A brief note from Eileen, the Chair of the Planning Committee:
“Hi! Attached please find the plans for the Tom English bar/Dorchester Market site that were filed with the City this week. I direct your attention to page 2 of the document (page after cover sheet) for the zoning analysis and summary of violations. I quickly reviewed and to summarize:
- 5 Stories: 60.5’ in height
- Level 1: two commercial spaces – one for restaurant/bar and other for existing Dorchester Market
- 4 Levels of rental apartments: 38 Units, mostly studios and one-bedrooms
- Parking: 26 parking spots in the basement level, many of which appear to be tandem. Does not appear that they are considering stackable parking structures.”
Download the 959 Dorchester Ave Content Package (Adobe PDF, 4.4 MB). There is an abutters meeting scheduled for Saturday, January 20th.
The Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, along with the proponents of 951-959 Dorchester Ave, invites surrounding neighbors of this address to a meeting to discuss a proposal to build a 5-story mixed-use building with 38 residential units, a restaurant, and a market.
Where: Catherine Clark Apartments (915 Dorchester Ave)
When: Saturday, January 20th
Time: 10:00 am
Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services
Yesterday, the Boston Globe newspaper reported that its former newspaper property on Morrissey Boulevard:
“… officially sold Wednesday for $81 million to a partnership formed by Burlington-based developer Nordblom Co. and Boston private equity firm Alcion Ventures… Nordblom said it plans to convert the 16.5-acre site into a light industrial and office complex focused on technology and life sciences, along with restaurants, retail, and possibly a craft brewery… The Globe’s headquarters and newsroom moved in June to the Exchange Place tower at 53 State St. in downtown Boston. Its printing and distribution operations were relocated to a new facility in Taunton.”
The December 14th issue of DigBoston reported:
“… earnest technocrats at the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA, formerly known as the BRA) still find it necessary to play the communitarian “public meeting” game when trying to sell bad deals that advance corporate interests to the working families who are all too often the targets of such deals… it’s nice to see that housing activists with the Dorchester Not For Sale coalition decided to crash a recent BPDA transit-oriented public meeting on its “PLAN: Glover’s Corner”—which is slated, among other things, to add hundreds of units of housing that will be mostly unaffordable to current Dot residents.”
“According to the Bay State Banner and the Dorchester Reporter, the Dorchester activists are taking a page from JP and Roxbury housing activists with the Keep It 100% for Egleston coalition who protested the larger BPDA PLAN: JP/Rox—which might ultimately involve thousands of units of new housing—until the city relented and mandated that 36 percent of the new units (and 40 percent overall, including units currently permitted for construction) must be affordable…”
The article cited an average medium income amount used by the City to define what “affordable” is, and the success of some activists to increase the number of affordable units in development projects. However:
“So while their activism raised the amount of “affordable” housing the BPDA planned to offer in the deal from 30 percent to 36 percent, it’s not going to help many people currently living in or near the affected neighborhoods to stay in the area unless the definition of affordable is changed to reflect economic reality. Given that fact, Mayor Marty Walsh’s much-vaunted progress on getting more affordable housing built on his watch is based largely on smoke and mirrors because much of it remains unaffordable to the people who need it most.”
Unfamiliar with the Glover’s Corner development project? You can learn more here.
What’s happening with the South Bay retail center? Below is a construction schedule update dated December 5, 2017 from Keith Hague, Vice President of Construction & Development, at EDENS (21 Custom House Street, Suite 450, Boston, MA 02110. Phone: 617.369.6609). Interested residents can read about the South Bay retail center at the Edens site, and/or follow Edens on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
- First retail tenant openings
- Ulta: Now open
- AMC: December 15th Star Wars release. Get your tickets online now! Theatre may open a few days prior
- Nike: December 8th
- Loft Outlet: December 8th
- Starbucks: TBD
- Boston Street & West Howell Street: Underground utilities complete
- Enterprise Street (Lucy St. to Mass Ave): Complete
- Start remaining off-site roadway improvements (W. Howell, Jan Karski Way to District Ave, Connector Road between Hotel and Scrub a Dub.)
