News & Updates

New Development Projects & Planning and Zoning Initiatives Moving Forward

Dec 20, 2013

The BRA Board approved several development projects at the December 19 Board Meeting, along with several Planning and Zoning initiatives. These projects will create more than 3,900 new construction jobs and invest more than $1.46 billion in the City of Boston over the next decade.

New Dorm Approved at Emerson College

Total Project Cost: $63 million
Total SF: 89,900 square feet
Student Beds: approximately 400
Jobs: 200 construction jobs
LEED: Gold

The BRA Board approved a new dormitory for 1-3 Boylston Place located adjacent to Emerson College’s existing campus in Downtown Boston as part of an amendment to Emerson College’s Institutional Master Place (IMP). The Emerson-College-1-3-Boylston-Place_PNF.jpg1-3 Boylston Place Residence Hall will house approximately 400 students. In the short term the new dorm will allow for repairs to be made at the Little Building dorm and will allow Emerson to house more students upon completion of those repairs.
The $63 million dorm will be approximately 89,900 square feet and rise 171 feet, featuring an active ground floor with a cafe open to the public. The project also includes public realm improvements to Boylston Place.
The IMP amendment also allows Emerson College to restore The Little Building at 80 Boylston Street, convert the ground floor of The Walker Building at 122 and 124 Boylston Street from retail space to a student dining facility, and upgrade the HVAC system at 216 Tremont Street.

Redevelopment of Old Boston Garden Site will Bring New Retail, Hotel, Office, and Residential to West End
Total Project Cost: $950 million
Total SF: 1,870,000 square feet
Housing Units: 497 units
Hotel Keys: 306 rooms
Jobs: 2,000 construction jobs; 5,000 permanent jobs
LEED: Platinum
The BRA Board approved the redevelopment of the old Boston Garden site located at 80 Causeway Street and authorized a 121A agreement at the site. The $950 million mixed use project will bring a new Star Market to the neighborhood, concluding a nearly 20 year effort to bring a supermarket to the the West End and the surrounding neighborhoods. The supermarket is part of a larger 1,870,000 square foot mixed-use development project. The developer anticipates to complete the project in four phases.
Phase I
  • Four to six story podium with 187,500 +/- square feet of retail space on the west side, and 47,500 +/- square feet of retail space and 142,000 +/- square feet of flex office/retail space on the east side.
  • Construction of Champion’s Row and Atrium Hall, which will connect Causeway Street to North Station and the TD Garden.
  • A four-level below grade parking facility for approximately 800 parking spaces which will be integrated with the existing garage under North Station.
Phase II
  • A 20-story hotel tower totaling 200,000 square feet with approximately 306 hotel rooms.
Phase III
  • A 45-story residential tower totaling 560,000 square feet with 497 units of housing.
Phase IV
  • A 25-story office tower totaling 668,000 square feet.
To support the supermarket and the extensive investment being made in the site, the first phase of the redevelopment will be assisted by a partnership with the City of Boston. The tax agreement authorized under Chapter 121A of the Massachusetts General Law will provide $7.8 million in property tax relief to the project over 15 years, while bringing approximately $32.3 million in new revenue to the city during the same period. Currently, the parcel yields less than $350,000 annually for the City of Boston in property taxes as an undeveloped lot.

The development team includes Delaware North Companies, Boston Properties, and architect Elkus Manfredi.

New Executive Education Facility Planned for Harvard Business School Campus
Total Project Cost: $87 millionThe-Chao-Center_Rendering.png
Total SF: 75,000 square feet
Jobs: 200 construction jobs
LEED: Gold
The BRA Board approved the Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center, an Executive Education building of approximately 75,000 square feet planned on the Harvard Business School campus in Boston.  The building will include a dining facility for Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program, classroom space, offices for staff, function rooms, and a kitchen.  The project also includes improvements to outdoor space to support courtyard seating. The Chao Center is the first project that was approved under Harvard’s 2013 10 year Institutional Master Plan to move forward.

