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This is the website for the City of Boston’s new Planning Department, which launched on July 1. The staff and many responsibilities of the Boston Planning & Development Agency have moved to the Planning Department of the City of Boston including planning & zoning, urban design, development review, and real estate divisions. Please excuse any misalignment you may see on our site as we transition to the City. Learn more

News & Updates

BPDA implements zoning recommendations from PLAN: Mattapan, advances largest office-to-residential conversion project to create 95 units Downtown

Apr 11, 2024

Agency takes real estate actions to preserve artist space, redevelop vacant land into housing

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors Thursday approved new Squares + Streets zoning districts in Mattapan, as well as the tentative designation of a team to redevelop the Boston Water and Sewer Commission Lots. The Board also approved five new development projects representing approximately 1.9 million square feet (SF). The new development projects will create 254 residential units, 61 of these units are designated income-restricted, and will support approximately 1,651 construction jobs and 4,552 permanent jobs. These projects will make Boston a more resilient, affordable, and equitable city.

Planning & Zoning

BPDA approves Squares + Streets districts in Mattapan

The BPDA Board approved a petition to the Zoning Commission to amend the zoning code to map Squares + Streets districts in Mattapan. Mattapan is the first neighborhood in the City where Squares + Streets zoning districts will be mapped. This new zoning in Mattapan is the implementation of recommendations from PLAN: Mattapan, and additional engagement with the community over the last several months. Squares + Streets Zoning Districts vary in their use allowances, dimensional regulations, and density. The districts in Mattapan are mapped to respond to existing context and goals identified in PLAN: Mattapan. The geographic areas proposed to be amended, which provide unique and different amenities and resources to the Mattapan community, include Mattapan Square, Blue Hill Avenue, the Morton Street Commuter Rail Station, and the intersection of Cummins Highway and Greenfield Street. 

Real Estate

BPDA awards tentative designation to Related Beal and DREAM Development for the redevelopment of the Boston Water & Sewer Commission Lots

The BPDA Board of Directors awarded tentative designation to Related Beal and DREAM Development for the redevelopment of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) Lots located in Roxbury. This designation is in direct response to the City’s 2022 land audit in which this site was identified as a high-priority opportunity site for community planning and redevelopment. This property has the potential to become a mixed-use development that will address the City’s most urgent needs including affordable housing, community development, and climate resilience.

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BPDA acquires 290 North Beacon Street to be used as a permanently affordable arts & culture space in Allston-Brighton

The BPDA Board approved a demonstration project plan that will allow the agency to formally acquire the site at 290 North Beacon from the owner, IQHQ, to be redeveloped for permanently affordable arts and culture space and other compatible uses. This is as a result of the redevelopment of a nearby site by IQHQ, 155 North Beacon Street, into life science space. The sale of the 290 North Beacon Street property to the BPDA for a negligible price is a community benefit of that redevelopment. 155 North Beacon Street was previously a rehearsal and recording space for musicians within the Greater Boston area. The developer of 155 North Beacon Street, IQHQ, has committed to transferring 290 North Beacon Street to the BPDA to mitigate against the widespread displacement of artists from the neighborhood. 

BPDA awards final designation for the redevelopment of 20 and 22 Drydock Avenue 

The BPDA Board of Directors today awarded final designation status to 22 Drydock, LLC: a joint venture between Related Beal, Boston Real Estate Investment Fund (BREIF) and Kavanaugh

Advisory Group to redevelop the land at 20 and 22 Drydock Avenue in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (RLFMP) into a new life science space with millions of dollars in public benefits. Demolition of the previous structures on site has already been completed and the project is expected to break ground in the next few months.

The project consists of two individual parcels in the RLFMP, which were formerly occupied by offices of the Economic Development Industrial Corporation of Boston, as well as marine industrial tenants, and will be combined into one parcel with a new seven-story research laboratory and office building. The ground floor will include a state-of-the-art laboratory and classroom space for the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute. The space will serve as a satellite location for marine research, facilitate teaching opportunities, and provide access to local students and community groups. By providing this space, this project supports the RLFMP’s mission to provide a reserve for marine industrial activity. The primarily life science and research and development uses of this site are also consistent with a goal of the RLFMP Master Plan Update to encourage new economic uses. 

Public benefits from this project include more than $3 million in Linkage funding, with more than $2.8 million going toward affordable housing and more than $525,000 toward jobs training. Like all developers of BPDA-owned parcels in the City of Boston, the selected development team is 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 process. Of the current team members, approximately 60 percent are M/WBE firms. The project is also working with In Order Business Development Solutions to continue its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives throughout construction.

