The BPDA Board approves new housing in Allston, Dorchester and South End

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BOSTON — The Board of Directors of the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) this month approved six new development projects and three updates to previously approved projects. 164 residential units are being built in the new projects, 29 of which are income-restricted. The approved new development projects represent approximately 410,018 square feet (SF) and will support approximately 376 construction jobs and 292 new permanent jobs.

development projects

Dorchester Fieldhouse becomes a center for youth at Columbia Point in Dorchester

Serve: Offers 50,000 potential flexible community event spaces, year-round sports facilities, enrichment spaces
Work: 474 construction jobs, community café, a total of 24 employees, personnel development and training opportunities
Connect: 20 visitor bike spaces, proximity to MBTA trails, BGCD shuttle service
Obtain: LEED Silver, fully efficient electrical design

The Dorchester Fieldhouse at 315 Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester will bring youth programs and employment opportunities to the neighborhood through the construction of a new three-story recreation complex. Proposed jointly by the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester (BGCB) and the Martin Richard Foundation, the project will include an indoor sports field and courts, running track, fitness and exercise rooms, classrooms, teaching kitchen, function rooms and office space. The basic programming of the building is supported by an on-site café. The field home will be accessible to students from Boston Public School (BPS), McCormack Middle School, Dever Elementary School and any potential future schools operating in the Columbia Point neighborhood. In addition to creating employment opportunities for students and residents, the fieldhouse will also facilitate staff development programs that utilize the new spaces in areas such as culinary arts. The event and conference space will also be open for use by the local community. This project will also provide Bluebikes near the field home and support the Bluebikes program with a $49,000 contribution.

BPDA approves new artist live workspaces at Allston Brighton at 90 Braintree Street

Live: 111 rental units, 22 income-restricted units, five artist living/working rooms, artist work and exhibition space
Work: 200 construction jobs, three permanent jobs
Connect: Bike storage, WiFi building, Bluebikes station, $75,000 for mobility improvements under the Allston Brighton Mobility Plan
Obtain: Aim is LEED Gold, All Electric, Zeo Net Carbon Design, new street trees

90 Braintree will support the Allston artist community by creating new housing and new living and working spaces for artists on limited incomes. This new six-story building will feature 111 new rental units, 22 of which will be designated income-restricted. and five of these are designated as artist live workspaces. The artist workroom will be located on the ground floor of the building. Units will be a mix of studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom. The project is within the boundaries of the Brighton/Guest Street Planning Study approved by the BPDA Board in 2012. The study called for an updated road network and outlined public space guidelines for future projects. This project will provide garage parking for cars as well as bicycle parking on site. The project will donate US$500,000 to Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation to fund 20 affordable housing units on Hano Street. Other benefits to the community include $75,000 for bike lane improvements under the Allston Brighton Mobility Plan, $49,000 for the establishment of a new Bluebikes station and $111,000 for improvements at nearby Penniman Park.

1154-1156 Dorchester Avenue brings new housing to Dorchester Avenue

Live: 20 condominium units, three of which are income-restricted
Work: 55 new construction jobs
Connect: Replacement of sidewalks next to the project site, planting of new trees

Located in Dorchester, this project will construct an addition to the existing building at 1154-1156 Dorchester Avenue to create a five-story transit-oriented building. The project responds to the draft recommendations of the BPDA PLAN: Glover’s Corner and will create 20 new condominium units, three of which will be income restricted, as well as commercial, office and community space on the ground floor. The units will be a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments. There will also be bicycle parking spaces on site. As part of this project, the developer will widen a portion of the sidewalk on Dorchester Avenue and will design and install an ADA-accessible crosswalk across Dorchester Avenue at Greenmount Street and Dewar Street to improve pedestrian conditions and access to existing transportation. The project will contribute $5,500 to the city’s Bluebikes program.

1395 Washington Street will create new home ownership opportunities in the South End

Live: 33 condominium units, four of which are income-restricted
Work: New retail space offers employment opportunities
Connect: 99 walk score, bike spots

This project will build 33 new housing units in the South End, four of which will be income-restricted. The developer will demolish the existing building and construct a new six-story building with residential and commercial space. Units will be a mix of studio and one bedroom units. The building will also include 34 bicycle parking spaces. As part of the community benefits for this project, the developer will contribute $25,000 to improve open spaces in the South End and widen the sidewalk in front of the project site.

Cross Street Boutique Hotel project to revitalize prominent North End Gateway

Live: $1.3 million in community benefits
Work: 87 full and part-time positions, 930 construction sites
Connect: 134 new hotel rooms, state-of-the-art technology
Obtain: LEED Gold certifiable, designed to be prepared for sea level rise, low impact development

Boston’s gateway to the North End is being revitalized with a hotel project on Cross Street between Salem and Endicott Streets. The project, which follows the BPDA’s Greenway District Planning Study, will build a five-story, 124-room hotel that will also house two restaurants and a seasonal rooftop dining area, while converting the existing space into a pedestrian-friendly area. An open-air walkway will connect Cutillo Park to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and the developer has agreed to create ADA access to the park. In addition, the developer will contribute $100,000 to Cutillo Park, secure a maintenance contract with the Parks Department, implement rodent control measures, and provide trash enclosures for area businesses’ trash cans.

Herb Chambers Honda dealership invests in climate action along Morrissey Boulevard

Connect: streetscape improvements; Connection to the future Morrissey Boulevard way and the extension of the Neponset River way
Obtain: $100,000 for actions identified by Climate Ready Dorchester

The Herb Chambers Companies will redevelop the existing Honda dealership on Morrissey Boulevard. The redevelopment will fund streetscape improvements including a ten-foot wide sidewalk along Victory Road to allow access to the future bicycle and pedestrian path along Morrissey Boulevard and the expansion of the Neponset River path, which is planned to parallel I-93. The project will contribute $100,000, which will be matched by the Department of Conservation and Recreation to fund the planning and implementation of improvements to Tenean Beach and Conley Street and a deployable water gate, as recommended in the Climate Ready Boston planning study. Resilient coastal solutions for Dorchester.

The new Sweeney Field project at Wentworth Institute of Technology is transforming the car park into a school sports complex

Live: Community benefits include shared use of the sports field and new laptops for neighboring dormitories, as well as assistance with student computer training
Game: Conversion of a 3.06 acre parking lot into a sports field for WIT and community sports programs, students
Connect: Three new crosswalks and two elevated intersections along Parker Street; Significant improvements to the project area landscape
Obtain: 25% of parking lots will be equipped with electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

A massive parking lot in Mission Hill will be transformed into the new Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) Athletics Home. The new turf field will be built over a parking level, of which 25 percent of the parking spaces will have charging stations for electric vehicles. The project will dramatically improve the streetscape and pedestrian zones along Parker, Station, Halleck and Prentiss streets. While the field will primarily serve WIT athletic and student programs, WIT will provide opportunities for the community to use the facilities and support athletic and pipeline programs managed by the Tobin Community Center, RAMP and Dual Enrollment. As part of a community service package, WIT will also be upgrading the computer equipment at the Mission Main Community Center.

In addition to the New Sweeney Field, the BPDA Board approved two other updates to previously approved projects:

  • 87-93 West Broadway, South Boston: The board has approved a change of ownership of the site and a reduction in parking spaces.
  • 380 Stuart Street, Back Bay: The Board approved a reduction in the project’s cargo bays and minor design changes to increase the project’s public area.

urban renewal actions

The BPDA board voted to submit a proposal to Boston City Council seeking an extension of nine urban renewal plans through the end of 2022, while five are permanently shelved. Through the community process since the last 2016 expansions, the BPDA has determined it is appropriate to shelve five urban renewal plans, Brunswick-King, Boylston-Essex, School-Franklin, Park Plaza and Kittredge Square in April. The Wu government and BPDA are aiming to extend the remaining nine plans through the end of 2022 to develop a plan to retain certain community benefits in the plans, such as affordable housing and open space protection.

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