BPDA Board approves new affordable housing in Chinatown, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, South Boston Waterfront, and the South End
Dec 15, 2022
New office and lab space moves forward in Fort Point
The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors this month approved seven new development projects representing 893,407 square feet (SF). The new projects will create 485 residential units, nearly half (46%) of which will be designated income-restricted, and will support approximately 906 construction jobs and 770 permanent jobs. These projects will make Boston a more resilient, affordable, and equitable city.
Project on BPDA owned Parcel R-1 will create new affordable housing and a BPL branch to Chinatown
Live: 110 income-restricted units, mix of rental and homeownership units
Work: Approximately 166 construction jobs, approximately 13 permanent jobs in building maintenance and at the Chinatown branch library
Connect: New BPL branch library, close proximity to public transit
Sustain: Complying with CFROD zoning, energy efficient building
A BPDA-owned parking lot at 49-63 Hudson Street is set to be transformed into a 12-story affordable housing development with the new Chinatown branch of the Boston Public Library (BPL) on the ground floor. The project will include 110 bicycle parking spaces. The housing will be a mix of rental and home-ownership units made up of one, two, and three-bedroom units. This project is subject to the Coastal Flood Resiliency Overlay District and will meet those guidelines, as all residential uses are above the 21 foot elevation requirement. The project achieves several key planning goals outlined in draft PLAN: Downtown recommendations by delivering public realm improvements and affordable housing opportunities in the neighborhood. In support of the City’s bikeshare system and to implement a Bluebikes station on site, the project will contribute $37,684 to the Boston Transportation Department. This project will widen sidewalks in the area, and also study further pedestrian improvements in the vicinity.
The agency was able to use creative development solutions and deliver a community-led vision for Parcel R-1 in large part because the project is on BPDA-owned property. In addition, because this project is on BPDA-owned land, the BPDA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirements were enforced during the disposition process that determined the development team for this site. The selected developer is the Asian Community Development Corporation, in a strategic alliance with a joint venture of Consigli Construction and Smoot Construction. They have put forth a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Plan which includes meaningful participation by minority and women-owned businesses in all areas of the project.
Blessed Sacrament project to bring new affordable housing opportunities to Jamaica Plain
Live: 55 income-restricted units
Work: Supporting Hyde Square’s Latin Quarter District, approximately 70 construction jobs
Connect: Close proximity to public transportation, multi-purpose community space, Bluebikes station onsite, EV parking spaces
Sustain: Energy efficient building, LEED Gold, material recycling
A project in Jamaica Plain will adaptively reuse the landmarked Blessed Sacrament Church building, converting it into a mixed-use development while preserving the historic building. The project will include 55 income-restricted housing units and a community room operated by the Hyde Square Task Force.There will also be 55 bicycle parking spaces on site, as well as a Bluebikes station. The housing component will be made up of a mix of studios, one, and two-bedroom units. As part of the project, there will be a new accessible plaza space along the front of the building. The plaza space is intended to host performances organized by the Hyde Square Task Force. It will be surrounded on either side by a high canopy shade tree grove with a mix of fixed and movable seating underneath as a public amenity. The project is consistent with the City of Boston’s citywide goal to increase housing opportunities, including affordable housing and a wide range of housing options for the neighborhood. In addition, this project will enhance the safety and appearance of the area with new lighting and landscaping.
Development at 41 Berkeley Street will create new senior care facility and housing in the South End
Live: 51 residential units, 17 income-restricted units, 16 age-restricted units available to seniors, programming and amenities focused on the elderly, nonprofit cultural space
Work: Senior care facility, approximately 500 permanent jobs, approximately 300 construction jobs, partnerships with local nonprofits
Connect: Onsite open space, new protected bike lanes, new parklet
Sustain: LEED Gold, all-electric space conditioning and water heating, sea level rise resilient, preservation of existing building
Located on what is now the campus of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT), this project is made up of three different buildings, including a senior care facility, residential homeownership housing with ground floor retail, and an age and income-restricted residential housing building. The senior care facility will provide assisted living and memory care, with ground floor retail and restaurant spaces. The facility will hold 236 beds. The homeownership building will include 35 homeownership units and one income-restricted unit. These will be a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units. The third building will provide 16 units of age and income-restricted housing and a community room on the ground floor which will be dedicated to affordable cultural uses. The historic facades and the bulk of the existing floors will be preserved, and a one-story addition will be added. This project will secure the financial future of BFIT by enabling it to relocate to Nubian Square. Construction will be done in phases to allow BFIT to continue to operate during relocation. Within this development will be new public open space: A new courtyard and pedestrian passageway through the center of the development will connect pedestrians allowing for alternative routes through the South End neighborhood in a location which previously did not allow for public access. In addition, this project will enhance the public realm with streetscape and sidewalk improvements. This project will support the bikeshare network with a Bluebikes station in proximity to the project. In addition, the project will contribute $1,324,050 in linkage funding to support housing, and $243,421 in linkage funding to support job training.