New Hotel and Residences Slated for Back Bay
Total Project Cost: $225 million
Total SF: 380,450 square feet
Hotel Rooms: 227
Housing Units: 115 total, 17 affordable
Jobs: 700 construction jobs, 338 permanent
LEED: Gold
The BRA Board approved 40 Trinity Place, a new hotel and residential development in the Back Bay. The project will replace the 8-story Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center.
The $225 million project is approximately 33 stories and totals 380,450 square feet. 40 Trinity Place will include 115 homeownership units, 17 of which will be affordable, a 227-key hotel, and parking for 100 vehicles.
As part of the project, the southern sidewalk along Stuart Street from Trinity Place to Clarendon Street will be widened and the eastern sidewalk on Trinity Place south of Stuart Street will be rebuilt.
The development team includes developer Trinity Stuart LLC and project architect The Architectural Team. The project is anticipated to begin construction in early 2014 with an estimated completion date of mid-2016.

Fenway Boylston Street Revitalization Continues with New Housing and Retail
Total Project Cost: $102 million
Total SF: 183,000 square feet
Housing Units: 215 rental units, 25 affordable1350_Boylston_FOR-WEB.jpg
Jobs: 400 construction jobs, 45 permanent jobs
LEED: Silver
The BRA Board unanimously approved new housing and retail at 1350 Boylston Street. The $102 million project will replace a one story Burger King with a project that is reflective of the high quality of development that is underway along Boylston Street in the Fenway.
The building will rise four stories along the eastern side of the project, and 17 stories on the western half of the site near the intersection of Boylston Street and Kilmarnock Street. The 183,000 square foot project will feature 215 rental units, 25 of which will be affordable middle income units. The project also includes 7,050 square feet of ground floor retail and will include 105 parking spaces.
The development team includes SCD 1350 Boylston Street, an affiliate of Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc, and ADD Inc as project architects.
New Housing Approved in South Boston
Total Project Cost: $12 million
Total SF: 33,488 square feet
Housing Units: 29, 4 affordable
Jobs: 100 construction jobs
LEED: Silver
The BRA Board unanimously approved a new 29 unit residential development at 340 West Second St in South Boston. The $12 million project, totaling 33,488 square feet, includes four affordable units, 1,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and a 43 space parking garage.
The development team includes developer Shamus Holdings, LLC and Timothy Burke Architecture as the project architect. The developer plans to begin construction in spring 2014 with an estimated summer 2015 completion schedule.  The construction is expected to create approximately 100 construction jobs.  
New Rental Housing Approved in East Boston
Total Project Cost: $8 million
Total SF: 44,500 square feet
Housing Units: 38 rentals, 6 affordable
Jobs: up to 100 construction jobs
LEED: LEED Silver Certifiable
The BRA Board unanimously approved a 38 unit rental building at 319-327 Chelsea Street in East Boston that will replace an existing  funeral home. The $8 million project totals 44,500 square feet and is five stories tall along Bremen Street and three stories along Chelsea Street. The project includes 6 affordable units, two ground floor commercial/retail units, 34 vehicle parking spaces, and bike storage.
The development team includes developer Pat Buonopane and architect Roche-Christopher LLC. The developer anticipates breaking ground in fall 2014, creating up to 100 construction jobs.

New Rental Housing Approved in East Boston
Total Project Cost: $10 million
Total SF: 49,775 square feet
Housing Units: 45 rentals, 7 affordable
Jobs: up to 100 construction jobs
LEED: Silver Certifiable
The BRA Board approved a new residential development at 917 Bennington Street in East Boston. The $10 million project will replace an existing funeral home with a 49,775 square foot building with 45 rental units, including 7 affordable units in a mix of 19 two bedroom units, 12 one bedroom units, and 14 studios. The structure will be 59 feet high and will include 33 parking spaces and bicycle storage.
The developer is Pat Buonopane with project architect Roche-Christopher. The developer anticipates breaking ground on the project by fall 2014, creating up to 100 construction jobs.

