. Additionally, the proponent will make a donation of $10,000 to the Judge Baker’s Children’s Center.

The project will incorporate landscaping improvements to enhance visibility for pedestrian and vehicular traffic at the corner of Parker Hill Avenue, in direct response to community feedback.

New housing at 110 Broad Street to fill “missing tooth” along Greenway

Total Project Cost: $35,000,000
Total SF: 83,500
Construction Jobs: 78

New Boston Ventures, LLC has received approval on a plan to construct a twelve-story building at 110 Broad Street along the Greenway. The roughly 83,500 square feet of newly developed space would include approximately 40 residential units and 3,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. The mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom residential units, of which five will be created as affordable housing, will help create new vitality on a prized piece of downtown real estate.

By transforming an underutilized site along the Greenway into a vibrant mixed-use building, the project hopes to enhance the surrounding pedestrian environment. To this end, developers have offered to donate $25,000 towards the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and last for approximately 18 months.


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