BPDA Board approves new downtown life sciences hub estimated to generate hundreds of new jobs
Feb 10, 2022
New housing in Brighton, South Boston moves forward
The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved three new development projects and three updates to previously approved projects. The new projects will create 45 residential units, six of which will be designated income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent approximately 270,036 square feet (SF) and will support approximately 245 construction jobs and over 600 new permanent jobs.
745 Atlantic Avenue project will renovate existing building to create life sciences hub Downtown
Work: Over 600 permanent jobs; 300 construction jobs; life sciences workforce development program; increased patronage for downtown businesses.
Connect: Close proximity to MBTA; enhanced accessibility and improved sidewalks; new Bluebike station.
Sustain: LEED Gold, the reuse of existing structure and enclosure with new high performance HVAC systems will significantly lower building carbon emissions; EV charging and car sharing.
745 Atlantic Avenue will change the use of the existing downtown building to allow for lab space, research and development, as well as offices. The ground floor will also include food and beverage retail space. This change in use is estimated to bring more than 600 new permanent jobs to the area, in addition to approximately 300 construction jobs. As part of the community benefits for this project, the development team will contribute $50,000 to MassBio Education to support their Apprenticeship Program or BioTeach program, providing STEM education resources and a pathway to biotech and life science jobs for Boston residents. This project will also generate $791,700 toward affordable housing, as well as $145,551 toward workforce development in linkage fees, $75,000 to the City’s Bluebikes program, and $25,000 to the Leather District Neighborhood Association to fund Leather District infrastructure and streetscape improvements such as additional sidewalk repairs, new lighting, or street trees. The project will also be required to provide daycare facilities either onsite or in another location in the City. Renovations of this building will make it more energy efficient, and the project aims to reduce overall energy consumption.
Simultaneous interpretation for the public hearing was provided in Mandarin and Cantonese as required by the BPDA’s language access policy.
38 Hichborn Street will bring new, energy efficient housing to Brighton
Live: 24 units, three income-restricted units
Work: New commercial space, two start-up subsidy units
Connect: Located .1 miles away from Boston Landing Station
Sustain: Zero Net Carbon, no fossil fuels
Located in Brighton, this project will build a new five-story building with 24 residential units, three of which will be income-restricted. The first floor of the building will also include commercial space and a common area for residents. The rentals will be a mix of studios, one-bedroom units, and four-bedroom units. The project aims to be a zero net carbon building. As part of the community benefits for the project, the development team will contribute $15,000 to the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department for maintenance at nearby Penniman Road Play Area, and more than $6,000 to the City’s Bluebikes program. This project is consistent with the BPDA’s Guest Street Planning Study recommendations. This will be a transit-oriented project with close proximity to different MBTA lines.
804 East Seventh Street to convert former nursing home into housing in South Boston
Live: 21 new homeownership units, including three income-restricted units
Work: 45 construction jobs
Connect: Streetscape improvements, On-site residential and public bicycle amenities
A former, now vacant, South Boston nursing home on East 7th Street will be renovated and converted to 21 new homes. All new units will be homeownership units, three of which will be income-restricted. The project will partner with the City of Boston to improve the safety of the East Seventh and Columbia Road intersection, reconstruct sidewalks, and plant new street trees.
In addition to the new projects, the BPDA Board approved three updates to previously approved projects:
60 Guest Street, Brighton: The BPDA Board approved a change in ownership of the 320,000 SF of office, clinic, Research & Development project at 60 Guest Street in Brighton, as well as some changes to some of the design features. This project is one of the final development sites within Boston Landing, and will bring public realm and pedestrian, and streetscape improvements, consistent with the BPDA’s Guest Street Planning Study recommendations.
449 Cambridge Street, Allston: The BPDA Board approved a change in ownership for the development at 449 Cambridge Street in Allston. This project includes 152 residential units in a mix that includes 79 studios, 46 one-bedroom units, 25 two bedroom units, and 2 three-bedroom units. Of the 152 residential units, 26, or 17 percent, will be income-restricted.
515-519 East Second Street, South Boston: The BPDA Board approved a change in ownership for the development at 515-519 East Second Street in South Boston. This project will build 30 new condominium units, four of which will be income-restricted.
BCDC Annual Report
The Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) Executive Director Elizabeth A. Stifel presented the Commission’s Annual Report to the BPDA Board of Directors. In 2021, the Commission approved 21 projects in 12 neighborhoods. This included 6,891 units of housing, 37% of which are affordable, and more than 25 acres of new open space across Boston. The Commission has focused on ensuring that its urban design principles, including accessible open space, appropriate height, scale and massing, transit alternatives to private vehicles, and design creativity, continue to be prioritized.