300 beds of undergraduate student housing move forward at virtual BPDA May Board meeting
May 14, 2020
Following its first ever virtual public hearing, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board tonight approved 1 Court Street Residence Hall as part of Suffolk University’s 2020 Institutional Master Plan. The project will renovate the existing structure to create an approximately 300 bed undergraduate dormitory, building on the student housing goals outlined in Mayor Walsh’s housing plan. The project completed its public process earlier this year with support from the community and local elected officials.
The May Board meeting was held virtually to ensure the safety of the public, Board members, and BPDA staff during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Members of the public were able to provide testimony during the public hearing directly, or submit written testimony to the agency beforehand.
The Board also authorized additional funding for the Fort Point 100 Acres Open Space planning initiative. The increased funding will support a ground floor activation study and related public engagement, providing additional opportunities to support the planning study’s goal of creating a more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible waterfront park system.
At tonight’s meeting Priscilla Rojas was unanimously voted as Board Chair, the first woman and Latina to hold the position. Appointed by Mayor Walsh, Rojas has served on the BPDA Board since 2015 and has served as Interim Chair since December 2019. This was also the first Board Meeting for Brian Miller, appointed by Governor Baker earlier this month.
In response to COVID-19, the BPDA has postponed all BPDA-hosted public meetings for Article 80 development projects and planning initiatives until further notice. While projects will continue to be reviewed internally by BPDA staff, the public review process is on hold until public meetings can be resumed. Additionally, open comment periods will be extended until the public review process resumes. As the BPDA’s response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, please check this page or follow us @bostonplans on Twitter for updated guidance.