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Walsh Administration: Boston’s Growing Population Calls for 53,000 New Housing Units by 2030

12 Oct 2014, 1:53 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

In an effort to accommodate an estimated 20 percent increase in the city’s housing stock over the next 16 years, the Walsh administration has come up with a new housing plan for Boston.

Boston 2030- Sources of New Housing Production 2

Boston 2030- Sources of New Housing Production 2

Called “Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030”, the plan comes one year and a half after former Mayor Thomas M. Menino launched “Housing Boston 2020,” an ambitious plan to add 30,000 new housing units in the city by the year 2020. Now, the new strategy advanced by Mayor Martin J. Walsh aims to create 53,000 new units of housing largely built by private developers—of which 20,000 will be affordable, targeting residents with incomes between $50,000 and $125,000—at a variety of income levels across the city as the Hub is expected to welcome around 91,000 new Bostonians by the year 2030. “Boston is growing, and I am committed to making sure that the prosperity Boston is enjoying reaches every neighborhood and every Boston resident,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. Any person who wants to contribute to making Boston better should be able to live and succeed here—regardless of their income level, race, or physical ability,” he added.

Boston 2030 - Demographics of New Housing Production

Boston 2030 – Demographics of New Housing Production

“Boston 2030” also calls for a 50 percent cut in the total number of students living in off-campus rented apartments by building 16,000 new student housing units. By adding these new dorms, around 5,000 units of middle income housing will become available in several neighborhoods across Boston. Furthermore, the city plans to build 5,000 new housing units targeting senior citizens, while another 4,000 units will be constructed to create a vacancy rate that will help stabilize the market and bring rent prices under control.

The new strategy also calls for loosening zoning restrictions in certain areas of Boston, providing more incentives that will support the construction of taller buildings and alleviate development costs, as well as a better use of City-owned land.

While “Boston 2030” comes with a hefty price of $21 billion that will cover both public and private construction projects, with developers expected to pay more for luxury developments in downtown or select outlying neighborhoods for their new housing projects. Additionally, the plan is expected to create over 50,000 construction jobs by the year 2030.


Charts courtesy of the Official Website of the City of Boston 

$15 Million Adaptive Reuse Project Underway at Historic Roslindale Substation and Adjacent Lot

7 Oct 2014, 11:53 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Parkside on Adams - Roslindale, Boston

Parkside on Adams – Roslindale, Boston

The historic areas in Boston and its suburbs are buzzing with adaptive reuse projects. Following the recent success of the Ames Shovel Works and the Voke Lofts, a new apartment community is underway on the corner of Washington Street and Cummins Highway and across from the Adams Park in Roslindale Village as part of a transformation project that will revitalize the heart of the neighborhood.

Last month Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined representatives of Historic Boston, Inc., Roslindale Village Main Street, Inc. and Rhode Island-based developer Peregrine Group LLC for to celebrate the official ground breaking of the Parkside on Adams, a mixed-use complex that incorporates a historic MBTA power substation and the former Higgins Funeral Home site.

“Historic Boston celebrates the cross-sector collaboration that made this entire project—both new and historic—possible,” said in a statement for the press Kathy Kottaridis, executive director of Historic Boston Inc. “What began as an effort to re-activate one long-vacant public building has become the source of economic growth and pride for the Roslindale community and everyone who played a role in triggering this preservation-based development.”

This adaptive reuse project was designed by Prellwitz Chilinski Associates of Cambridge and has an estimated development cost of $15 million. Work on the 40,000-square-foot project began with the demolition of the closed Higgins Funeral Home on Washington Street in July this year, immediately after the Boston Redevelopment Authority transferred the construction site to Peregrine. According to the developer, this property will be replaced by a four-story building with 43 apartments—six of which will be designated as affordable and will be available by lottery—in a combination of studios, one- and two-bedroom units. A surface garage will provide 38 parking spaces for the building’s residents.

Parkside on Adams - Roslindale, Boston

Parkside on Adams – Roslindale, Boston

As for the adjacent 103-year-old power station sitting at 4228 Washington Street, Peregrine plans to rehabilitate it and transform it into a commercial structure of 8,000 square feet that will include a dining venue with around 120 seats on the main level—most probably the restaurant will be owned and operated by Chris Douglas, who currently owns The Ashmont Grill and Tavolo in Dorchester.

Completed in 1911 in Classical Revival style under plans designed by Boston’s prominent architect Robert S. Peabody, the Roslindale Substation was used by MBTA’s predecessor, Boston Elevated Railway, to convert alternating electric current (AC) into direct current (DC) to power streetcar system that was in use at that time. The substation operated until 1971 and has stood vacant ever since, according to Wicked Local. In August 2013 the Roslindale Substation was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The residential component at Parkside on Adams is set for completion in August 2015, with the restauration and repurposing of the former electrical substation expected to wrap up at around the same time.

Renderings courtesy of Prellwitz Chilinski Associates

BRA OKs $138 Million Mixed-Use Development in Mission Hill

29 Sep 2014, 3:32 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has approved a much-needed redevelopment plan for Parcel 25, an approximately two-acre lot bordered by Tremont, Gurney and Station Streets in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood that was previously owned by the MBTA.

Parcel 25 redevelopment - Mission Hill, Boston

Parcel 25 redevelopment – Mission Hill, Boston

The blighted parcel will be revitalized by non-profit Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services (MHNHS) through its development arm, Mission Hill Parcel 25, LLC. According to project plans that were filed with the city’s redevelopment authority in June this year, the developer plans to invest $138 million to replace the vacant lot with a mixed-use complex that will be built in three phases over an anticipated span of five years. However, MHNHS hasn’t selected a contractor and still needs to secure financing before work can begin, the Boston Business Journal reported.

At 305,750 square feet, the redeveloped Parcel 25 is expected to become a catalyst for the Roxbury Crossing area and for the entrance to the Mission Hill neighborhood. When fully completed, the project will have 98,000 square feet of residential space with 88 affordable apartments in a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, 10,000 square feet of retail, 196,500 square feet of office space, as well as 1,250 square feet of community space and around 200 surface and underground parking spaces.

The project is expected to start during the fourth quarter of 2015. It was designed by Goody Clancy, the architecture firm that also worked on the conceptual plans for the $15.9 million affordable senior rental complex that MHNHS is building nearby, at 30 Gurney Street.

According to the BRA, the Parcel 25 redevelopment is expected to create more than 400 construction jobs, as well as 400 to 800 commercial and retail jobs once the project reaches completion.

Rendering courtesy of MHNHS via BRA

$30 Million Boutique Hotel Planned for Bulfinch Triangle

22 Sep 2014, 6:15 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

104 Canal Street - hotel rendering

104 Canal Street – hotel rendering

A 3,600-square-foot lot that used to house a Bank of America branch in Boston’s growing Bulfinch Triangle Historic District will be replaced by a boutique hotel developed by Woburn-based Somnath Hospitality LLC.

The one-level former bank building is located at 104 Canal Street near TD Garden, Faneuil Hall and Massachusetts General Hospital and, according to information from real estate website PropertyShark, was purchased by Somnath for $3 million in January this year.

According to the Project Notification Form that was recently submitted for review, the 95-year-old structure will be completely razed. At 47,335 square feet, the new luxury building will rise 15 stories above ground and include up to 100 rooms and six two-story penthouse suites, as well as an additional story below grade and a mechanical penthouse that will occupy a portion of the roof level. As for parking amenities, the developer hopes to reach agreements with nearby facilities’ owners since the construction site is too small to accommodate a garage and is located in a

104 Canal Street - Boston

104 Canal Street – Boston

pedestrian- and transit-friendly area, close to the MBTA North Station.

Designed by Boston-based architecture firm ADD Inc., the boutique hotel is expected to consolidate Canal Street’s role as the most densely populated axis through the Bulfinch Triangle District, which includes a variety of historically significant structures.

The Boston Herald reports that Somnath, which owns and manages a Hampton Inn in Cambridge and a Comfort Inn in Woburn, will invest $30 million to develop the luxury hotel.


Renderings via the Boston Redevelopment Authority


Gutierrez Breaks Ground on $35 Million Spec Office Building in Burlington

12 Sep 2014, 9:13 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Construction began at a new Class A speculative office building in suburban Boston.

Burlington Woods 4 - Burlington, Ma.

Burlington Woods 4 – Burlington, Ma.

As reported in the Boston Business Journal, the Gutierrez Company recently broke ground on a 100,000-square-foot LEED certified building designed for end-user flexibility. Dubbed Burlington Woods 4, this four-story structure will add to Gutierrez’s six-building office park that occupies a 15.6-acre property off of Route 128 in Burlington, Ma., and roughly 16 miles northwest of Boston.

The $35 million spec office building, which is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2015, was designed by CUBE 3 Studio of Lawrence, Ma. Located on around five acres of landscaped mall and within walking distance from the Boston Marriott Burlington and the Burlington Mall and Wayside Commons, the building will feature a two-story lobby, interconnecting stairways, floor-to-ceiling windows along the main façade, and energy efficient systems. The new development also includes 350 parking spaces with direct access to the highway.

According to the Journal, in January this year Gutierrez paid approximately $4 million for the 4.6-acre construction site which was previously owned by Finard Properties, a commercial real estate investment and development company based in Boston.

Gutierrez has retained JLL as the exclusive leasing agent for the project. “Given the flexibility and uniqueness of the project, we are seeing users of all types and sizes show interest in becoming the first tenant,” said JLL Senior Vice President Chris Decembrele in a press statement. “In the Burlington market, where large blocks of vacant space are getting scarce, this will be a great option for growing tech companies,” he added.


Rendering courtesy of the Gutierrez Company

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