CityOfBoston Official An official website of the City of Boston

This is the website for the City of Boston’s new Planning Department, which launched on July 1. The staff and many responsibilities of the Boston Planning & Development Agency have moved to the Planning Department of the City of Boston including planning & zoning, urban design, development review, and real estate divisions. Please excuse any misalignment you may see on our site as we transition to the City. Learn more

News & Updates

BPDA approves teams to redevelop public land in Roxbury and on the South Boston Waterfront

May 16, 2024

Board votes to fund City’s new Planning Department

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors Thursday approved the redevelopment of public land on the South Boston Waterfront into an EMS Station, and land in Roxbury into open space. The Board also approved three new development projects representing approximately 625,525 square feet (SF). The new development projects will create 290 residential units, 43 of these units are designated income-restricted, and will support approximately 555 construction jobs and 1,098 permanent jobs. These projects will make Boston a more resilient, affordable, and equitable city. 

The Board also approved the FY 2025 budget, allowing the transfer of funds, staff, and services to the City of Boston for its new Planning Department. Mayor Wu’s ordinance to create a Planning Department was approved by the Boston City Council in March. The Board’s vote today, alongside the City Council’s review and approval of the FY 2025 City of Boston budget, will enable the launch of the Planning Department on July 1st, 2024.  

Real Estate

New EMS Station to be constructed on BPDA-owned land

The BPDA Board of Directors authorized a lease agreement between the BPDA and Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) for the construction of a new Emergency Medical Services ambulance station on Parcel Z in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (RLFMP) to serve the South Boston Waterfront. Currently, the EMS station on West Broadway in South Boston serves both that neighborhood, and the South Boston Waterfront. However, the number of people living in the South Boston Waterfront has grown by 200 percent over the last ten years, increasing demand for emergency services. According to Boston EMS, call volume has doubled due to this increase, and also due in part to the increase in visitors to the area taking advantage of its many cultural attractions. With the area expected to continue adding residents, as well as new development, an added EMS station will help meet the increase in demand. This new location in the RLFMP has direct access to Drydock Avenue to help expedite ambulance response times. The new station will be vital for serving one of the fastest growing sections of the city and supporting the South Boston Waterfront’s emergency medical service needs well into the future. Construction is slated to begin this fall. 

Board awards tentative designation to the Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association for the redevelopment of BPDA-owned land into open space

The BPDA Board of Directors awarded tentative designation to the Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association for the redevelopment of Parcels S-20 and S-21, 48 Townsend Street, and 16-20 Townsend Street. Each of these pieces of land will be redeveloped into new open space in the Roxbury neighborhood. 

Parcels S-20 and S-21 will become a zen garden named for Alma Wright, a retired Boston Public School teacher and Roxbury pioneer. The vision for this garden is for it to be an area where students and staff from the nearby Trotter Elementary School and community members can enjoy nature and learn about their community. The zen garden will use design elements to relay the stories of pioneers rooted in the Roxbury neighborhood. The space will serve as an outdoor classroom, gathering space, and place to learn about local Roxbury history.

The vacant land at 48 Townsend Street will be converted into a community garden. The goal of this project is to create an agricultural oasis for community and educational use. There will be space for the community to learn to garden, and gather outdoors. This space is also meant to provide opportunities to grow fresh food to address food insecurity in the community.

The vacant land at 16-20 Townsend Street will become an urban wild open space. The space is envisioned to be an area where people in the community can enjoy nature and take in tranquil views amongst native plants and trees, and can gather outdoors for social, mental, and physical well being. 

BPDA authorizes new public art exhibit in Charlestown Navy Yard

The BPDA Board approved a license agreement that will allow nonprofit Now and There Inc. to use BPDA owned-land at Dry Dock #2 in the Charlestown Navy Yard to display a public art exhibit. Now and There Inc. has been involved in several public art displays throughout the city and previously in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The interactive exhibit is a combination of 3D technology and woodworking techniques that created a unique 14-foot boat titled “The Gulf Stream.” It was most recently exhibited in the Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City. The vessel will be on display from June - November.