Sullivan Square Study Prepares Charlestown for Roadway Transformations and Public Realm Improvements

The BRA Board approved the adoption of the Sullivan Square Disposition Study. The Study, which was informed by a series of eight public meetings held in Charlestown, offers a community vision for transforming the Sullivan Square MBTA station area into a pedestrian-oriented environment set around a new street grid.
The BRA’s study followed the completion of a two-year transportation planning process by the Boston Transportation Department (BTD). BTD developed a conceptual plan for reconfiguring Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square to create a more walkable and gridded street pattern. The planned roadways will create several new publicly-owned parcels out of currently underutilized surface parking lots. The BRA completed the Sullivan Square Disposition Study in preparation for the eventual disposal of these parcels for development and the creation of new open space.
Following the adoption of this Study, BTD will begin a public process to refine final roadway designs. Upon completion of the new roadway network, the BRA will implement the urban design and land use guidelines outlined in the Sullivan Square Disposition Study through an eventual RFP disposition process for the new parcels.
Throughout the planning process the BRA, its partner, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and a consultant team led by the firm of Crosby | Schlessinger | Smallridge, collaborated closely with members of the Charlestown community in developing the guidelines of this Study.
Utile, Inc. Engaged for South Station Master Plan Which Will Lay Groundwork for Station Expansion

The BRA Board approved a contract between the BRA and Utile, Inc. for the development of a South Station Master Plan and a corresponding amendment to the Fort Point Downtown Municipal Harbor Plan. The planning process will provide an excellent opportunity to explore options for transit-oriented development and placemaking in this section of Boston's Downtown.

The Plan and Amendment must both be completed before the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) can proceed with any new development over or around South Station. This was a requirement stipulated by the Commonwealth Executive Office of Environmental Affairs as part of its approval of the Fort Point Downtown Municipal Harbor Plan Phase II in 2004. The planning area is generally bounded by Summer Street on the north, Atlantic Avenue and Interstate 93 on the west, the eastern edge of Fort Point Channel on the east, and West 4th Street on the south.

Utile, Inc. was chosen as the consultant following the issuance of an RFP in October 15, 2013 through a competitive bidding process. The scope of services for the RFP includes:
  • analysis of existing conditions,
  • review of existing area plans,
  • identification of issues and opportunities, multi-modal transportation systems analysis,
  • public participation,
  • development and review of massing options,
  • market analysis,
  • and preparation of a master plan.
Utile’s team will include subconsultants from Durand and Anastas Environmental Strategies; Byrne and McKinney & Associates, Inc.; Noble & Wickersham; Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates; and Norris & Norris. Utile may collaborate with MassDOT’s South Station Expansion Plan consulting team to avoid redundancy on the analysis tasks of the RFP.
BRA Engages McMahon Associates for Mt. Vernon St. Redesign Contract in Dorchester

The BRA Board approved a contract between the BRA and McMahon Associates for engineering, landscape design, and urban design services to develop an approved 25% design for Mt. Vernon Street in Columbia Point, Dorchester.

This project follows on the heels of several plans, initiatives, and developments which have recently occurred on the Columbia Point Peninsula, including the 2011 Columbia Point Master Plan. All of these analyses recognized that Mt. Vernon St. required a significant redesign in order to safely and sustainably accommodate the increased numbers of pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users anticipated in the neighborhood.

On October 17, 2013 the BRA issued an RFP seeking consultants to begin the redesign process for Mt. Vernon St.. The scope of services includes four major components:
  1. Analyse and document existing conditions.
  2. Develop a concept design that adheres closely to the City of Boston’s Complete Streets guidelines.
  3. Prepare 25% design development and submittal.
  4. Manage public participation and agency coordination.
McMahon Associates was selected through a competitive bidding process. Their project team will also include subconsultants from Crosby/Schlessinger/Smallridge; OMLOOP Design; Surveying and Mapping Consultants, Inc.; and The Street Plans Collaborative. The contract was awarded for an amount not to exceed $409,500.

The BRA, in collaboration with McMahon Associates, will lead the initial concept design and community planning process while collaborating closely with staff from the Boston Transportation Department and Public Works Department. The 25% design phase is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months.

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