News & Updates

BRA Board approves over $75 million in new projects at June meeting

Jun 12, 2015

Approvals make way for housing in the South End and Dorchester and public charter school in Hyde Park

The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s Board of Directors approved three new development projects at last night's meeting that, together, represent an investment of $75.3 million in the local economy. A new public charter school was approved for Hyde Park, and two new housing projects are set to move forward in Dorchester and the South End.

While the residential projects are relatively small in scale, creating a combined total of 45 units, they are unique in what they bring to their respective neighborhoods. Brookview House III in Dorchester will result in twelve affordable units for very low-income residents, and the South End project will transform a former church that has set vacant for several years into 33 units of housing.

The three developments are expected to create nearly 250 construction jobs. Below is a summary of the projects that are set to move forward.

Boston Preparatory Charter Public School to build new facility in Hyde Park

Total Project Cost: $24,000,000
Total SF: 48,800
Construction Jobs: 35

Having operated out of leased space at a former parochial school in Hyde Park since being founded in 2004, Boston Preparatory Charter Public School (BPCPS) received approval to construct a new facility in the neighborhood to accommodate its growing student population. The school, which serves grades six through twelve, has 400 students and over 60 teachers and staff members. The majority of students come from Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, and Hyde Park, with a smaller number coming from other neighborhoods, including South Boston and Jamaica Plain.

The 48,800 square foot, three-story new facility will include landscaped areas, outdoor recreational facilities, an internal drive with a bus loading zone, parking for 54 vehicles, and related site improvements. Students and staff will benefit from new instructional, support, and large common spaces, as well as a gymnasium wing. Unlike the leased property that the school currently operates from, the new building will have dedicated science labs, a library, cafeteria, and seamless technology integration.

Studio G Architects designed the school. The $24 million project is expected to break ground by October and be completed by March 2017.

Former Holy Trinity German Church in South End to be rehabbed and expanded for housing

Total Project Cost: $47,000,000
Total SF: 57,904
Construction Jobs: 195

Developer David Goldman will transform the former Holy Trinity German Church and Rectory in the South End to make way for 33 units of new housing. The adaptive reuse and expansion of the church, located at 136 Shawmut Avenue, will involve demolition of the existing interior space in order to accommodate a new eight-story building with 28 basement parking spots. The church has been vacant for about five years.

Feingold Alexander & Associates’ design attempts to marry modern steel and glass elements while preserving the historic character of the existing structure and exterior masonry. Lighting features will enhance the church’s spire and highlight the classic architecture of the building.

The developer will voluntarily contribute $500,000 to support Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion (IBA), a non-profit community-building organization in the South End, in addition to providing $20,000 to the Friends of Peters Park as community benefits.

Brookview House III will create twelve new units of affordable housing low-income residents in Dorchester

Total Project Cost: $4,316,000
Total SF: 22,316
Construction Jobs: 16

The BRA board approved a proposal from Brookview House Development Corporation to construct an all-affordable development at 35 Hansborough Street in Dorchester. Brookview House III will consist of twelve residential rental units within a three-story building. Beyond providing housing for low-income residents, the project is unique in that it will include over 4,000 square feet of programming space for residents and members of the adjacent community. This space will accommodate classrooms for afterschool enrichment programs as well as space for adult education, training, and counseling services.

There will be nine two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units. One of the two-bedroom units will have handicap accessible features.

All twelve units will be made affordable to households earning up to 30% of area median income, which equates to less than $30,000 per year for a family of three. The developer will seek public funding to ensure that all units can be restricted as affordable in perpetuity.

Plumbing and HVAC company J.C. Cannistraro to develop new facility in Marine Industrial Park

Watertown-based J.C. Cannistraro received a tentative designation to redevelop Parcel N at 25 Fid Kennedy Avenue in the Boston Marine Industrial Park (BMIP). The plumbing and HVAC company plans to re-use much of the existing, but currently vacant, two-story structure to construct a new facility for storage, fabrication, assembly, and distribution of HVAC and fire suppression systems. While the company’s corporate office will remain in Watertown, the facility at Parcel N will include supporting office space. Cannistraro expects to close its suburban manufacturing facilities and relocate over 100 jobs to the BMIP.

The six-month tentative designation will allow Cannistraro to gain access to Parcel N in order to conduct further due diligence before redeveloping the site. Once this process and the lease negotiation is complete, the company will be eligible for final designation.

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