Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Requirements for Public Land Dispositions
The BPDA is strongly committed to ensuring that the disposition of publicly-owned properties provide opportunities for wealth-creation and workforce participation for businesses and individuals who have historically been underrepresented in real estate development.
Beginning in 2018, all Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the redevelopment of BPDA-owned land require respondents to outline a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan. This measures the extent to which proposals plan to include significant economic participation and management roles by people of color, women, and M/WBEs in as many aspects of the project as possible. In 2020, the BPDA began weighing this criterion at 25% for all RFPs.
Since 2018, the BPDA released over 16 RFPs and designated eight development projects. These include the Blair Lot, Parcel 8, and the Crescent Parcel in Nubian Square, 24 Drydock and Parcel M in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park, and Building 108 in the Charlestown Navy Yard.
DEI Requirements included in RFPs
Proponents must include a plan for establishing and overseeing a minority outreach program aimed at creating increased opportunities for people of color, women, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts-certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) to participate in the development of the property.
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan should reflect economic participation and management roles by people of color, women, and M/WBEs in as many aspects of the project as possible, including but not limited to:
pre-development (development entity, ownership, equity and debt investment, design, engineering, legal, other consultants);
construction (general contractor, sub-contractor, trades, workers performing construction); and
ongoing operations ( building tenants, facilities management, contracted services.)
The M/WBE-owned firms participating in the development, the nature of their participation in the particular phase(s) of the development, and the extent of their involvement must be specified. There must also be a plan for M/WBE outreach as the development progresses.
The Diversity and Inclusion Plan should discuss why it is realistic. Proposals that include specific partnerships and/or specific outreach plans for promoting M/WBE participation during each aspect of the project will be considered more favorably.
22 Drydock Avenue
The proposed project at 22 Drydock Avenue would create new life sciences / research and development lab space in the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park. The overall development team is comprised of 45 percent M/WBE firms, and 100 percent of the team has committed to obtaining M/WBE participation throughout their respective responsibilities. The Boston Real Estate Inclusion Fund (“BREIF”) is a specialized real estate investment vehicle that aims to provide people of color with unprecedented access to invest in transformative projects in mature markets from which they have been historically excluded. The fund is aiming to be comprised of at least 51 percent investors from diverse backgrounds. The Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) would occupy space on the first floor of the project. This non-profit will target underprivileged and BIPOC communities for training as technicians in biotech and biomanufacturing laboratories. The initiative will foster interest and employment opportunities in the life sciences industry among diverse populations, which will in turn diversify the life sciences sector and the overall economy in Boston. This facility will also allow the expansion of GMGI’s middle and high school STEM education programs, which will be targeting local Boston students.
The proposed project on Parcel R-1 in Chinatown would create new affordable housing, as well as a permanent Chinatown Boston Public Library branch. The project’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan is comprehensive and includes meaningful participation by Minority and Women-owned businesses. In total, 30 percent of the construction costs and 33 percent of the soft costs on the project will be managed by M/WBEs, many of whom are members of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community with deep connections to Chinatown.
The proposed project on the Crescent Parcel in Roxbury will focus on creating affordable housing, dedicated community space, and open space. The RFP for Crescent Parcel reflected the PLAN: Nubian community process calling for consistency with area planning history and using development as a catalyst to support local, small, and disadvantaged businesses, and create opportunities for people of color and women. One of the two development partners, J. Garland Enterprises LLC. is Minority Owned Enterprise and there are multiple MWBEs already committed to the project team. Janey Construction, the general contractor for the project team, which is also an MBE, proposes a comprehensive outreach and recruitment plan to achieve high levels of MWBE subcontractor spending. The project team has committed to a neighborhood workforce goal of 25%.
The proposed project on the Blair Lot in Roxbury would transform Nubian Square into a cultural and economic hub, with space for affordable housing as well. The development team partners, Nubian Square Development, LLC, Almiranta Development and Capital, and Black Market Development, are 100% minority owned and controlled and have committed to investing in local organizations serving the neighboring community including the BASE, No Books No Ball, the PieRSquared Math Program. The development team also has pledged $150,000 for community-based artists to implement a mural project on the property, and $50,000 to support the Justice Edward O’ Gourdin Veterans’ Memorial Park and the Roxbury Cultural District.