News & Updates

BPDA Board approves transit-oriented housing in neighborhoods across Boston at March meeting

Mar 16, 2018

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved five development projects and one Notice of Project Change (NPC) at the March Board meeting. The six total development projects will generate 187 total residential units and represent an investment of $703.9 million in neighborhoods across Boston.

The approved residential units span neighborhoods throughout Boston and support Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class, and make progress towards the City’s goal of creating 53,000 new units of housing by 2030.

Development Projects

Renovation of Downtown’s One Post Office Square to include redesign of the street-level lobby, drive-thru, retail, drop-off areas and more

Work: 190,000 square feet of new office space, 16,000 square feet of new retail
Connect: 32,000 square  feet of amenities
Size: 207,000 square feet

The approval of Downtown’s One Post Office Square renovation will upgrade the 41-story, 515 foot tall office tower and a six story garage with eight levels of parking and 371 spaces. This fourth amendment to the project will include improvements to the existing office building, exterior façade replacement, recladding of upper levels and the addition of mid-level and roof amenities. Additionally, renovation proposes the demolition of the existing parking garage containing 371 parking spaces and a 15-story addition to the existing office building above the garage. The decrease in parking will result in 300 parking spaces. However, these changes will result in an additional 207,000 square feet on the project site. The proposed project also includes the redesign of the street-level lobby, drive thru, retail, and drop-off areas, as well as upgrades to the elevator and the building’s mechanical and electrical systems. These updates will take place in a single phase with multiple stages of construction.

The approved proposal for the renovation of One Post Office Square will also provide a number of public benefits to the immediate Downtown neighborhood, including 700 construction-related jobs, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings that will be LEED certifiable, activation of the street level environment, and more. In addition, $50,000 has been committed toward capital improvements at Martin’s Park located at the Smith Family Waterfront in Fort Point Channel, adjacent to the Children’s Museum.

Approval of proposed 1000 Boylston Street project in Back Bay to contribute to cohesiveness of City

Live: Creation or preservation of 51,000 square feet of affordable housing, as well as up to 108 new condominium units, retail and restaurant amenities for neighborhood
Work: 1,200 construction jobs and 75 permanent jobs
Connect: Connection of Back Bay and Fenway neighborhoods, pedestrian amenities, parking for residents and commercial areas, LEED v4 Silver or Gold certifiable
Size: 513,000 square feet

The 1000 Boylston Street site is located in Back Bay, and more specifically, the Huntington Avenue/Prudential Center District. The project site is made up of the following four parcels: the Prudential parcel; a parcel owned by MassDOT located above the Turnpike between the Prudential Parcel and Cambria Street; a parcel comprised of above-grade air rights spanning Cambria Street between Parcel 15 and the Scotia Parcel; and a grass-covered parcel located across Cambria Street from Parcel 15, formerly used by the St. Cecilia Parish.

The project includes one residential building with up to 108 units and a building height of 484 feet. The residential building will rise out of a five-story podium. The first and second stories of the podium will contain approximately 45,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space facing Dalton, Boylston and St. Cecilia Streets. The third and fourth stories of the podium will contain a parking garage with 175 parking spaces, which will be accessible from Scotia Street. The podium will also include a ground-floor residential lobby, as well as fifth-floor amenity space for the residential portion of the project.

The project will contribute to the cohesiveness of the City, improve the street and pedestrian environment, develop new retail and services and revitalize the local area.

The 1000 Boylston Street project will create or preserve affordable housing units in compliance with the Mayor’s Executive Order on Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP). The total square footage of the off-site IDP units will be 18 percent of the sellable or rentable residential square footage of the development. The final location of any off-site IDP units will be approved by the BPDA Board.

81 Chestnut Hill Avenue approval to revitalize Brighton property site with 14 residential units

Live: Two Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units, new street front landscaping, patio and open space
Work: 40 construction jobs
Connect: 17 off street parking spaces, one half mile from Green Line T station
Size: 24,740 square feet

The 81 Chestnut Hill Avenue project seeks to upgrade and improve a distressed property site by replacing an existing multifamily structure with a new four story, 14-unit residential building. The new building will be approximately 24,740 square feet with three main residential levels above a ground level parking garage for 17 vehicles. Two of the residential units will be designated as affordable. Eleven of the fourteen units will be two-bedrooms and three will be three-bedrooms. The units will vary in size from 1,289 square feet to 1,425 square feet.

