News & Updates

More than 93 percent of new residential units approved at BPDA March Board are income-restricted

Mar 13, 2020

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 residential units, economic development and jobs. The three new development projects approved this month, including fully-affordable projects in Chinatown and Roxbury, will create an additional 402 residential units, 375 of which are income-restricted, representing over 93 percent of total units. All together, projects approved this month will create 603 construction jobs, 996 direct jobs and 322 indirect and induced jobs. 

Since the beginning of 2020, nearly 60 percent of new residential units approved by the BPDA have been income-restricted. 

In addition to development projects, the Board issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for activation of the BPDA-owned Blair Lot in Roxbury’s Nubian Square. While proposals for the redevelopment of the site are currently under review as part of PLAN: Nubian Square, the RFP seeks to activate the Blair Lot in the immediate term.

Building on the Agency's commitment to use public land for public good, the Board voted to amend the ground lease with the proponents of the BPDA-owned Ropewalk Complex in Charlestown to include four additional income-restricted housing units, increasing the proportion of income-restricted units to 25 percent of total residential units. 

The Board also authorized a text amendment to the Boston Zoning Code that would limit the hours of operation for electronic signs from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM (midnight). The amendment will now go to the Zoning Commission for a vote. 

Development Projects

288 Harrison Avenue brings 85 rental units, all of which are income-restricted, to Chinatown

Live: 85 income-restricted rental units
Work: 350 construction jobs
Connect: BPDA is utilizing its Urban Renewal powers to allow the fully affordable project to move forward

Developed by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England and Beacon Communities, 288 Harrison Avenue will bring a six-story building with 85 rental units, all of which are income-restricted, to Chinatown. Half of the income-restricted units are funded through the 201 Stuart Street (Motor Mart Garage) project, approved in October 2019.

The building will also contain approximately 1,275 square feet of ground floor non-residential space, such as retail, community and/or cultural space, and approximately 40 parking spaces intended to serve tenants at the adjacent Tai Tung Village development.

The project is located on an Urban Renewal parcel and the BPDA is utilizing its Urban Renewal powers to allow the fully affordable project to move forward.

Fully-affordable Lenox Apartments move forward in Roxbury with renovation of 285 rental units

Live: 285 income-restricted rental units
Work: 50 construction jobs
Connect: New health services and recreational space with educational training and tutoring services

Located at 136 Lenox Street in Roxbury, Lenox Apartments will renovate and rehabilitate the existing 12, three-story buildings containing 285 rental units, and one building containing management offices and a maintenance/mechanical space, currently owned and managed by the Boston Housing Authority.

Of the 285, 100 percent income-restricted rental units, 123 are one-bedrooms, 120 are two-bedrooms, and 42 are three-bedroom units. The building will also include a newly renovated community center with health services space, recreational space, educational training and tutoring services.

Located in South Boston, 218-220 Old Colony Avenue includes 32 rental units, 5 of which are income restricted

Live: 32 rental units, 5 of which are income-restricted
Work: 50 construction jobs, new 2,399 square foot commercial space
Connect: Consistent with the guidelines outlined in PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue

The newly-approved 218-220 Old Colony Avenue will construct a five-story mixed-use building in South Boston. The project includes 32 rental units, 5 of which will be income-restricted, and a 2,399 square foot commercial space. The building will also contain up to 33 at-grade and below-grade parking spaces and up to 32 bicycle storage spaces.

Mitigation associated with the project includes a contribution to maintain green space at the Joseph Moakley Park and a contribution to support infrastructure improvements to the pedestrian realm on Old Colony Avenue. The proponent has also committed to the creation of a public plaza in front of the West Ninth Street senior public housing development, consistent with the plan submitted during the Article 80 process.

The project is located within the PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue planning area, approved by the Board in 2016.

A Notice of Project Change (NPC) for Fenway Center-Parcel 7 Air Rights moved forward, reducing Building 3 from 27 stories to 20 stories and increasing Building 4 from 8 stories to 10 stories. The NPC also reduces the number of total residential units and adds office and lab/life sciences square feet to the project.

The Board also approved a NPC for 55 India Street in Downtown, reducing the total number of homeownership units from 44 to 29 and devoting a floor of the project to include 5 income-restricted artist live/work units. 55 India Street was approved by the Board in 2014 and is consistent with the Greenway District Planning Guidelines.

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