News & Updates

BPDA Board approves 1.4 million square feet of development, 541 residential units at December meeting

Dec 15, 2017

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved 1.4 million square feet of development at the December meeting, representing $486 million in investment dollar and generating 541 residential units, including 67 affordable units. The approved developments will create over 395 permanent jobs. 

Among Thursday’s approvals was 264 Huntington Avenue, which includes the restoration and renovation of the Huntington Theatre Company. In 2016, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a partnership between the Huntington Theatre Company and QMG Huntington, LLC to allow the Huntington Theatre Company to continue operating in what is known as the Boston University (BU) Theatre. The Huntington is a local economic driver in the City of Boston, employing over 400 full-time staff members and artists and generating more than $19 million annually in economic activity. Through its education programs, the Huntington also provides programs for more than 33,000 youth and community members annually, many of them from Boston's neighborhoods.

Another notable approval includes the tentative designation of UHOMES LLC/Urbanica as the redeveloper of 90 Antwerp Street in Brighton. On July 12, 2017, the BPDA released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking proposals for a redevelopment to provide affordable homeownership opportunities and publicly accessible open space. UHomes @ 90 AntwerpStreet, the proposed project, is a mixed-income residential development with publicly accessible open space. The building program consists of 20 residential units totaling with 20 on-site parking spaces, bicycle parking, and service spaces. Twelve units will be deed-restricted affordable units. The unit types proposed will be a varied mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units. This proposed unit mix will help remediate the shortage of family size units in the market. In addition, the proposed project will allocate 50 percent of the lot for usable open space. The open space will consists of two components – a public pocket park and a “Living Street” inspired by the Dutch concept of “Woonerf” that combines parking, landscaping area, pedestrian paths and other passive residential uses. The proposed project is also designed to be energy efficient and the project is proposed to achieve LEED for Homes Gold status.  

Development Projects

264 Huntington Avenue approval allows Huntington Theatre Company to continue operations, creates 426 residential units

Live: 55 on-site affordable units
Work: 350 construction jobs, 40 permanent jobs
Connect: 890 seat theatre, 14,000 additional square feet of cultural space

The approval of 264 Huntington Avenue allows the mixed-use proposal to move forward, including the renovation of the existing Huntington Theatre Company. In addition to the cultural space for use by the Huntington Theatre Company, the project will create 426 residential units, 7,500 square feet of retail/restaurant/services space on the first two levels, and approximately 114 parking spaces in an underground garage. The project will replace the existing annex building behind the Huntington Theatre with a 37,000 square-foot, five story building with two stories below grade to house rehearsal space, production shops, dressing rooms and a green room, and loading area and associated support space for the Huntington Theatre Company. 

The project will include 55 onsite Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units in addition to a $144,400 contribution to the IDP fund. $50,000 will be donated to the Parks and Recreation Department to support local parks, in addition to sidewalk and public realm improvements.

22 residential units, including 3 affordable units, approved for Liverpool Street in East Boston

Live: 22 residential units, 3 affordable units
Work: 50 construction jobs, 775 square feet of new commercial space $4.5M
Connect: Widened sidewalks, $15K in community benefits

The approval of 75-85 Liverpool Street  will bring 22 residential units and commercial space to East Boston. The 8,000 square foot project site consists of two parcels, a short walking distance from both Central Square and Maverick Square.  Three units will be created as IDP rental units, available to households earning less than 70 percent Area Median Income.

Improvements to the site will include new sidewalks, new street trees, landscaping improvements and the installation of new lighting to improve visibility and pedestrian safety. In addition, community benefits will be provided to Veterans Park, East Boston Main Streets, Piers Park Sailing Center, Veronica Robles Cultural Center, Zumix, The East Boston Museum and Historical Society, East Boston Social Center, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. and East Boston Artists Group. 

Automobile dealership and service center on Soldier’s Field Road to bring 40 jobs to Brighton  

Live: Public realm improvements for Soldier’s Field Road
Work: 40 jobs
Connect: Donation of one car for driver’s education program at the Jackson Mann Community Center

1650 Soldier’s Field Road will be developed into a single-story Maserati-Alfa Romeo automobile sales and service business, creating 40 direct jobs. The new building will be approximately 27,000 gross square feet, and will include 102 surface parking spaces. The total development cost for the proposed project is approximately $4.5 million. The site is the location of the former Martignetti Liquors. 

As part of the approval, Fiat-Chrysler will donate one car to be used in a driver’s education program to the Jackson Mann Community Center to serve the Allston-Brighton community. 