- Residential Building D and ground floor retail tenant openings
- Complete off site roadway improvements (W. Howell, Jan Karski Way to District Ave, Connector Road between Hotel and Scrub-a-Dub.)
- Residential Building C and ground floor retail tenant openings
- Start construction of Hotel E Building
- Completion of Jan Karski Way improvements from District Ave to Enterprise Street
- Completion of Enterprise improvements from Jan Karski Way to Lucy Street
- Completion of Hotel E Building
- JP Licks, Carter’s, Forever 21 Red, MidiCi (Neapolitan pizza), Wahlburgers, Gyu-Kaku (Japanese BBQ), Title Boxing & Chipotle
- Buildings A & B: Four remaining tenant spaces still to be announced
- Buildings C&D: Six remaining tenant spaces still to be announced
At the December 4th General Meeting, a representative from the Glover’s Corner development project distributed a flyer, which read in part:
“PLAN: Glover’s Corner is an opportunity for the community and the City of Boston to think strategically about the future of Glover’s Corner.”
The area under study is huge, covering about 86 acres. Current land usage includes commercial (41%), residential (25%), industrial (17%), public/tax-exempt (14%), and mixed-use (2%). See the map below.
Visioning workshops held on May 18 and June 28, 2017 identified several neighborhood strengths (“cultural and economic diversity; close to Red Line transit; cross-roads of Dorchester; culturally diverse restaurants and local services”) and weaknesses (“lack of trees, green spaces, and places to gather; unsafe and hard to walk and bike; traffic and congestion; lack of access to certain services and amenities”). The workshop sessions also identified the highest priorities for the project:
- “Create housing for a range of incomes
- Plan for a climate-change resilient neighborhood”
Other top priorities identified:
- “Create safe, walkable bike-friendly streets
- Preserve and grow quality jobs
- Improve transit options and connections
- Provide support for local businesses
- Support cultural diversity of the neighborhood
- Create an active people-centric district through development”
To learn more, visit the Glover’s Corner Project at the Boston Planning & Development Agency site, and/or read the October 25, 2017 Land Use Workshop Presentation. A copy of the presentation is also available here (Adobe PDF; 11 MB).
According to yesterday’s Dorchester Reporter:
“The Zoning Board of Appeal approved a controversial housing project at the corner of Pleasant and Pearl streets this week, giving the go-ahead to the construction of a 17-condominium building at the site of the Scally & Trayers funeral home.
Giuseppe Arcari’s plans for 54 Pleasant Street has split residents and abutters in the area over the past year. In September, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved the project, which will put a three-story building with the 17 condos and 20 underground parking spaces on the 14,688-square-foot parcel.
At a Columbia-Savin Hill Civic Association’s planning meeting, interactions were tense between civic members who had opposed the project and City Councillor Frank Baker, who joined the mayor’s office and Councillors Michelle Wu and Michael Flaherty in supporting the proposal…”
According to the Dorchester Reporter:
“Developers of the former Boston Globe headquarters have submitted a letter of intent to the city’s planning agency, announcing plans for a multi-purpose building that would include area improvements to better connectivity between Columbia Point and Savin Hill.
Nordblom Co., a Burlington-based development company in the process of purchasing the 135 Morrissey Blvd. site, outlined potential uses for the 16.6-acre parcel earlier this fall. “It is expected that the building will be used for light industrial, creative office, technology, life sciences, small retail, food and beverage, and other commercial uses,” Nordblom wrote in the letter.”
The Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association is forming a new committee to address our desires for potential development sites. While our current Planning Committee responds to individual development proposals, the new committee will help create the community’s interests in sites that have obvious development potential. The goal is to help inform developers what uses would receive community support.
Some examples include Morrissey Blvd, Mt Vernon St, Glovers Corner and several sites on Dorchester Ave. You may have other sites to offer.
The new committee will meet on Wednesday, November 15th, at 7:00 pm at the basement of Savin Bar and Kitchen on Savin Hill Ave. You are invited (and invite anyone you feel appropriate).
— Don Walsh