News & Updates

115 Winthrop Square moves forward, paving way for affordable housing and parks investments

May 17, 2018

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved a total of nine development projects representing $1.6 billion in investments at the May Board meeting.  Altogether, the projects will generate 1,171 residential units and 2,306 jobs once construction is complete.

Following a comprehensive public process, the Board approved the 115 Winthrop Square project, paving the way for a $163 million payment to the City of Boston that will be invested in affordable housing and open space. Mayor Martin J. Walsh has committed funds to the Boston Common ($28 million), Franklin Park ($28 million), the Emerald Necklace ($11 million), Boston Housing Authority's Old Colony development in South Boston ($25 million) Orient Heights development in East Boston ($10 million), and $5 million for a City-held fund to benefit the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The project is expected to generate over $15 million a year in property tax revenue and make significant investments in affordable housing and workforce training programs.

Development Projects

115 Winthrop Square to bring dynamic, mixed-use tower, creating a more vibrant, resilient downtown

Live: Up to 500 residences, a significant investment in affordable housing in Chinatown, $4 million contribution to IDP fund
Work: 3,500 permanent jobs created, with 2,800 construction jobs with a commitment to diversity and inclusion
Connect: Passive Housing principles,LEED Platinum, Great Hall, and an enhanced pedestrian realm
Size: 1,650,000 square feet

The 115 Winthrop Square project will replace a City-owned, dilapidated garage with a mixed-use tower containing more than 1.6 million square feet of residential, office, retail, restaurant, parking and other commercial space. The project will bring public realm and pedestrian improvements to the Financial District, and will be an economic driver for the entire city, creating an estimated 2,800 construction jobs and 3,500 new permanent jobs. The project is expected to contain up to 55 stories, with a building height of approximately 664 feet.  

The central public feature of the project is the Great Hall, an approximately 12,000 square foot space that will serve as a cultural and commercial anchor for the project. The Great Hall will create a new pedestrian path between Federal and Devonshire Streets and strengthen the connection to an enhanced Winthrop Square Park. The space will serve the public, providing the operational structure and architectural scaffolding to accommodate and implement a variety of programmed educational, civic, performance and cultural experiences.

To ensure economic inclusion, the City of Boston has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Millennium Partners to promote economic inclusiveness and equity and provide participation, access and training opportunities. The MOU will enhance opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses (WBEs and MBEs) by providing at least fifteen percent of the contract value of its construction and architect contracts for these firms.

The project will satisfy the City of Boston’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) by creating off-site income-restricted rental and homeownership units, and will contribute an additional $4 million to the IDP fund.

Design and programming of the project will continue to evolve in coordination with the City, the BPDA, and the public.

In addition to the $163 million payment to the City of Boston that will support affordable housing and open space, 115 Winthrop Square will generate significant benefits for residents of Boston, including:

  • Advance the sustainability objectives of the City through the development of an energy efficient, resilient and environmentally friendly Tower that will strive to achieve LEED Platinum certifiability and adopt the principles of “Passive House Institute” design in the office component;  
  • Fund $125,000 annually for forty years to maintain and improve the Boston Common, Boston Public Garden and the Commonwealth Mall;
  • Contribute $250,000 to fund a Downtown Planning Study;
  • Contribute $150,000 to the City of Boston Transportation Department to fund a bus rapid transit plan;
  • Generate an estimated $120,000 per year assessment toward the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID);
  • Collaborate with the BID regarding public safety and quality of life issues in the downtown neighborhood, including the payment to the BID of $200,000 towards agreed public safety and security initiatives;
  • Generate approximately $4,795,500 in housing linkage funds and $960,250 in job linkage funds for the benefit of the City, or equivalent job and/or housing creation programs;
  • Upgrade street lighting, traffic improvements, traffic signal timing and signalization in areas surrounding the site.

In 2015, the BPDA kicked-off a robust and transparent process to secure the most value for the City-owned garage and ensure that any proceeds would come back to the City to directly benefit the residents of Boston.  After receiving six proposals, the BPDA, in coordination with the City, determined the response submitted by Millennium Partners to be the most advantageous proposal for redevelopment of the garage site.

1550 Soldiers Field Road and 21 Soldiers Field Place to create 249 new units, act as a gateway location on the Charles River in Brighton

Live: 249 new residential units, including 38 Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) homeownership units
Work: 170 construction jobs
Connect: Transit-oriented, new crosswalk and sidewalk improvements
Size: 223,000 square feet

As proposed, this Brighton project will result in the construction of 211 market-rate units in a six story building, located at 1550 Soldiers Field Road. In addition, the project will generate 38 income-restricted homeownership units at 21 Soldiers Field Place in a five story building. There will be approximately 175 on-site parking spaces for both building components, including 148 spaces in an underground garage at 1550 Soldiers Field Road, and 27 ground-floor garage spaces at 21 Soldiers Field Place.