Approval of Omni Summer Street Hotel to bring over 1K hotel rooms, pedestrian connectivity to the Seaport

Live: Over 1,050 hotel rooms
Work: Over 1,100 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs
Connect: Covered pedestrian connection from MBTA Silver Line Station to Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, LEED Silver certified

The proposed Summer Street Hotel, or Omni Boston Seaport hotel, is a joint venture of the Davis Companies and Omni Hotel Management Corporation. Davis is a Boston based, national development, investment and management company that has developed and rehabilitated over 3.5 million square feet of office, residential, research and development and hotel space throughout the country. The project will be constructed on Massport-owned land, and thus, is not subject to the requirements of the Boston Zoning Code. However, Davis Companies, Omni Hotel Management Corporation, and Massport have voluntarily submitted the project to the Article 80B Large Project Review process in order ensure a review of the design of the project and its potential impacts. The project will focus on diversity and inclusion in all aspects, from financing, design, to the overall team makeup. Both minority-owned and women-owned businesses are, notably, featured throughout the project.

As proposed, the Summer Street Hotel will be a new hotel with over 1,050 rooms, as well as ballrooms, function rooms and meeting spaces. In addition, there will be 40,000 square feet of new retail space, restaurant space, and public realm improvements along Summer Street, World Trade Center Avenue and D Street. The project will also include a pedestrian bridge to the new South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center (SBWTC), now under construction by Massport, where parking for the hotel will be located. The proposed hotel will also  include either an underground pedestrian tunnel between the project and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) or a ground-level tunnel along Fargo Street to the BCEC. 

Based upon the current plans for the hotel, a Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT) payment of $5,742,090 and a Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT) payment of $1,148,795 will be contributed in accordance with the project’s status as a Development Impact Project (DIP).

46 condominium units approved for Brighton’s 46 Hichborn Street

Live: 40 market rate units, six affordable units, two fully accessible units
Work: 60 construction jobs, $46K in capital improvements to Hichborn Street
Connect: $86K in community benefits with $30K toward the Brighton YMCA and $10K to Allston-Brighton Youth Hockey

The approved 46 Hichborn Street project proposes the construction of a five-story, residential development totaling approximately 49,679 square feet. The project will have 46 condominium units, including six IDP units. As currently presented, the condominium units will consist of 40 market-rate units and six IDP Units. There will be a mix of six studio units, seven one-bedroom units, seven one-bedroom plus units, 22 two-bedroom units, three two-bedroom plus units, and one three-bedroom unit. The proposal includes two units built with complete handicap-access. The remaining 44 units will be handicap-adaptable.  

The development will have parking for up to 50 spaces with access via Hichborn Street, a pool, a common roof deck and 13 private roof decks. Other amenities include a residents’ gym and community room. Bicycle storage and a trash/recycling room will be located within the ground-level of the building. The basement level of the building will contain 25 private storage spaces. 

256 Dorchester Street to bring 32 residential units and and ground floor retail to South Boston

Live: 17 percent of units will be made affordable
Work: 40 construction jobs
Connect: Commercial space dedicated to local businesses

236-256 Dorchester Street will be a five story, 46,000 square feet mixed use building with 32 residential units, including five affordable units, and 7,835 square feet of ground floor retail, a portion dedicated to local businesses. The project site is accessible to the Andrew MBTA Station and will include 23 parking spaces and storage for 32 bicycles. The project falls within the PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue approved planning guidelines, and is required to provide an additional four percent of income-restricted units. 

The project will bring additional pedestrian activity along Dorchester Street, and will include sidewalk improvements, new street trees, landscaping improvements and the installation of new lighting to improve visibility and pedestrians safety. 

A $5,000 contribution will be made to the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department to support maintenance and improvements to parks and other public open space located in South Boston. A $10,000 contribution will also be made to the Old Colony Tenant Task Force. 

New Art Lab approved along with updates to Harvard’s Klarman Hall project

Live: $75K in payments to the Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT)
Work: $15K in payments to the Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT)
Connect: Public programming and opportunities for artists

On November 2, 2017, Harvard filed an Institutional Master Plan Notification Form (IMPNF) for a fourth amendment to the 2013 Institutional Master Plan (IMP) for Harvard University’s Campus in Allston. The IMPNF for fourth amendment considers one new project: the Art Lab, an approximately 9,000 square foot building for multi-disciplinary artistic creation, display, and performance. 

The IMPNF also modifies the G2 Pavilion component of the Klarman Hall project, which was approved by the Board on December 10, 2015. As approved, the G2 Pavilion would have been a facility of up to 24,000 square feet, with one below-grade level, containing meeting and classroom space to be closely integrated with the new auditorium in Klarman Hall. With the IMPNF for fourth amendment, the structure will now have a footprint of approximately 4,500 square feet and will be a maximum of 20 feet in height. 

In addition, Harvard will pay exactions in connection with the Art Lab project, including $856,226 in housing linkage funds and an estimated $90,360 in jobs linkage funds.

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