BPDA approves new housing, economic development, climate resiliency investments
Feb 11, 2021
The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved projects and initiatives that will support economic development, affordable housing, and climate resiliency in neighborhoods across Boston. Since 2014, the BPDA has approved approximately 86.2 million square feet of development worth more than $43.4 billion. This includes approximately 45,532 residential units, 9,884 of which are income-restricted units, and 80,982 construction jobs.
The Board approved Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s proposal for a 42 percent increase in development Linkage fees to support the creation of affordable housing and workforce development programs. The increased rate of $15.39 per square foot, of which $13.00 will be dedicated to affordable housing and $2.39 will be dedicated to workforce training, will now be brought to Boston Zoning Commission for a vote.
The Board voted to accept a $250,000 MassDevelopment Brownfields Redevelopment grant to provide environmental remediation at P3 in Roxbury. The environmental remediation completed under the grant will be a key step toward making the redevelopment of the site more feasible, so that it can meet the goals identified by the community in PLAN: Nubian Square.
Building on the agency’s work to support existing and future maritime industrial uses within the City of Boston, the Board voted to establish a Maritime Capital Reserve Fund. This fund will utilize revenue generated throughout the agency’s real estate portfolio, with a specific focus on the future redevelopment efforts in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, to accelerate investment in the City’s maritime economy. Funds for the Maritime Capital Reserve Fund will be set aside from the BPDA’s General Fund to exclusively invest in maritime infrastructure improvement projects. This amount is anticipated to cover projects that are clearly defined as infrastructure investments for maritime businesses over the next five years, and that align with the priorities of the BPDA, City of Boston, and local stakeholders.
The Board awarded tentative designation to Power House Partners LLC to facilitate the long term lease of the BPDA-owned Building 108 in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Power House Partners LLC has proposed to replace this long blighted property with a 67,000 square foot building that includes lab and retail space at this site, which will undergo Article 80 review with additional feedback from the community. The Power House Partners LLC proposal incorporates diversity and inclusion efforts throughout all phases of the development, building on the BPDA’s ongoing commitment that projects on agency-owned land advance equity and inclusion in Boston.
Community Benefits and Mitigation Funding
The Board voted to distribute $200,000 in mitigation funds from the Suffolk Downs Redevelopment to Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), fulfilling a portion of its community benefits commitment from when the project was approved in September 2020. This money will be used to fund GBLS’ ongoing efforts to provide support for East Boston residents, including short-term rental assistance, and assistance for meeting basic needs such as food, utilities, childcare, or medical expenses.
The Board also voted to distribute $49,000 of community benefits funding, which was secured through the Article 80 process for 99 Sumner Street, to 13 organizations whose services benefit Boston residents. 99 Sumner Street is located in East Boston, where the BPDA is actively engaging in the ongoing PLAN: East Boston study.
632-638 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain moves forward with 18 rental units, 4 of which are income-restricted
Live: 18 residential units, 4 income-restricted units
Work: 4 ground-floor commercial units
Connect: 34 total bicycle storage spaces
Sustain: Rooftop solar panels, all electric utilities
Located in Jamaica Plain, 632-638 Centre Street will construct a four-story, mixed-use building with four ground-floor commercial units and 18 rental units. Of the total number of units, approximately 4 will be income-restricted. There will also be seven vehicular parking spots, one electric vehicle charging station, 18 interior bicycle storage spaces for residents and 8 exterior bicycle storage spaces for visitors.
Community benefits associated with the project include 8 bicycle storage spaces along Centre Street for use by the public, and accessibility improvements to the nearby sidewalks and pedestrian pathways.