Development Projects

New units, revamped outdoor space to be added to Brighton assisted living/memory care facility at 50 Sutherland Road

Live: 16 additional assisted living units

Work: 78 construction jobs

Connect: Close proximity to MBTA Green Line

Sustain: PV & EV Ready, MA Stretch Opt-in Code compliant  

This project will add 16 units to an assisted living/memory care facility in Brighton to help address the growing demand for senior living in the city. The project will also provide updates to the building’s common areas, create a deck for the memory care residents, and improve landscaping. Since a daycare will be leaving the building, the area currently used as a playground will be converted to open space. Raised garden planters, designed for people of all abilities to use, will be put in and 15 new trees will be planted. The project will also include new community meeting space for local groups. 

Project at 180 Western Avenue in Allston to create new mixed use development including new housing and retail

Live: 274 residential units, 41 income-restricted units

Work: Approximately 160 construction jobs, retail space

Connect: Bluebikes dock, bike parking, protected bike lanes

Sustain: LEED Gold, Passive House, all-electric residential units 

This project in Allston will convert what are currently several vacant commercial buildings and parking lots into a new mixed-use development including residential, retail, and restaurant spaces. This will be a seven-story building with 274 residential units, 41 of which will be income-restricted. The building will include bike storage, as well as publicly accessible short-term bike parking. Improvements to the public realm will include new sidewalks and an ‘active cafe zone.’ This project aligns with the Western Avenue Corridor and Rezoning Study’s (WACRZ) affordable housing requirements and public realm improvement recommendations. New street trees on site will significantly increase and diversify the urban tree canopy, reducing the area’s urban heat island effect and providing shade for the café zone that could accommodate outdoor seating. In support of sustainability goals, the residential areas of the building will be all-electric. The building will also be solar ready, and pursue Passive House certification. In support of City transportation goals, this project will contribute $81,615.75 to the bikeshare system, as well as provide space for a Bluebikes dock on site. 

232 A Street project to build new mixed use development, add resilience measures to Fort Point

Live: $3 million in Linkage funding for affordable housing

Work: Approximately 317 construction jobs, approximately 1,081 permanent jobs

Connect: Creation of waterfront park, public art installation, $560,000 in Linkage funding towards jobs training, public realm improvements, contribution to City bikeshare system, public facilities on ground floor

Sustain: Improved resiliency for neighborhood provided by the construction of a new berm, existing parking lot converted into new open space, LEED Gold, Net Zero Carbon ready

Located in Fort Point, this project will convert what is currently a parking lot into a mixed use development including office/laboratory, retail, civic, and cultural space. Improvements to this area will include new public sidewalks and bike lanes, improvements to the Harborwalk and South Bay Harbor Trail, and a berm to protect the Fort Point neighborhood from flooding due to sea level rise or storm surge. The vegetated berm will be integrated into the Harborwalk and South Bay Harbor Trail along the Fort Point Channel. In addition to reducing the risk of flooding due to sea level rise, this planted flood barrier will also serve to aid in stormwater management, help reduce urban heat island effect, improve wildlife habitat, and improve air quality along the waterfront. The building will be elevated to comply with the requirements of the Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District (CFROD) and align with the Climate Ready South Boston flood projections. In support of City open space goals, this project will also create more than an acre of publicly accessible open space along the Fort Point waterfront. The ground floor of this building will include 8,000 square feet of civic/cultural space which will be offered at a heavily subsidized rent. Tenanting the space will be done in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

In addition to these projects, the board approved:

  • The renewal of the Institutional Master Plan for Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

  • An update to the previously approved Alexandra Hotel project to change the use from residential to hotel, as it was originally proposed in 2019.

  • Updates to Article 25 of the Zoning Code regarding new FEMA flood insurance rate maps, to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements.

Share This Article:

Subscribe to our News & Updates

*indicates required
First Name : Last Name :
Zip Code : *Email: