News & Updates

BPDA Board approves new housing in Allston, Brighton, East Boston, Fenway, Hyde Park, and Roxbury

Aug 17, 2023

PLAN: Newmarket adopted

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved 11 new development projects representing approximately 1.1 million square feet (SF). The new projects will create 876 residential units, 184 of which will be designated income-restricted, and will support approximately 1,079 construction jobs and 125 permanent jobs. These projects will make Boston a more resilient, affordable, and equitable city.

Planning and Zoning

BPDA Board adopts PLAN: Newmarket

The Boston Planning & Development Agency Board of Directors adopted the PLAN: Newmarket planning initiative at their monthly board meeting Thursday. The plan lays out a vision and the tools for Newmarket to serve as a key center of industrial activity and employment for Boston residents, and an area primed to attract the industries of tomorrow. Overlapping the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, South Boston, and the South End, the Newmarket industrial zone acts as an economic engine for the City of Boston, and this plan supports the enhancement of that role. The goals of the plan are to: maintain traditional industrial jobs, attract new industries, promote job equity and access, and support the growth of the creative economy. By affirming Newmarket as Boston’s industrial center, it will allow the city to unlock the potential of other parts of the City to host much needed transit-oriented housing, and mixed-use development. Draft zoning implementing the plan was released today for a final round of public comment and is projected to go to the BPDA Board next month.

BPDA Board approves release of RFP for planning and design of Western Avenue Transitway

The BPDA Board of Directors approved the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the design of the Western Avenue Transitway. The RFP seeks a firm to conduct multimodal transportation planning, analysis, and design services for the Lower Allston and Brighton neighborhoods in alignment with and support of the Western Avenue Corridor and Rezoning Study (WACRZ), Go Boston 2030, and the MBTA’s Bus Network Redesign. Responding to the increase in development in this area, WACRZ recommended further analysis, planning, and design of a long-term Transitway facility along the Western Ave. corridor. To reduce congestion and improve mobility, the plan recommended the implementation of a Western Avenue Transitway, which would see dedicated bus lanes and low stress bike lanes in the corridor. The Western Avenue Transitway Plan and Design will guide the transformation of its multimodal networks and connect the Lower Allston and Brighton neighborhoods in the context of published plans and new development. The RFP will be released in the coming weeks.

Real Estate

BPDA Board awards Final Designation Status to Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston, Inc. as developer of 104 Walter Street, Roslindale

The BPDA Board awarded final designation to Habitat for Humanity to redevelop 104 Walter Street in Roslindale. In 2020, the BPDA acquired 104-108 Walter Street in Roslindale from private ownership to expand the Roslindale Wetlands Urban Wild and create affordable housing. Following a public process and an RFP process, Habitat for Humanity received tentative designation to redevelop this land into affordable housing in 2021. The project consists of four income restricted homeownership units, affordable to households with incomes ranging from 50 percent to 80 percent of Area Median Income. The existing house will be preserved and fully renovated into two units, while the other two units will be located in a duplex dwelling that will be built.

BPDA Board awards Tentative Designation status to the Maple Street Food Forest Stewardship Committee and the Boston Food Forest Coalition Inc. to redevelop Parcel L-25

The BPDA Board awarded tentative designation to the Maple Street Food Forest Stewardship Committee and the Boston Food Forest Coalition Inc. to redevelop Parcel L-25 in Roxbury. During the community process that began in 2019, residents advocated for a community garden to be developed on this site. The RFP requirements, which these organizations responded to, included that use, as well as: protecting the environment, promoting accessibility for handicapped individuals, creating a space where families and elders in the Grove Hall Community will be able to utilize open space and participate in urban farming, and making the parcel a beautiful destination in the community by utilizing art detailing the history of the area. All public comments in response to the RFP response were positive.

Development Projects

96-100 Rockwood Street project to bring new homeownership opportunities to Jamaica Plain

Live: 36 homeownership units, $1.9 million contribution to the IDP fund
Work: Approximately 122 construction jobs
Connect: New sidewalks and speed humps in vicinity of project
Sustain: LEED Gold, net carbon ready

The project at 96-100 Rockwood Street in Jamaica Plain consists of the construction of 13 new separate residential structures and the renovation of the existing stone farmhouse onsite. In total, there will be 36 residential units, and housing will be a mix of two and three-bedroom units. The project will also include bike storage for residents and visitors. The buildings and property will feature energy conservation and sustainable building technologies, such as all-electric heating and cooling systems and a rain garden to collect and manage rainwater runoff onsite. As part of the review process, Planning, Transportation, and Urban Design staff focused on: preserving the site’s ecology and trees, ensuring adequate density and design that conforms to the area’s larger residential context, providing appropriate site access and street network for future residents, and securing public benefits and funds for public realm improvements, IDP fund contributions, and contributions to local charities. This project will contribute $1.9 million towards affordable housing, $50,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department, and another $50,000 towards three local organizations. In addition, the project will contribute $49,000 to the Boston Transportation Department in support of the bikeshare system and to provide space for a Bluebikes dock onsite.

Phase 5 of Bartlett Place PDA, Unity Station Condominiums move forward

Live: 24 income-restricted homeownership units, private outdoor space, connected to public green space, dog park
Work: Approximately 40 construction jobs
Connect: Bike storage on site, close proximity to public transportation
Sustain: LEED Gold, efficiency electric systems

In support of the continued transformation of the former MBTA bus depot known as Bartlett Yard, Phase 5 of the Bartlett Place Planned Development Area (PDA) in Roxbury includes 24 income-restricted homeownership units within two buildings. These units are all two or three-bedroom units, with the goal of bringing more multi-family housing to the area. At full build out, Bartlett Place contemplates a new internal roadway, commercial and retail space, approximately 380 units of housing, a public events plaza that may include scheduled programming, and additional public space for interactive arts.

Vacant land in East Boston to become housing and retail space at 1141 Bennington Street

Live: 220 residential units, 31 income-restricted units, 12 family-sized income-restricted units, accessibility for hearing impaired
Work: Approximately 225 construction jobs, new retail space
Connect: Investments to improve the streetscape, close proximity to MBTA stations, onsite Bluebikes spaces
Sustain: LEED Gold, all-electric residences, rooftop solar system, 40 trees to be planted

What is currently vacant land will be converted into housing for the East Boston neighborhood. The site is vacant due to a catastrophic fire which destroyed the New England Casket Company in 2019. The new, mixed-use building will be six-stories, and made up of residential and retail space. There will be 220 residential units, 31 of which will be income-restricted. The project will also include bike storage, publicly accessible open space, and public realm improvements. Some of these public realm improvements include new crosswalks and bike lanes. Consistent with PLAN: East Boston, one of the reconfigured intersections will provide a new bicycle crossing at Bennington Street, connect to the future shared-use path along Austin Avenue, and reclaim excess pavement for enhanced public realm, landscaping, and green infrastructure. In addition, this project will include the creation of a two-way separated bike lane on Bennington Street. The project is located within the planning boundaries of PLAN: East Boston, an ongoing planning initiative that began in 2018. The recommendations in the plan include active ground floor uses supported by added height and density and transformational public realm improvements. Staff review focused on ensuring a building massing and height that is sensible to the neighborhood’s character, mitigating building impact on the Belle Isle Marsh, and securing street and sidewalk improvements that include environmental protection and resilience measures for the community while preserving the Marsh as a natural resource. This will be a transit-oriented development, as it is in close proximity to public transportation. In addition the project will contribute $60,923 to the Boston Transportation Department in support of the bikeshare system.

165 Park Drive project to bring new housing to the Fenway neighborhood

Live: 117 residential units, 48 income-restricted homeownership units, 69 market-rate residential units
Work: Approximately 125 construction jobs
Connect: Close proximity to public transportation, bike storage onsite
Sustain: LEED Gold, 100 percent electric infrastructure

This project in the Fenway neighborhood will consist of two buildings totaling 117 residential units. Building one will contain 48 income-restricted residential units, and building two will contain 69 market-rate residential units. Bike parking for residents will be provided onsite, as well as 20 spaces for visitors. In addition, this project will contribute $75,000 toward the City’s bikeshare program. As part of the mitigation efforts for this project, all trees will be replanted on site. This will also be an all-electric, Zero Net Carbon ready project.

Multi-family and artist housing to be built at 500 Western Avenue in Brighton

Live: 116 multi-family residential units, 21 income-restricted units, eight artist live/work units, pocket park
Work: Approximately 121 construction jobs
Connect: Bluebikes station, 147 bike spaces, new and improved crosswalks and pedestrian ramps
Sustain: LEED Gold, all electric mechanical systems

Located in Brighton, this project will build a new six-story building consisting of 116 multi-family residential apartments, which includes eight artist live/work units. The units will be a mix of studios, one, two, and three-bedroom units. Retail space on the ground floor will be utilized as an urban market. Bike parking will be provided on site. As part of the benefits of this project, it will improve the public realm and connectivity of the site with new street trees and sidewalks. This project complies with the planning set forth in the WACRZ, which was adopted in October of 2022, as it is a multi-family residential use, and advances transportation and street network recommendations outlined in the plan. It also aligns with the Allston-Brighton Arts, Culture, and Place Keeping Report released by MOAC in 2021 with the provision of artist live/work units. In addition, this project will contribute $49,000 to the Boston Transportation Department to install a bikeshare station onsite. It will also contribute $10,000 to the Allston-Brighton Transportation Management Association for the implementation of the AB-TMA’s shuttle service. An additional $10,000 will go to support the maintenance of Portsmouth Playground and other local parks.

New housing at 1270 Commonwealth Avenue moves forward

Live: 206 residential housing units, 35 income-restricted units
Work: Retail space, approximately 201 construction jobs, approximately three permanent jobs
Connect: Close proximity to public transportation, public realm improvements, new street trees
Sustain: LEED Gold, all electric building - compliant with Zero Net Carbon Zoning, Fitwel certified

This project will convert a vacant one-story building and parking lot into a six-story building with 206 residential units and retail space on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston. Of those units, 35 will be income-restricted. This will be a transit-oriented development, as the location of the project is within one-quarter of a mile from two T stops and is served by multiple bus routes along Commonwealth Avenue and Harvard Street. Improved sidewalks will be added to the site, which will be activated by the retail space on the ground floor. This project will contribute $50,000 to the Allston Brighton Homeowner fund. It will also contribute $250,000 to the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation to be used for solar projects at 1295-1305 and 1309 Commonwealth Avenue, which will significantly reduce the utility costs for 80 lower-income households across the street from the project. The existing Bluebikes station nearby will be upgraded with a new public fix-it and pump-station while a $57,427 contribution to the Boston Transportation Department will go towards an additional Bluebikes station. Additionally, the project will contribute $25,000 and $300,000 to the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture Space fund and the Parks and Recreation Department respectively. The Parks contribution will be used toward improvements at Ringer Park.

Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center moves forward at 8 Old Road in Dorchester

Work: Approximately 51 construction jobs
Connect: Indoor community space, new neighborhood health center, addressing local public health challenges, in close proximity to public transportation and recreational facilities, approximately 51 construction jobs, approximately 110 permanent jobs
Sustain: New street trees to combat urban heat island effect

What is currently an outdated building that no longer meets the community’s needs will be converted into a new three-story neighborhood health center in Dorchester. This project is the result of an RFP issued by the Mayor’s Office of Housing in 2016 to redevelop the parcels at 8 Old Road, 14 Ellington Street, and 16 Ellington Street. The project aligns with the RFP’s development goals for the site, which identified the preferred use as an institutional or commercial building, and sought a development that would “activate the street, create jobs, create a community destination or connection, and promote pedestrian access. HSNHC services clients impacted by a range of socio-economic challenges in the surrounding neighborhood and aims to leverage its locations to enhance its mission of providing accessible healthcare to the community. There will also be space inside for the community to hold events and programs. The project will have bike storage on site, as well as a Bluebikes dock in support of the bikeshare system.