11-19 Walley Street in Orient Heights to bring transit-oriented housing to East Boston

Live: 38 new residential units, five IDP units to revitalize an industrial parcel in Orient Heights
Work: 55 permanent jobs upon completion of construction
Connect: 25 parking spaces, transit oriented housing adjacent to Suffolk Downs T station
Size: 47,330 square feet

11-19 Walley Street will construct a four story, 47,330 square foot residential building with 38 rental units, including five inclusionary development units, 25 off-street vehicle parking spaces, and bicycle storage. The site is located in the Orient Heights section of the East Boston, within an approximately two minute walk (380 feet) of the MBTA Suffolk Downs Blue Line station.

The 38 residential units are anticipated to consist of twelve one bedroom units, eight two bedroom units, fifteen three bedroom units, and three four bedroom units.

The project will create pedestrian activity along Walley Street with improvements including new sidewalks, street trees, and the installation of new lighting along the building perimeter to improve visibility and pedestrian safety. The project will contribute $10,000 worth of landscaping and improvements to the traffic island known as Bonito Square, located across the street from the site.

In addition, the project will make community benefit contributions to the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh and the Salesian Boys and Girls Club of East Boston.

Market-rate and affordable transit-oriented housing approved for 185-191 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester  

Live: Four IDP units and public community space
Work: 40 construction jobs, access to Downtown job centers
Connect: $10,000 in Community Benefit contributions, approximately 200 feet from Four Corners/Geneva MBTA station
Size: 31,653 square feet

185-191 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester will construct a five-story residential development containing 27 rental units, including four affordable units, and parking for eight vehicles and a bicycle storage room. The project will include approximately 5,000 square feet of open space at the rear of the building, as well as a small community meeting room on the first floor.  There will be a mix of nine studio units, 12 one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit. The project is located less than 200 feet from the Four Corners/Geneva Avenue MBTA station.

The project is within the study area for the Fairmount Indigo Corridor Plan and the Four Corners/Geneva Avenue Station Area Plan, approved in October 2015. It meets the guidelines of the plan by retaining housing diversity and affordability, encouraging multifamily development near the MBTA station, and increasing neighborhood walkability and bikeability.

Notice of Project Change

100 Hood Park Drive to bring transit-oriented mixed-use development to Charlestown

Live: 905 parking spaces, snow emergency relief parking for Charlestown, 500 feet of above-grade electric lines buried
Work: 40 retail jobs, 165 construction jobs, 24,000 square feet of new retail space, 50,000 square feet of new lab space
Connect: 50 solar Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers, electronic level occupancy detection parking system, LEED Silver certification, ParkSMART certification
Size: 448,000 square feet

100 Hood Park Drive will transform an approximately 98,150 square-foot surface parking lot within the twenty acre site known as Hood Park in the Charlestown to a seven story mixed-use building that will include a five level parking garage, approximately 40 bicycle storage spaces, and 75,000 square feet of first and second floor restaurant, retail, laboratory office, or other active use space.

The development will be transited-oriented, located within an eight-minute walk from MBTA bus and Orange Line subway service.

The garage component of the project is designed as a flat plate structure with exterior permeability to comply with open air ventilation type garage requirements. The floor to floor heights in the garage are approximately thirteen feet, which in combination with the flat plate system will allow for future conversion to office space or other none-parking uses should demand for parking decline sufficiently in the future.

The project will include the creation of new sidewalks, street lighting, and landscape, and will employ energy and water efficient features for mechanical, electrical, architectural, and structural systems, assemblies, and materials, where feasible. Sustainable design elements relating to building energy management systems, lighting, recycling, and conservation measures will also be incorporated. The project will also contribute $20,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department to support local open space.

In addition, the Planned Development Area (PDA) Master Plan for Harvard University’s proposed Enterprise Research Campus (ERC) was approved after a public hearing before the Board. The PDA Master Plan proposes a maximum of 900,000 square feet of new development on 14.1 acres located in Allston-Brighton. As proposed, the project will generate new supporting infrastructure, such as roadways and public realm components, along with a total of up to 900 parking spaces. 

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