Development Projects

2 Hillsboro Street project will bring new income-restricted artist housing to Upham’s Corner

Live: 21 income-restricted units, 18 artist live/work homeownership units
Work: Shared workspace, exhibit space, approximately 21 construction jobs
Connect: Close proximity to public transportation, improved public realm
Sustain: Passive House, LEED certified 

This project will convert what is currently vacant land into 21 new income-restricted homeownership units in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood of Dorchester, 18 of which will be specifically designated for artists as live/work units. These will be a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms. Upham’s Corner is identified as an Arts and Innovation District where economic development is anchored by cultural uses. Artist housing, venues for the creative economy, and public realm enhancement are necessary to fulfill this vision, in part through strong public-private partnerships. The project at 2 Hillsboro Street fulfills these objectives by creating housing for artists in the neighborhood, and therefore creating a hub for the creative economy, along with the nearby Humphreys Street Studios, which the Arts and Innovation District seeks to achieve.

85 Devonshire Street project will convert an office building to 95 new homes in Downtown Boston

Live: 95 units, 19 income-restricted units
Work: Approximately 104 construction jobs
Connect: Close proximity to public transit
Sustain: All electric, adaptive reuse of existing building 

What is currently an 11-story office building in Downtown Boston will be converted into housing, retaining the ground floor retail space. The building will include 95 units, 19 of which will be income-restricted. In order to encourage new use of underutilized office space and respond to the City’s housing crisis, the Downtown Conversion Program offers a tax abatement and a streamlined approval process to applicants who meet affordability and sustainability requirements. This project will advance key recommendations of both the 2022 Downtown Revitalization Report and PLAN: Downtown. This is the second conversion that has been approved by the BPDA Board since the program launched in the fall of 2023.

115-121 Boston Street project to bring new housing to Dorchester

Live: 90 residential units, 15 income-restricted units
Work: Ground floor retail space, approximately 99 construction jobs
Connect: Bike parking, close proximity to public transit, subsidized MBTA passes, support for carpooling program
Sustain: LEED Gold, rooftop solar panels

Located in Dorchester, this project will build a new five-story, mixed-use development including 90 compact living units, 15 of which will be income-restricted. These will be a mix of studios, one-, and two-bedroom units. The building will offer amenities for residents including a meeting and recreation room and a fitness center on the ground floor. This project will improve the surrounding public realm including a new public park, better connections for pedestrians, and more than 20 new trees on site. In support of the City’s bikeshare program, this project will contribute $24,750 to the Boston Transportation Department. The project will also contribute $50,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department to go towards the upkeep of nearby parks, specifically Joe Moakley Park. In addition, this project will also make a  $7,500 contribution to the Polish Club and a $7,500 contribution to the Boston Collegiate Charter School.

Project at 749-759 Dudley Street and 2 Virginia Street will build new housing in Dorchester

Live: 48 residential units, six income-restricted units
Work: Approximately 43 construction jobs, ground floor retail space
Connect: Public realm improvements, close proximity to public transportation

This project will replace two commercial buildings with a new mixed-use, multi-family development in Dorchester. The transit-oriented development will provide ground floor retail and 48 residential units, which will be a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms. Of those, six units will be income-restricted.

CORE on the DOT Phase 1b, 505 Dorchester Avenue, 65 Ellery Street, and 75 Ellery Street to build three new commercial, research and development buildings in South Boston

Live: $16.7 million in Linkage funding to support affordable housing
Work: Retail space, approximately 4,509 permanent jobs created, $3.1 million in Linkage funding to support jobs training, 1,384 construction jobs
Connect: More than an acre of community open space, 150 new trees
Sustain: Elevating parts of the site to protect against flooding, all electric lab buildings, LEED Gold

This project is part of the On the Dot Planned Development Area Master Plan which was approved by the BPDA Board in October of 2023. This phase will construct three new commercial office, research and development, and lab buildings with ground floor retail space and bicycle parking. 505 Dorchester Avenue will be 12 stories; 65 Ellery Street and 75 Ellery Street will each be 13 stories. This project is aligned with PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue and the PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue Transportation Planning Study, as the commercial and lab uses and ground floor retail will activate the neighborhood in this area. PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue established a framework for the area’s evolution from an industrial to a mixed-use neighborhood. The project will also include more than an acre of public open space, as well as a new street network, transportation improvements, and pedestrian safety improvements. This project will provide space for three bikeshare stations on site and contribute more than $390,000 total to the Boston Transportation Department in support of the bikeshare program. The project will contribute $16.7 million in Linkage funding to support affordable housing and $3.1 million in Linkage funding to support jobs training.

In addition to these projects, the board approved:

  • An update to a previously approved project at the Stanhope Hotel to add another floor to the building.

  • An update to a previously approved project at 267 Old Colony Avenue to change the programming from rental units to homeownership units.

  • An update to a previously approved project at 575 Albany Street to change the programming from rental units to homeownership units.

  • The disbursement of $125,000 to the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Department of Urban Planning in support of the 2024 Summer Program Expanding Boston’s Pipeline for Youth of Color in Urban Planning.

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