News & Updates

BPDA approves affordable housing in East Boston and Allston

Apr 14, 2022

Life science developments in Charlestown and South Boston move forward

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved four new development projects and two updates to previously approved projects. The new projects will create 208 residential units, 32 of which will be designated income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent approximately 390,854 square feet (SF) and will support approximately 400 construction jobs and 482 new permanent jobs.

The Board also voted to tentatively designate two diverse development teams to redevelop two BPDA-owned parcels: Parcel R-1 in Chinatown, and 20-22 Drydock Avenue in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park. The proposed project on Parcel R-1 would redevelop the site into affordable housing and establish a permanent Chinatown branch of the Boston Public Library. The site at 20-22 Drydock would be redeveloped into a hub for life sciences that supports job training that will diversify Boston’s life sciences sector. Like all BPDA-owned parcels in the City of Boston, the selected developers were required to meet the BPDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion evaluation criterion, and outline commitments to including Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBEs) in all aspects of their development.

Development Projects

New development at 355 Bennington Street will connect Mary Ellen Welch Greenway, Silver Line, to Day square in East Boston

Live: 170 residential units, including 24 income-restricted units
Work: New permanent jobs, construction jobs, 6,985 square feet of retail space
Connect: New transitway for future Silver Line Day Square connection, new pedestrian/bike connection to the Mary Ellen Welch Greenway, 204 bike parking spaces
Sustain: LEED Gold, all electric HVAC

An underutilized lot on the eastern edge of East Boston’s Day Square will be redeveloped to provide 170 new residential units, including 24 income-restricted units, while unlocking key pedestrian and transit connections in East Boston. The project site at 355 Bennington is critical to the community vision laid out in PLAN: East Boston, an active planning initiative led by the BPDA, to connect the Mary Ellen Welch Greenway and the Silver Line to Day Square. Also in line with PLAN: East Boston, the developer has agreed to construct streetscape improvements along Bennington and Bremen Streets to support the revitalization of Day Square and to establish the new pedestrian and bicycle amenities in the neighborhood.

Office and life science project at 202 West First Street will bring public realm improvements to South Boston

Live: $30,000 contribution to renovate Buckley Playground and maintain West 2nd Street Park and Community Gardens
Work: Up to 100 new permanent jobs; 100 construction jobs
Connect: $250,000 to design and implement sidewalk, traffic and pedestrian safety improvements along B and West Third Streets
Sustain: LEED Silver

A former industrial site in South Boston will be revitalized by a new mixed-use office and life sciences research facility. The project will bring public realm improvements and contribute $250,000 to design and implement sidewalk, traffic and pedestrian safety improvements along B and West 3rd Streets, and $30,000 towards the renovation of nearby Buckley Playground and for the maintenance of the West 2nd Street Park and Community Gardens.

420 Rutherford Avenue project to build new life sciences development in Charlestown

Work: 99,500 SF life sciences building
Connect: Creation of Half Pint Way, $200,000 towards PLAN: Charlestown improvements, creation of an off-site laundromat for Charlestown residents
Sustain: LEED Gold

Located in Charlestown, 420 Rutherford Avenue will demolish an existing storage facility to build a new four-story life sciences building. The ground floor will include storage, tenant amenities such as conference rooms, fitness rooms, restrooms, and showers, along with a bike storage room. This project will provide new landscape design improvements to the site including new greenery and seating, and roof deck for tenants. 420 Rutherford Avenue is located in the geographic bounds of the ongoing PLAN: Charlestown neighborhood planning initiative, and the proposed use, scale, density, and design are contextually appropriate, and consistent with emerging PLAN: Charlestown guidelines. The project has committed to expanding the road network west of Rutherford Avenue, which is a key goal of PLAN: Charlestown. The project is also addressing future coastal flood events and sea level rise through elevation of ground floor spaces and flood proofing measures. In response to community feedback, the project will contribute up to $250,000 for the establishment of a laundromat in the area. The project will also provide a Bluebikes station on site, and build a new private way to help expand the transportation network in Charlestown. In addition, the project will contribute $25,000 towards increasing open space in Charlestown, and $200,000 towards public improvements as determined by PLAN: Charlestown staff.

Project at 14 Gardner Street will create 38 new homeownership units in Allston

Live: 38 residential homeownership units including 8 income-restricted units
Work: 45 construction jobs
Connect: Within ¼ mile of an MBTA stop, 40 bike spaces, $10,450 BlueBikes contribution
Sustain: LEED Gold

A new residential development at 14 Gardner Street will bring 38 homeownership units of housing to Allston, including eight income-restricted homeownership units. The project originally proposed rental units, but in response to community feedback updated the proposal to create homeownership units. The project will also provide $25,000 towards street improvements as well as $10,450 to the City’s BlueBikes program.

The BPDA Board approved two updates to previously approved projects:

  • 500 Talbot Avenue, Dorchester: The BPDA Board voted to approve an increase in income-restricted Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) units from five units, to 17 units, bringing the building’s total affordability up to 43 percent.
  • 30 Thorn Street, Hyde Park: The BPDA Board voted to approve a reduction in units from 45 to 40 units, and an increase in the number of three-bedroom units.

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