The rental units currently planned for 1550 Soldiers Field Road include 68 studios, 87 one-bedroom units, and 56 two-bedroom units for a total of 211 units. Garage and service vehicle access will be provided from Soldiers Field Place. The income restricted homeownership units planned for 21 Soldiers Field Place include four studios, 24 one-bedroom units, eight two-bedroom units, and two three-bedroom units for a total of 38 units.

The project will contribute $10,000 to the City of Boston's Parks and Recreation Department Fund for Parks.

70 Leo M. Birmingham Parkway to bring 79 homeownership units, 10 new IDP units to Brighton

Live: 10 new IDP units, a new active streetscape, complete street sidewalks, landscaped green areas, access to brick patios and decks and an abutting park
Work: 150 construction jobs, supportive housing for growth at Boston Landing and vitality of Market Street Business District
Connect: 50 bike storage spaces, proximity to the new Boston Landing MBTA station, support for planned infrastructure improvements
Size: 117,626 square feet

This project will revitalize an underutilized site with 79 homeownership units, on-site garage parking, related open space, sidewalk and site improvements. The project will combine three parcels of land and replace two existing, underutilized commercial structures to incorporate a new six-story residential condominium building.

The project includes $70,000 to fund public realm improvements along Leo M. Birmingham Parkway, including necessary upgrades to the traffic signal at the Lincoln Street and Leo M. Birmingham Parkway intersection. These improvements will provide pedestrian and bicycle connectivity for the residents and visitors of the new development to the Boston Landing commuter rail station, MBTA bus routes along Leo Birmingham Parkway, as well as other destinations in Brighton. In addition, a $30,000 contribution to the City of Boston's Parks and Recreation Department Fund for Parks will be made.  

55 West Fifth Street to bring 18 residential units, five IDP units, and below-market rent for a local retailer to South Boston

Live: Nine IDP units, a common rooftop deck
Work: 100 construction jobs, 1,600 square feet of retail space
Connect: Transit oriented development, 50 bike storage spaces
Size: 11,507 square feet

As originally approved at the August 2016 Board meeting, this project consisted of the demolition of an existing building and the construction of a five-story, mixed-use building with 32 residential rental units and four affordable units. In February of this year, a Notice of Project Change (NPC) was submitted for the project and proposed the following: (1) An increase in the building height from 50 feet to 60 feet, (2) The addition of 18 residential units, bringing the total to 50 (3) The addition of five income-restricted units, bringing the total to nine (4) The addition of approximately seven off-street parking spaces, bringing the total to 43, (5) An increase of approximately 11,057 square feet of gross floor area, (6) A reduction of approximately 453 square feet to the ground floor retail space, bringing the total to approximately 1,600 square feet of retail/commercial space.  

The approximately 1,600 square feet of retail/commercial space will be offered at below market-rate rent. The proposed changes to the Originally Approved Project are consistent with the vision and guidelines of PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue.

As a result of these changes, the proposed development will consist of the construction of a six-story, 45,757 square foot mixed-use building that will include 50 residential rental units, including nine income restricted units, approximately 43 parking spaces, and approximately 1,600 square feet of ground floor retail/commercial space.

East Boston’s 152 Liverpool Street project to create 30 jobs, 23 residential units

Live: 23 new residential units, 3 new IDP units
Work: 30 direct jobs, 1,910 square feet of retail space
Connect: Nine parking spaces, 23 bike storage spaces and 0.3 miles to Maverick Square
Size: 26,220 square feet

The 152 Liverpool Street project will demolish the existing automobile repair facility that currently occupies the site and construct a five story, approximately 23,010 square foot mixed-use building with approximately 23 residential rental units, including three income-restricted units, approximately 1,910 square feet of retail/commercial space, approximately nine off-street vehicle parking spaces, and at least 23 on-site bicycle storage spaces. As currently proposed, the 23 residential units are anticipated to consist of two studio units, eight one-bedroom units, twelve two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit.

287 Maverick Street to revitalize former industrial site, yield 38 new residential units, five IDP units in East Boston

Live: 38 residential units, five IDP units, revitalization of a former industrial site
Work: 50 direct jobs, 2,180 square feet of retail space
Connect: 30 parking spaces, 38 bike storage spaces, 0.4 miles to Maverick Square
Size: 43,830 square feet

The proposed project is located at 287-293 Maverick Street in East Boston. The site is currently occupied by a garage and warehouse, and is approximately eight minutes walking distance from the MBTA Blue Line subway and bus service at Maverick Station.

The project will construct a five-story, mixed-use building with 38 homeownership condominium units, five income-restricted units, retail/commercial space, 30 off-street vehicle parking spaces, and at least 38 on-site bicycle storage spaces. The 38 residential units are expected to consist of two studio units, 10 one-bedroom units and 25 two-bedroom units.

