News & Updates

Planning progresses in JP, Roxbury and South Boston as Dudley initiative launches

Feb 19, 2016

In July 2015 the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) announced the launch of transit-oriented planning efforts in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and South Boston. This announcement came after a December 2014 speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce where Mayor Martin J. Walsh highlighted the need for planning in the aforementioned areas as they experience market pressures to transform former industrial or underutilized sites into vibrant mixed-use developments that can better meet neighborhood needs.

Since the announcement, the BRA has collaborated with community members, elected officials, and planning, design, and economic development professionals in two transit-oriented corridors – one spanning Washington Street and Columbus Avenue in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury and the other along Dorchester Avenue in South Boston. Ultimately, this process will yield the creation of detailed plans that include recommendations for updating zoning in each area so that it is consistent with current redevelopment goals. 

Over the last eight months the BRA has initiated a series of dialogues and workshops that have included an open house and a walk/bike tour, in order to engage with and receive feedback from the community. Most recently, the BRA hosted a February discussion with the Egleston Square business community that was held in Spanish and translated for English-speakers, garnering valuable feedback for planners as the study enters the final stretch.

The next JP/Rox meeting is on Saturday, March 5 at the Anna M. Cole Community Center and will focus on “Development Ideas and Future Visions.” An open house will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and a workshop from 9:30 a.m. to noon. While prior community workshops have explored ideas for improving land use, transportation, development, and job opportunities for the people who need them most, the basis of this workshop is to receive community feedback on early recommendations and future building scenarios.

Light refreshments and Spanish interpretation services will be provided.  

PLAN: South Boston Dot Ave.
Situated between two major red line MBTA stations and bus hubs, the Dorchester Avenue Corridor from Andrew Square to Broadway Station is prime for transit-oriented development, an area “poised to become the next hot corner in Boston real estate,” according to a December 2015 Globe article. In order to gauge community wants and needs, this study and planning process began with an open house in July 2015, encouraging community members to speak with the BRA firsthand. From there, monthly workshops and dialogues on a variety of topics occurred, based on the concerns that were raised at the initial open house.

These dialogues have covered matters such as land use, height and density of buildings, and open space. The next topic that will be covered is "Mobility and Getting Around." This community workshop, one of the final three for this study area, will take place on Tuesday, February 23 at the Iron Workers Local 7 Building. Starting at 5:30 p.m. there will be an open house with time for networking. The workshop, focusing on mobility trends, vision, and phasing will begin at 6 p.m. and will allow time for recommendations from the community regarding challenges. In addition, there will be a discussion to review and clarify elements of the emerging plan.

The Next Area of Focus
As planning progresses in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and South Boston, Mayor Walsh announced a new planning initiative for Dudley Square during his State of the City speech in January. PLAN: Dudley Square will revisit the visions presented in both the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan and Dudley Vision to see if they still align with current community goals. Using Dudley Square as a focal point, the BRA will work with the community to further discuss the future of Roxbury as a whole. This process will begin on Monday, February 22 at the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the BRA will host an open house for residents, property owners, business owners, and community and civic groups to learn more about PLAN: Dudley Square and how they can get involved. For those who are unable to attend the initial open house, the workshop schedule for Dudley Square is as follows:

February 22, 2016: Open House
March: Walking Tour (TBD)
March 21, 2016: Visioning Workshop
April 19, 2016: Housing and Jobs Workshop
May 16, 2016: Tools for Development Workshop
June 20, 2016: Design, Feasibility and Benefits Workshop
July 15, 2016: Review Draft Recommendations
August 1, 2016: Final Implementation Strategy Plan

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