Dighton Gardens project will build new housing in Brighton

Live: 44 residential units, seven income-restricted units
Work: Approximately 57 construction jobs
Connect: Close proximity to necessities
Sustain: Future rooftop solar panels

This project will bring a four-story residential building to Dighton Street in Brighton. The building will be made up of 25 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom, and 3 three-bedroom units. Seven of the units will be income-restricted. As part of making this a transit-oriented development, residents will be encouraged to bike by the inclusion of a 54-space bike room with at least four electric bike charging stations. The project will also contribute $49,000 to the Boston Transportation Department for a new 15-dock Bluebikes station onsite. In addition, several MBTA bus lines are nearby. Public realm improvements will be made to the nearby intersections of Dighton Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue, and Dighton Street and Washington Street. Eight new trees will also be planted along Dighton Street.

Transit-oriented housing to be built at 9 McKay Place in East Boston

Live: 41 homeownership units, seven income-restricted units, outdoor access to balconies, public plaza
Work: Approximately 50 construction jobs
Connect: Close proximity to public transportation, new bus stop and bus shelter, meeting room for local organizations
Sustain: Creating public green spaces, new street trees

This project located on McKay Place in East Boston will provide 41 residential units and just over 1,000 square feet of retail space to the neighborhood. The five-story building will be a mixture of one, two, and three-bedroom units along with amenities for residents such as a gym and community meeting room. All units will be wheelchair accessible. Seven units will be income-restricted homeownership units. There will also be a bike parking room with space for 42 bikes. This project will create a pocket park at the corner of McKay and Maverick streets complete with trees, bushes and benches. In support of public realm improvements, the sidewalks along McKay Place and Maverick Street will be widened. Trees along the streets will be preserved, and an additional seven trees will be planted. A new bus stop and bus shelter will replace the existing stops at Maverick//Frankfort and Maverick. The extension will make it easier for buses to stop and reduce traffic congestion. The project will contribute $25,000 to the nearby Donald McKay School to improve their playground and teaching garden. Space for a mural along the new building will be offered for a mural by students.

New affordable housing to be built at 1702 Hyde Park Avenue in Hyde Park

Live: 44 homeownership units, seven income-restricted units, $10k contribution to Parks Department
Work: Approximately 56 construction jobs, commercial space onsite
Connect: Close proximity to public transportation
Sustain: LEED Gold, all efficient electric systems

This project will create a four-story residential building on Hyde Park Avenue in Hyde Park near the Readville Commuter Rail and Wolcott Square. The area is currently known for auto body shops and warehouses but it is transitioning as more proposals for multifamily residences and ground floor retail come in. This project will have 44 condominium units and ground floor retail space. Seven of the units will be income-restricted. The project is committed to improving the environmental condition of the industrial site, increasing the sidewalk width on Hyde Park Avenue, and planting at least four street trees. There will be 50 bicycle parking spaces accessible from the main floor of the building. A one-time $10,000 contribution will be made from the project to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. These funds will go toward maintaining the green space at Giovanni Dello Lacono Playground nearby.

1081 River Street project moves forward to build new housing in Hyde Park

Live: 28 residential units, six income-restricted units, community room
Work: Approximately 31 construction jobs
Connect: Close proximity to public transportation as well as the local commercial area, new open space, bike storage, sidewalks widened
Sustain: EV parking spaces, energy efficient appliances

Located in Hyde Park, this project will build a new four-story residential building, including 28 units, and storage for 28 bicycles on site. Six units will be income-restricted. The units will be a mix of studios, one, two, and three-bedrooms. The project will also provide more than 9,000 SF of open space. Located within close proximity of Silver-Line bus stops and close proximity to the Hyde Park and Fairmount Commuter Rail stations, the project contributes to citywide goals to support transit-oriented development. There are a number of public benefits associated with this project, including improvements to the public realm, and a $35,000 contribution to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s City’s Fund for Parks for maintenance of Ross Park.

In addition to these projects, the Board approved:

  • The disbursement of $10,000.00 from the Channel Center Project Mitigation Fund to the Fort Point Theater Channel. This funding will go towards the production of the “State of Emergency” runway show and “State of The Earth” art exhibition at Midway Artist Studios in the Fort Point neighborhood of the South Boston Waterfront.

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