In addition to revitalizing the former industrial site, the project will provide a number of public benefits to the East Boston neighborhood, including, but not limited to: pedestrian access improvements and new widened sidewalks, a $30,000 contribution toward a neighborhood transportation analysis, planning initiative, or public realm improvement(s), and a $5,000 contribution for the Crossroads Family Center, Inc. to support the organization’s mission and the services provided to support families as they transition from homelessness to independent living and self-sufficiency.

40 Rugg Road approval to bring 34 affordable units, new retail and art gallery space to Allston

Live: 34 IDP units, a public community space, access to 11,000 square feet of public open space on-property
Work: 14 permanent jobs, new retail space, a gallery with additional maker space for artists
Connect: 239 new bike storage spaces, LEED Gold certification
Size: 282,170 square feet

The 40 Rugg Road project site is comprised of five parcels located in Allston. The site is currently occupied by four existing industrial buildings ranging between one to two stories, including associated surface parking areas, sidewalks and temporary trailers. Nearby there are two parcels with an existing four-story masonry building and a five-story 36-unit condominium building currently under construction. The project site is located near the new Boston Landing MBTA Commuter Rail Station and is in close proximity to several MBTA bus routes.  

As proposed, the project will include the development of two new six-story residential buildings called Building A-B and Building C, respectively. The buildings will include ground floor retail space, ground floor work and gallery space reserved for local artists, and an automated parking structure for 168 vehicles. The buildings will contain 265 rental apartments, 34 of which will be affordable. Eight of the affordable units are specifically reserved as and designed to be artist live/work units. The current makeup of the project includes 86 studios, 118 one-bedroom units, and 61 two-bedroom units. There will also be a new green space created within the project site with direct access from each building’s ground floor amenity areas for use by its residents. Building A-B will be located in an “L”-shape configuration along the southern and eastern boundaries of the project site; Building C will be located in a “C”-shape configuration on the northern side of the site, wrapping around the parking structure.

The project will provide a number of community benefits for the surrounding neighborhood, including a contribution of $80,000 to Penniman Park.

Massport Marine Terminal Parcel 6 to create over 120 new maritime jobs, over-the-counter seafood shop

Work: Over 120 new maritime industrial jobs, with an additional seafood shop and the new International Longshoreman’s Association Union Hall
Connect: Expanded infrastructure, with new utilities, Bollard Way, and expanded off-street parking
Size: 220,000 square feet

This project will construct 220,000 gross square feet of seafood processing facilities and accessory parking on Parcel 6 of the Massport Marine Terminal. The project combines approximately 115,000 square feet of gross floor area of seafood processing facilities on Sub-Parcels 6A and 6B, and approximately 101,300 square feet of parking in a mixed-use space on Sub-Parcel 6C. The Massport Marine Terminal (MMT) Parcel 6 Development is located on Fid Kennedy Avenue within the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (the RLFMP), formerly the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Currently the project site is vacant, mostly asphalt-paved land.

MMT Parcel 6 consists of an approximately 6.5 acre portion of the 29.5 acre MMT. The MMT is land leased by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and to the east, by a new road to be constructed as part of the proposed project, with the working name of “Bollard Way”. An accessory and supporting mixed-use parking structure is included in the project proposal to satisfy a need of the marine industry not serviced by public transportation. The project is expected to be developed in three sub-parcels, with associated infrastructure improvements to adjacent Shore Road. The proposed buildings will be of varying heights but all under 50 feet.

Herb Chambers Jaguar Range Rover Dealership aims to contribute meaningfully to the Commonwealth Ave. streetscape with new, first-class facility

Work: Over 13,300 square feet of retail and over 3,300 square feet of office space
Connect: Upgrading sidewalks for pedestrian safety, proponent to work with Boston Transportation Department Planning Team on analysis of intersection of Harvard Avenue and Brainerd Road
Size: 191,321 square feet

The Herb Chambers Companies will develop a new Jaguar Land Rover auto dealership at the locations currently occupied by the Herb Chambers Honda and Herb Chambers Infiniti dealerships at 1186-1190 and 1192-1198 Commonwealth Avenue. The intent is to develop a category-leading, first-class new facility that will contribute meaningfully to the Commonwealth Avenue streetscape. The proposed project will be contemporary in style, featuring a streamlined design. It is expected to be three stories high, with a maximum height of 59.5 feet, and will therefore be slightly lower in height than the immediately adjacent residential building. The proposed project will contain approximately 192,321 square feet of building area, and will include showrooms, offices, service bays, vehicle storage, and customer amenities, including lounges. The preliminary plans indicate that the project will be supported by 537 off-street parking spaces located within the building, and approximately 58 surface spaces.

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