17 Farnsworth Street project to build new office and lab space in Fort Point
Work: Approximately 78 construction jobs, approximately 204 permanent jobs
Connect: Bike parking spaces, Bluebikes contribution, close proximity to public transportation
Sustain: All electric building, LEED Gold certified
What is now a parking garage will be demolished to build a new office and lab space at 17 Farnsworth Street in Fort Point. The new building will have a height of approximately 67 feet to account for sea-level-rise-design flood elevation, which was set for the site by Boston Zoning Code Article 25A. This project will make substantial public realm improvements to the surrounding streetscape on Farnsworth Street to improve accessibility, including an ADA compliant sidewalk and four new street trees. In addition, this project will contribute $235,000 to the Boston Transportation Department in support of more streetscape improvements, a contribution of $49,000 toward the installation of a new Bluebikes station and $50,000 in transit incentives for the tenants’ employees. As part of the community benefits, the project will begin a new long-term relationship with the nearby Children’s Museum, including an initial contribution to the museum of $78,000.
Live: 229 residential units, 34 income-restricted units
Work: Approximately 206 construction jobs, flexible office space for remote work
Connect: EV car share service, public open space, site connection to multi-use path, Bluebikes station
Sustain: LEED Gold
This project on Morrissey Boulevard will build a new six-story residential building in Dorchester. The building will contain 229 units, and 229 bicycle parking spaces. It will also include a roof deck and courtyards. Of the 229 units, 34 will be income-restricted. This project will include an urban plaza with outdoor seating, bike storage, and pedestrian and bicycle-friendly landscaping along Freeport Street and Morrissey Boulevard. It will promote multimodal transportation and increase access to the future DCR/MassDOT multi-use paths directly adjacent to the site. In addition, this project will enhance the streetscape and landscaping onsite, and improve intersections in the area. As part of the community benefits, the project will contribute $200,000 to The People’s Academy Inc., a Dorchester-based jobs training program. The project will also support a shuttle bus serving the development and the JFK/UMass Station, along with shopping and recreational destinations in the area. The building will also feature a public art mural.
Project at 1 Taber Street in Roxbury to create new residential and retail space
Live: 40 residential units, seven income-restricted units, lounge room, more than $200,000 in mitigation funding for neighborhood improvements
Work: Three new retail spaces, retail jobs, approximately 47 construction jobs
Connect: Bicycle parking
Sustain: Solar panels/green roof, new street trees, LEED Silver
This project on Taber Street in Roxbury will build a new six-story building consisting of housing and commercial space. Of the 40 total units, seven will be income-restricted. These units will be a mix of one and three-bedroom units. This project is located within, and consistent with, PLAN: Nubian Square, a planning initiative established in 2016 which established clear guidelines for the neighborhood. The project will help deliver on many of the plan's goals of: job creation, development of income-restricted housing, resilient and sustainable construction, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the community. This project will widen the sidewalks in the immediate area, as well as improve the streetscape with street trees and bike parking. This project will contribute $12,149 in support of the bikeshare system. It will also contribute $75,000 to BTD to support the advancement of reliable transit and pedestrian safety in Roxbury. The project will also support economic revitalization in District 7 with a $200,000 contribution to local nonprofit District Seven Boston Inc. in support of grants for local businesses, non-profits, and entrepreneurs.
Notice of Project Change at Seaport Square will increase open space and affordable housing
Live: 600 residential units, 170 income-restricted units
Work: Hundreds of permanent innovation economy jobs, more than 20 retail spaces
Connect: EV charging stations, electric bike charging, protected bike lanes on Moakley Bridge
Sustain: 1.4 acres of open space, newly expanded Seaport Common
Following the Notice of Project Change filed in May 2022, the BPDA Board approved the revision of the development programs for the final development sites of the Seaport Square project – Blocks L3, L6 and G – and key changes to Block F, the site of Seaport Common. These changes advance the priorities of providing additional public open space, income-restricted housing, job creation opportunities, and addressing carbon emissions by reducing the number of parking spaces originally approved for the project.
What was originally approved to be a three-story mixed-use building constructed on Block F will now be entirely eliminated in favor of expanding and reconstructing Seaport Common to create a singular public open space, nearly doubling its current size. In addition, the project includes the planting of 100 new trees to reduce the heat island effect. The previously-planned Block F mixed-use building included an interactive space dedicated to Massachusetts Fallen Heroes in its interior. Instead, the 2022 Block F will include a freestanding monument adjacent to the Memorial obelisk.
Block G at 120 Seaport Boulevard was originally approved as a residential and retail building. It will now change to office/research uses with retail and civic ground floor space. The previously approved income-restricted units in Block G are now included in Blocks L3 and L6, which will contain 430 market rate units and 170 units of income-restricted housing.
In addition to these projects and the 2022 Notice of Project Change for the Seaport Square project, the Board approved: