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BPDA Board approves Dudley Square planning guidelines, advances residential projects at July meeting

Over half of all new residential units approved will be income-restricted

BOSTON – JULY 11, 2019 – The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board of Directors approved development projects in neighborhoods across the City of Boston, which will result in new market-rate and income-restricted residential units, economic development, and jobs. Overall, the development projects approved this month will create an additional 85 residential units, including 45 income-restricted units, and 1,036 trade jobs, 2,298 direct jobs and 553 indirect and induced jobs.

The residential projects moving forward make progress towards Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class.

In addition to development projects, the BPDA Board approved next steps for several zoning and planning initiatives. The BPDA Board voted to extend the South Boston Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD) until October 2019. The IPOD is used as a tool to balance the demand for new growth while maintaining the character of the South Boston by subjecting certain larger proposed projects to increased public review. This extension will allow for additional community process for potential zoning modifications.

After an extensive community process, the PLAN: Dudley Square Public Process Overview and Guidelines for Future Development Document was approved by the BPDA Board. This document serves to inform future development in Roxbury’s Dudley Square and is a collaborative effort between members of the community, the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee and several City and State departments.

The goal of PLAN: Dudley Square is to create a streamlined implementation plan for publicly-owned and vacant privately-owned parcels. Last year Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for four Department of Neighborhood Development owned parcels were released. The RFP language for these parcels included diversity and inclusion requirements that are now required in all RFPs for publicly owned land. The community process for three more BPDA owned parcels in Dudley Square – Nawn Factory, Parcel 8 and Blair Lot – is currently underway and RFPs are expected to be released later this year.

The BPDA Board also approved next steps for an ongoing planning initiative in Mattapan. Mass Design Group, Ltd. was authorized as the consultant for the PLAN: Mattapan Land Use, Urban Design, Market Analysis and Transportation Study. Kicked-off last year, the focus of PLAN: Mattapan is to preserve, enhance and grow the neighborhood with guidance from all who call Mattapan home.

Additionally, the BPDA Board authorized ASK + DBA Ask Design/Build, Inc. as the design consultant for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project Parcel 2 Park Design located on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The design and construction of the Parcel 2 Park was funded through mitigation from The Beverly, The Hub on Causeway and the hotel planned for 88 North Washington Street.

Development Projects

Newly approved Boston University Data Sciences Center creates a hub for the interdisciplinary study of data sciences at 665 Commonwealth Avenue

Work: Approximately 1,040 construction jobs created
Connect: Building features environmentally friendly carbon-free design

Located at 665 Commonwealth Avenue, the newly approved Boston University Data Sciences Center will construct an approximately 305,000 square foot building with a height of 19 stories (305 feet). The project site is currently a surface parking lot.

The project will house computer science and mathematics computing laboratory and workspaces and classrooms, allowing for the consolidation of the Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics and Statistics and the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science and Engineering in one building at the heart of Boston University’s Charles River Campus.

In addition to the community benefits described in the Boston University Charles River Campus Institutional Master Plan, approved by the BPDA Board in 2013, this project will revitalize the streetscape of Commonwealth Avenue, including new landscape features and increased gathering spaces and improve bicycle accommodations, such as bicycle lanes, on Granby Street and Commonwealth Avenue.

9 Leyland Street brings 43 rental units of income restricted senior housing to the Roxbury neighborhood

Live: 43 new income and age restricted housing units, additional community space and resident support services
Work: Creates 4 new building management and support services jobs
Connect: Located near public transit, including bus and commuter rail stations

With BPDA Board approval, 9 Leyland Street will construct a five-story, residential building on a currently vacant lot. The project consists of 43 income-restricted rental units of senior housing and features 2,400 square feet of community space on the ground and second floors.

The building will also have nine off-street parking spaces, two of which will be handicap accessible.

Located in Dorchester, 141 Westville Street contains 14 rental units designed under the City’s Compact Living Policy Pilot

Live: Creation of 14 new income-restricted, non-subsidized, energy-efficient housing units
Connect: Transit-oriented development in close proximity to basic amenities, Zipcar stations and Bluebike stations

Currently a vacant lot, 141 Westville Street will build a four-story (36 feet) residential building with 14 rental units including two income restricted units. 141 Westville Street will also include approximately 500 square feet of shared space for residents to use as well as an approximately 250 square foot outdoor patio.

All of the building’s units are proposed to be compact, and were designed under the City of Boston’s Compact Living Policy Pilot. This program helps create more affordable homes that are well-designed and well-located, so residents can live, work and play in their immediate neighborhoods. The development team has indicated that they plan to set rents between $650-$750 a month.

Renovations from the Commonwealth Pier Revitalization Project create a multi-use destination at the Seaport World Trade Center in South Boston Waterfront

Recreate: Addition of 170,445 square feet of public realm, including open-air public plaza and programmable spaces
Work: Creation of approximately 1,000-1,500 construction jobs
Connect: Encouraging multi-modal transportation, strengthening connections to the waterfront

The Commonwealth Pier Revitalization Project will enhance connections to the waterfront by transforming the Seaport World Trade Center, located at 200 Seaport Boulevard, into a vibrant, multi-use environment. The project will convert a majority of the existing exhibition/event space into various public realm, retail, innovative office and event spaces. This includes approximately 170,445 square feet of public realm space, 635,920 square feet of renovated office space and 45,240 square feet of renovated retail space. The project will not add substantial density of height to the existing structure.

The public realm benefits included in the project are, among other things, a new publicly accessible and activated open-air plaza overlooking the waterfront, an enhanced Harborwalk and the restoration of the historic Headhouse.

Additionally, there are a number of transportation-related benefits associated with the project to encourage employees and visitors to use an array of transportation methods to access the project site. This includes 100 long- and short-term onsite bicycle parking spaces and the construction of a dock space on the project site for a water shuttle.

The project brings many benefits to the South Boston Waterfront neighborhood and the City of Boston as a whole, including:

  • Contribution of $100,000 to one of more South Boston non-profit organizations supporting financial literacy, workforce training, and/or harbor related uses through a Request for Proposal process administered by the BPDA and City of Boston
  • Funding that shall not exceed $100,000 towards a study that further develops initial findings identified in Climate Ready South Boston
  • Request for Information process for tenants seeking to rent approximately 3,000 square feet of space for community and/or education uses

About the Boston Planning & Development Agency

As the City of Boston’s urban planning and economic development agency, the BPDA works in partnership with the community to plan Boston’s future while respecting its past. The agency’s passionate and knowledgeable staff guides physical, social, and economic change in Boston’s neighborhoods and its downtown to shape a more prosperous, resilient, and vibrant city for all. The BPDA also prepares residents for new opportunities through employment training, human services and job creation. Learn more at www.bostonplans.org, and follow us on Twitter @BostonPlans.

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