News & Updates

BPDA approves new affordable housing in Roxbury, Hyde Park, Dorchester, and South Boston at December meeting

Dec 16, 2021

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved five new development projects and four updates to previously approved projects. The new projects will create 362 residential units, 234, or 64 percent of which, will be designated income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent 1,832,917 square feet and will support 1,471 construction jobs and 2,592 direct jobs.

This year, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Board approved 14.6 million square feet of new development worth $7.0 billion. This includes 6,643 residential units, of which 2,343, or 35 percent, are income restricted. Development projects approved this year are estimated to generate 13,474 construction jobs and 11,755 permanent jobs.

Development Projects

2164 Washington Street project moves forward to revitalize BPDA-owned Blair Lot into economic and cultural hub in Roxbury
Live: 15 Homeownership units including 10 income-restricted units
Work: 900 jobs including life sciences/training, office, culinary marketplace, cultural hall, artist makerspace 
Connect: 25% of the site is dedicated open space for festivals, markets, performances; food hall, connection to Ruggles MBTA station with new pedestrian passage  
Sustain: LEED Gold, stormwater recharge system, solar array, geothermal energy pump.

In February of 2016, the BPDA launched PLAN: Nubian Square to update the framework for new development in Roxbury and guide the RFPs for nine underutilized publicly owned properties. The RFP for the Blair Lot, the former home to Blair’s Foodland that had become vacant, was released in November of 2019 after an extensive public process to help the community shape the future of the site. The project review committee, alongside the community, reviewed each RFP response, and recommended in December of 2020 that the BPDA award designation to Nubian Ascend Partners, LLC. The proposal meets the BPDA and City of Boston’s diversity and inclusion requirements for publicly-owned land to create increased opportunities for people of color, women, and for the participation of Minority Business Enterprises (M/BEs). The development team partners, Nubian Square Development, LLC, Almiranta Development and Capital, and Black Market Development, are minority owned and controlled. In addition, the development team has committed to investing in local organizations serving the neighboring community.

Designed to promote economic revitalization through locally owned businesses and support artistry in Nubian Square, the project will include 135,000 square feet of space for lab and office uses, 50,000 square feet of culinary and marketplace space, a 19,000 square foot cultural hall, 9,000 square feet of artist and maker space, and 15 units of housing (10 of which are affordable). The project dedicates 25% of the parcel to dynamic community gathering spaces and pedestrian improvements, including a public pedestrian link through the property that will create access to the retail, cultural and office portions of the site.

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology approved to build new campus in Roxbury
Educate: 99% of students receive financial aid, 83% BFIT graduates employed in their field within 6 months; graduation rate is double the national two year college average
Work: 300-350 construction jobs, 20 new permanent jobs expected
Connect: Proximity to Ruggles MBTA station, 30 interior bike parking, as well as showers. 26 visitor bike parking spaces
Sustain:  LEED Gold, 100% electric building, Passive House wall detailing, solar panels.  

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) is a technical college currently located at 41 Berkeley Street in the South End. The current campus, built in 1908, is in need of costly repairs, and is not efficiently laid out to meet the current curriculum needs or future student expansion.

BFIT owns a vacant single-story building in Nubian Square, formerly occupied by Harrison Supply. BFIT will demolish the existing building and construct a new three-story building containing 20 indoor technical education labs, eight general classrooms, meeting and study rooms, a central student lounge, administration  and  other  offices, as well as support spaces.

323-365 Dorchester Avenue will create new office, life science, residential, and retail space in South Boston
Live: 310 Units, 17% income-restricted
Work: Over 1,600 permanent jobs created, 623,000 SF of commercial space, 50,000 SF of retail space, 2,000 SF of retail or cultural space 
Connect: 50% area dedicated to open space or roadways, enhanced pedestrian and cycling infrastructure
Sustain: LEED Gold, electric heating, resilient to sea level rise

The BPDA’s implementation of PLAN: South Boston Dot Ave moved forward wiht the approval of 323-365 Dorchester Avenue. The project will transform an underutilized industrial site in South Boston into four new mixed-use buildings that will include space for office, life science, residential, and retail/restaurant uses. The project will create 310 residences and allocate commercial and retail space expected to house over 1,600 permanent jobs throughout the site. The project includes two distinct residential buildings and two distinct commercial buildings.  A new network of resilient streets, sidewalks, and infrastructure, along with two public plazas, will be included as part of the project.  The City of Boston has dedicated 1.6 acres of the project site as public right of ways, and $3 million will be put towards updating and modernizing the Old Colony/Dorchester Avenue intersection.

22 High Street brings new housing to Dorchester
Live: 15 residential units, two income-restricted units
Work: 135 construction jobs
Connect: Bike room and repair station, close proximity to MBTA stations and bus stops
Sustain: Energy efficient appliances, high performance building envelope

22 High Street will bring homeownership units to the Dorchester neighborhood, with 15 new units, two of which will be income-restricted. This will be a transit oriented development, with the MBTA and bus lines in close proximity. The building will also include parking and storage for bicycles. Community benefits a contribution to the City’s Bluebikes bike share program.

1318 River Street to build new housing, retail space in Hyde Park
Live: 30 new residential units, 4 income-restricted units, public pocket park
Work: 30 construction jobs, retail space
Connect: Improved pedestrian access to the commuter rail, public wifi
Sustain: Energy efficient, LEED certifiable

Located in Hyde Park, this new four-story building will replace what was once an auto repair garage to bring 30 units of housing, as well as retail space, to the area. Four of those units will be income-restricted. The project will also improve the intersection at River Street and Business Street to make it safer for vehicles and pedestrians.. As part of the community benefits for this project, the developer will contribute more than $8,000 to the City’s Bluebike system, and will upgrade the sidewalks at the nearest intersection. 

Boston University’s Institutional Master Plan for Fenway Campus includes former Wheelock College buildings 

The BPDA board approved Boston University’s ten year Institutional Master Plan (IMP) for the Fenway Campus, which is made up of former Wheelock College buildings, and does not include any new development projects. This IMP aims to preserve Wheelock College’s educational legacy and use of its historic buildings and provides an update on recent campus development and operations, existing property and uses, future campus projections, and community benefits. Those community benefits include scholarship and mentorship programs through the BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, as well as professional development opportunities for Boston Public School teachers. The IMP also includes BU’s climate action plan with green building design and zero waste initiatives.

In addition to the new projects, the BPDA Board approved four updates to previously approved projects: 
  • 60 McGreevey Way, Mission Hill: The Board approved renovations to 500+ mixed-income units at Boston Housing Authority’s Mission Main to improve residents’ quality of life.
  • 10 Stonley Road (35 Brookley Road), Jamaica Plain: The Board approved a change from market rate housing to 100 percent income restricted housing, following the purchase of the site by the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC). 
  • 125 Amory Street Phase III (127 Amory Street), Jamaica Plain: The Board approved converting all units to income-restricted housing.
  • Parcel 12 Air Rights, Back Bay: The Board approved a project converting a portion of the project's office space to lab/life sciences space.

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