News & Updates

BRA board approves $1.3 billion in projects at April meeting

Apr 15, 2016

Last night’s Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) board meeting was punctuated by the approval of transformative projects in Mattapan and Allston, where long-envisioned development plans are now ready to be realized. A large affordable housing development just outside of Mattapan Square and the recommencement of Harvard University’s research complex in Allston will provide a significant economic boost for both communities.
All told, the BRA board approved nine projects valued at $1.3 billion that will deliver 1.3 million square feet of new development in the coming years, as well as 129 units of affordable housing. An estimated 1,700 construction jobs will be created as a result.
Below is a summary of the developments that were approved.

Cote Village project will bring new affordable housing to Mattapan, revitalizing site of shuttered car dealership

Total Project Cost: $31,200,000
Total SF: 101,848
Construction Jobs: 76
Following a successful planning and community review process that was led by the BRA and the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), a vacant site along busy Cummins Highway in Mattapan will take on new life, as developers received approval to construct 76 units of housing, comprised of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. The Cote Village project will transform the site of the former Cote Ford car dealership, a property that has sat vacant for decades.
In its place will rise a five-story building with 68 affordable units, 56 of which will be restricted to households at or below 60 percent of area median income (AMI), with another 12 units restricted to households at or below 80 percent AMI. The eight other units in the development will be market rate townhouses. The city and state are helping to finance Cote Village through a combination of tax credits and loans, as well as a $750,000 award from the Neighborhood Housing Trust and $4.8 million from the Inclusionary Development Policy fund.
Designed by Davis Square Architects, Cote Village will be less than a quarter mile from Mattapan Square and located near a planned new stop on the MBTA’s Fairmount Commuter Rail Line. The project includes a large public plaza, in addition to a community room and commercial space.

Harvard University set to move forward with ambitious Science and Engineering Complex in Allston

Total Project Cost: $1,000,000,000
Total SF: 556,850
Construction Jobs: 479
A stretch of Western Avenue in Allston that languished due to the economic downturn several years ago is back on track for redevelopment, as Harvard University will move ahead with its planned Science and Engineering Complex on the enterprise research campus. The university broke ground on what was originally going to be the home of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in 2007, completing the foundation of the project before having to suspend the development in 2009 because of financial constraints.
Last November, Harvard announced changes to the original project and began working with the BRA and the community to review the Science and Engineering Complex. The centerpiece of the project, known as the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will provide lab, classroom, teaching, and office space for dozens of faculty and hundreds of researchers when completed. The complex, designed with a focus on sustainability by Behnisch Architekten, will include a district energy facility, as well as a broad array of streetscape and open space improvements for the neighborhood.
In addition to the Science and Engineering Complex, the BRA board approved Harvard University’s sweeping $183.5 million renovation plan for the Soldiers Field Park Housing Complex, which was constructed in 1976 and houses over 700 graduate students.

Urban supermarket and apartments slated for Washington Street in Brighton Center

Total Project Cost: $14,000,000
Total SF: 81,900
Construction Jobs: 58
Kandu Development, LLC will build on two parcels at 425 Washington Street in Brighton Center to create Parsons Crossing, a 54-unit apartment complex that will contain over 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail space for a Roche Bros. supermarket and a bank. The development will have three three-bedroom units, 36 two-bedroom units, and 13 one-bedroom units, as well a small management office. Seven of the units will be restricted as affordable in accordance with the city’s policy. The developer will also renovate an existing house on Parsons Street as part of the project.
Through discussions with the community and the BRA, the developer will commit $10,000 to support local parks, fund a future Hubway bike share station in Brighton Center, and contribute $10,000 to assist local youth sports.

Former Roxbury health center to be renovated for Bridge Boston Charter School

Total Project Cost: $21,500,000
Total SF: 46,300
Construction Jobs: 33
The Bridge Boston Foundation will renovate the former Roxbury Comprehensive Health Center building, which has been closed since 2012, as the new home of the Bridge Boston Charter School. An abandoned residential structure on the site will be demolished to make room for a 3,000 square foot classroom wing and a 6,700 square foot, standalone gymnasium.
The modern school facility will include meeting, event, and recreation space that can be used by community groups. On nights, weekends, and during special events, residents will have access to the school’s parking lot. Sidewalk and landscaping improvements will enhance the pedestrian environment along Warren Street and Townsend Street.

New senior housing to be jointly developed by Caritas Communities and South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation

Total Project Cost: $15,634,395
Total SF: 40,818
Construction Jobs: 31
A joint venture between Caritas Communities and the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation received approval to construct senior housing on an undeveloped parcel within the Mary Ellen McCormack housing development. The team was selected by the Boston Housing Authority, which operates the housing development, last summer through a Request for Proposals process. The joint venture will construct the 47-unit O’Connor Way Elderly Housing project, which will consist of affordable one-bedroom apartments for people 62 years of age and older.
34 units will be available to households at or below 60 percent AMI, and 12 of the units will go to households at or below 30 percent AMI. Three of the units will be accessible or adaptable for persons with disabilities. One of the apartments will be a manager’s unit.


Apartments and retail coming to Union Square area of Allston

Total Project Cost: $8,000,000
Total SF: 32,110
Construction Jobs: 24
Developer Gerry Bickoff will proceed with plans to construct a five-story, 20-unit apartment building with studio, one-, and two-bedroom units, as well as 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, at the corner of North Beacon and Everett Streets in Allston. Three of the apartments will be affordable units available to households at or below 70 percent of AMI, in compliance with the Inclusionary Development Policy.
The project at 31 North Beacon Street is expected to add commercial and pedestrian activity along the surrounding streets, which the developer will improve with wider sidewalks and new landscaping. Mr. Bickoff has also pledged funding to support the Allston-Brighton Little League and a new Hubway bike share station in the area.

Brighton parcel to be redeveloped for apartments and retail

Total Project Cost: $6,200,000
Total SF: 28,784
Construction Jobs: 21
Located just beyond the sports complex that is under construction as part of Boston Landing, a dated three-family home at 24-26 Hichborn Street will be cleared to make way for a five-story apartment building with 20 units and a modest ground floor commercial space. All of the units will be two- or three-bedrooms, and three of the units will be restricted as affordable.
Designed by an architecture firm based in Dorchester, the project will include a green roof and roof deck for residents. Sidewalk and landscaping improvements will also be made to the site.

Small condominium project near Dorchester’s South Bay Center approved

Total Project Cost: $4,200,000
Total SF: 23,496
Construction Jobs: 18
A 14-unit condominium building with two deed-restricted affordable units will be constructed at 85-93 Willow Court in Dorchester. The project, conveniently located within a block of the South Bay shopping center and Massachusetts Avenue, will include bicycle storage and a recycling room in the basement, as well as 21 off-street parking spaces in a garage.
About the Boston Redevelopment Authority
As the City of Boston’s urban planning and economic development agency, the BRA works in partnership with the community to plan Boston's future while respecting its past. The agency’s passionate and knowledgeable staff guides physical, social, and economic change in Boston’s neighborhoods and its downtown to shape a more prosperous, resilient, and vibrant city for all. The BRA also prepares residents for new opportunities through employment training, human services and job creation. Learn more at, and follow us on Twitter @BostonRedevelop.

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