News & Updates

BRA Board Moves New Projects Forward

Feb 13, 2014

The Boston Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors has approved a number of projects in several Boston neighborhoods. The projects will create close to 700 new construction jobs and invest more than $56 million in the City of Boston.

New Housing for New York Streets Area of South End

Total Project Cost: TBD
Total SF: 535,900 square feet
Housing Units: 602  units, approx 78 affordable onsite units
Jobs: 300-450 construction jobs, 50-80 permanent jobs

345-Harrison-Ave_web.pngThe BRA Board approved two mixed use buildings for the Graybar Electric site at 345 Harrison Avenue in the South End. Collectively, the two buildings will have 602 units of housing and up to 33,500 square feet of ground floor retail, restaurant, and amenity space. Thirteen percent of the units in the building, or approximately 78, will be affordable. The developer is also committed to creating additional offsite affordable housing units.
As part of the community benefits package the developer is contributing $420,000 toward streetscape improvements on Washington Street, Traveler Street, and Harrison Avenue, and $250,000 will be allotted for other community benefits to be determined. Five percent of the development's retail space (1,600 SF) will be for a start up, cultural use, or non profit.
345 Harrison Ave is located in the Harrison Albany Corridor, where new zoning was adopted in January 2012 to encourage mixed use development, density and growth in the New York Streets area of the South End. The project developer is Nordblom Company with CBT Architects as the architecture firm. The project will create 300-450 construction jobs and 50-80 permanent jobs.

Additional Affordable Housing for Chinatown Project

Total Project Cost: $16 million
Total SF: 57,954 square feet
Housing Units: 66 affordable units
Jobs: 150 construction jobs

OXPO-rendering-1.jpgThe BRA Board approved additional units at the Oxford Ping On project, an affordable housing project being constructed at 10-12 Oxford Street and 3-4 Ping On Street in the heart of Chinatown. The previously approved project included 47 units of affordable housing, and the revised project will include 66 units of affordable housing. The  modifications are being made within the previously approved project massing and no substantial changes will be made to the building envelope. The extra units are necessary in order to make this affordable housing project financially feasible.
The BRA has committed $1,160,000 million from the Inclusionary Development Policy Fund to the project. In addition, Forest City, the developer of the nearby 120 Kingston Street project is partially meeting its affordable housing obligation by contributing the land for the project, valued at $3,635,000, and a monetary contribution of $1,085,000. In addition, the nearby 45 Stuart Street development is partially meeting its affordable housing obligation with a $1,200,000 contribution to the Oxford Ping On project.
The project developer is the Chinese Economic Development Council and project architect Chia-Ming Sze Architect.

Boston's First Energy Positive Community in Mission Hill

Total Project Cost: $13 million
Total SF: 47,000 square feet
Housing Units: 44 units, 10 affordable units
Jobs: TBD construction jobs
LEED: energy positive

The BRA Board approved Boston's first energy positive (E+) community, part of the City's E+ Green Building Demonstration Program. The $13 million project, located at 778-796 Parker Street and 77 Terrace Street in Mission Hill, is being constructed on city owned land. The development is projected to have a 21% energy surplus, and will be able to sell that energy back to the grid.

The transit oriented development will feature 44 units of rental housing, including 10 affordable units, each designed around an outdoor space. The project also includes 4,124 square feet of retail space, 82 bicycle parking spaces, 30 vehicle parking spots, and community gardens.

The project is uniquely designed to be terraced into the hillside of the project site, hiding it from Parker Street, with a series of courtyards stepping down through the site and providing dramatic passage between Parker and Terrace Streets and creating a new pedestrian connection.

Sustainable elements of the design are geothermal heating systems, water filtration systems, and a 14,500 square foot solar farm on the project's roof. The project developer and architect are Sebastian Marsical Studio.

The E+ Green Building Demonstration Program is an initiative of the Boston Environment Department, the Department of Neighborhood Development, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. It was launched in April 2011 to promote the next generation of home construction in Boston, and through a highly competitive RFP process, three teams were selected to develop three vacant City parcels.  In 2012, the program was expanded with an RFP for a 40 plus unit E+ Green Building development on Parker and Terrace Streets  in Mission Hill.  Six responses were submitted and the Sebastian Mariscal Studio was selected as developer.


New Housing, Start Up,  & Community Space in Allston

Total Project Cost: $17 million
Total SF: 93,000 square feet
Housing Units: 80  units, 11 affordable units
Jobs: 90-95 construction jobs

The BRA Board approved a mixed use project at 61-83 Braintree Street that will replace two one story buildings withBraintree1.JPG new housing, space for start ups and the community, and a retail entity.
The 61-83 Braintree Street project will feature 80 rental units, including 11 on site affordable housing units, and a 67 space underground garage. The project also includes 1,715 square feet of commercial space that will be used as short term start up incubator space, a 562 square foot retail space, three community rooms, and 2 at grade truck spaces.
The 2 existing warehouse and office facilities on the site, currently used by Thompson Durkee, Co., will be demolished, and the site will have environmental remediation. The developer is committing $30,000 towards improvements to Penniman Park and $10,000 to conduct a local bicycle route study.
The project is being developed by The Waypoint Companies with project architect Neshamkin French Architects. The project will create 90-95 construction jobs and is anticipated to break ground in June 2014 with a yearlong construction timetable.

Audit Agreement Approved

The BRA Board authorized the Acting Director to enter into an agreement with KPMG to perform an audit of the BRA and EDIC. The auditors will be tasked with looking at the agency's internal processes and procedures, including its asset management, loan administration, development review process, human resources procedures, workforce development, information systems, and planning and urban design practices. KPMG will conduct the audit over 8 weeks and is doing the work pro bono.

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