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News & Updates

1,044 housing units, including 234 income-restricted units approved at final BPDA Board meeting of the year

Dec 13, 2019

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved development projects in neighborhoods across the City of Boston, which will result in new market-rate and income-restricted residential units, economic development, and jobs. Overall, the new development projects approved this month will create an additional 1,044 residential units, including 234 income-restricted units, and 1,633 construction jobs, 1,167 direct jobs and 871 indirect and induced jobs. The residential projects moving forward make progress towards Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class. 

Planning Studies 

BPDA Board approves next steps for PLAN: Newmarket, the 21st Century Economy Initiative, one of many community planning studies underway across the City

The Board approved the authorization to advertise and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consultant services for PLAN: Newmarket, the 21st Century Economy Initiative. As identified in Imagine Boston 2030, the Newmarket area offers opportunities for the preservation of critical industrial uses alongside transit-oriented growth that increases job density and strengthens connections to Downtown Boston. 

Development Projects

566 Columbus Avenue brings 55 home-ownership units, 11 income-restricted artist live/work units to the South End

Live: 66 home-ownership units, including 11 income-restricted artist live/work units
Work: 180 construction jobs
Connect: Relocation of Harriet Tubman House and its programming to an expanded facility at Rutland Street

566 Columbus Avenue will bring 66 home-ownership units, including 11 income-restricted artist live/work units to the South End. The ground floor space of the building will feature an artist gallery, an exhibit space open to the public that highlights the cultural heritage of the neighborhood, and a social enterprise cafe to be named The Hi-Hat in honor of the famed jazz club that once occupied the same corner of Columbus and Massachusetts Avenue. Fifty percent of the commercial space will be dedicated to non-profit use at affordable rents. 

Additionally, the proponent has agreed to the relocation or reproduction of the mural that currently wraps around the front exterior of the existing building. The project will also contribute a community benefits package of $250,000 which includes funding for neighborhood organizations in the South End and Lower Roxbury. 

The project site includes a three-story building known as the Harriet Tubman House, which was built and is currently occupied by the United South End Settlements (USES). The revenue from the sale of 566 Columbus Avenue will allow USES to relocate the Harriet Tubman House and its programming to an expanded state-of-the-art facility at Rutland Street. This relocation will increase the capacity of families served in the South End/Lower Roxbury for years to come.  

With over 22 percent of total housing units designated as income-restricted, 10 Stonley Road in Jamaica Plain receives Board approval

Live: 45 housing units with 10 income-restricted units, 5 of which are artist live/work spaces
Work: Creation of 40 jobs during construction
Connect: Consistent with the community goals outlined in PLAN: JP/Rox 

10 Stonley road, formerly known as 35 Brookley Road, will re-purpose a current industrial site to construct an energy-efficient four-story building in Jamaica Plain. The building will contain a total of 45 rental units, including 10 income-restricted units, 5 of which are  artist live/work spaces. Once complete, the project will have 19 parking spaces and 38 bicycle spaces.

The project creates an unprecedented amount of privately financed income-restricted housing with over 22 percent of the units offered to lower income residents at a range of income levels. In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, the project will also create a new public mural on the project site.  
The project is consistent with the community goals outlined in PLAN: JP/Rox, approved by the Board in 2017. 

1595-1599 Columbus Avenue brings 65 rental units, all of which are income-restricted, to Jamaica Plain

Live: 65 rental units, 100% of which are income-restricted 
Work: 250 construction jobs, 12 full-time jobs
Connect: Aligns with community goals outlined in PLAN: JP/Rox

1595-1599 Columbus Avenue will construct a six-story building containing approximately 65 income-restricted rental units, including four Community Based Housing units with enhanced accessibility and universal design features. There will also be 4,000 square feet of non-residential space on the ground-floor which is envisioned as a workspace for artists,office space or other activated uses. 

The project aligns with the community goals outlined in PLAN: JP/Rox, including housing and non-residential space along Columbus Avenue. 

After two-year community process, Allston Yards moves forward with 868 housing units including 148 income-restricted units

Live: 868 housing units, including 148 income-restricted units
Work: 2,000 permanent jobs through the construction of a flagship grocery store
Connect: $4 million contribution to the Allston-Brighton Homeowner Fund to support ownership housing availability, affordability and stability

Allston Yards will transform an underutilized shopping plaza into a vibrant, mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood. The project will consist of four buildings and will include up to 868 residential rental and homeownership units, including 148 on-site income-restricted units.

The multi-phase project includes a one-acre publicly accessible green space. There will also be a grocery store, office space, retail/restaurant space, and 10,000 square feet of community art space. 

In response to community feedback, the proponent will deliver an increased contribution of $4 million to the Allston Brighton Homeowner Fund. This fund will help to fund down payment assistance, homeownership programs with affordability components, home repair loans and/or Homebuyer 101 classes for income qualified individuals and families to support ownership housing availability, affordability and stability.

Allston Yards will bring a number of community benefits to the surrounding neighborhood and City of Boston, including transportation, pedestrian and bicycle improvements and $2.5 million subsidy payment to the MBTA for surrounding bus and commuter rail enhancements. 

Newly-approved Kenmore Hotel will reconfigure public roadways to improve pedestrian safety in Fenway’s Kenmore Square

Live: 391 hotel rooms, $1.29M linkage contribution to support affordable housing and 
Work: 190 hotel jobs, 500 construction jobs, $254,540 linkage contribution to support job training
Connect: Creation of new, half-acre public plaza with active programming and reconfiguration of public roadways

The newly-approved Kenmore Hotel will demolish the existing commercial building at 560-574 Commonwealth Avenue to construct a 29-story hotel with up to 391 guest rooms. There will also be 13,300 square feet of retail/restaurant space on the ground floor. A new, half-acre public plaza with active programming will also be constructed on the site.

The project will reconfigure public roadways on the site to improve safety and the experience of traveling to Kenmore Square for people walking, biking or driving. 

Community benefits associated with the project include significant transportation improvements, including new pedestrian connections and shorter crosswalks and a $10,000 contribution to the Esplanade Association. 

In addition to planning studies and development projects, the Board also approved the disbursement of $100,000 from the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund to 19 non-profit community organizations in Allston-Brighton. The Fund was originally established to address the development impact of Havard’s Allston Science Complex located on Western Avenue in Allston.

The Board also authorized the disbursement of $150,000 funding from the community benefits package associated with the approval of the Summer Street Hotel in 2017. The funding will be awarded to 15 non-profit organizations that serve Boston residents.

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