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BPDA is set to sign off on the plans to redevelop Edison plant

UPDATE: THE BPDA approved the L Street Station development plan on Thursday night. You can get the details of that meeting here.

This project is going to be one to watch in 2021.

Original post

Earlier this week we reported that the Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) approved the design plans for the L Street Station development. On Thursday evening the Boston Planning Development Agency (BPDA) is expected to sign off on the 1.68 million square feet of development situated on 15 acres of land along the Reserved Channel.

Developers Redgate and Hilco Redevelopment Partners want to transform the old power plan into three large blocks of office, residential, and retail space, along with a hotel and almost 6 acres of open space.

This hasn’t been an easy road for the developers who hoped to break ground on the project back in 2018 – but due to pushback from the neighborhood, the project plan has undergone many changes and revisions.

Neighborhood benefits promised

  • Indoor space dedicated for local artists, artisans and makers, in addition to outdoor space for arts and industry uses
  • Approximately 80,000 square feet of neighborhood retail that the community has asked for like a farmer’s market in the Turbine Hall, a local bakery, butcher or restaurant
  • 120 free community parking spaces.

So what’s next?

In addition to approval from Boston Planning and Development Agency, the developers will also need several state approvals for waterfront development, deed restriction amendments, and deconstruction permitting.

Additional Redevelopment Benefits Via Redgate and Hilco Redevelopment Partners

Workforce Development and Educational Opportunities

  • Apprenticeships and employment opportunities in the construction trades for city residents, starting with the first demolition permit and continuing during project construction:
    • Twenty percent of apprenticeships to Building Pathways graduates and working with the city to designate at least $100,000 of workforce training linkage to Building Pathways.
    • Promotion of job opportunities through Veterans Edge or comparable program.
    • Hosting annual job fairs on site or at local high schools to promote construction trade career opportunities on the project.
  • Internships, starting with the first BPDA-approved development plan and continuing for ten years:
    • Two annual university-level internships for South Boston residents.
    • Two annual university-level internships through CREST or a comparable program.
  • Creation of a $1 million endowment to be administered by the South Boston Sports Hall of Fame or comparable program to provide annual college scholarships to South Boston residents, funded with the first building permit for new construction on the site
  • Approximately 2,500 construction jobs in a variety of trades.
  • Approximately 1,500 permanent jobs related to commercial, hotel, retail, etc.

Community Connections and Business Opportunities

  • A $1.75 million grant to Medal of Honor Park and Christopher Lee Playground, including $1 million for capital improvements and a $750,000 endowment for ongoing activation operations and maintenance, funded with the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the first new building.
  • First opportunity to lease 10% of retail space given to South Boston small businesses and other city- or state-certified disadvantaged small businesses with either free tenant fit-out or 25% discount to market rent.
  • First opportunity to lease 10% of kiosks, push carts, or pop-up tents given to South Boston small businesses and other certified disadvantaged small businesses with free rent
  • Focused local efforts and an on-site office with dedicated community outreach staff to assist South Boston residents to learn about and apply for opportunities, including affordable housing, employment, small business contracting, and retail leasing.
  • On-site childcare facility giving local providers first opportunity.
  • Civic and cultural spaces available for neighborhood events in the turbine halls

Affordable and Workforce Housing

  • Affordable units constructed on site:
    • Sixteen percent of total rental units will be income and rent restricted, including 13% affordable units at 70% of the area median income (AMI) and an additional 3% middle-income units at 130% AMI.
    • Sixteen percent of total homeownership units will be income and price restricted, including 6.5% affordable units at 80% AMI, 6.5% middle-income units at 100% AMI, and an additional 3% middle-income units at 150% AMI.
  • An estimated $7.3 million in linkage payments for creation of off-site affordable housing.

Public Realm

  • Opening the site to the public for the first time in more than 120 years, including approximately 5.7 acres of open green space with a waterfront park, including decks, piers, and boardwalks.
  • Active recreation areas, including a basketball court and at least one of the following: tennis court, playground, or other active recreation area.
  • New bicycle paths, dedicated pedestrian streets, and active corridors to improve public access to and through the site.
  • Preservation and adaptive reuse of four historic turbine halls.

Pedestrian Safety and Improvements

  • New, wider sidewalks on both sides of East First St., including along the full length of the park and playground.
  • Vision Zero pedestrian improvements at eight neighborhood intersections prioritized by the community.
  • New on-site pedestrian corridors and bike paths.

Traffic and Transit Mitigation

  • Nearly $10.1 million for MBTA investments to improve transit and traffic for City Point neighborhood, including annual funding of $672,000, adjusted for inflation.
    • Fifteen years of $273,000 annual funding will begin with occupancy of the first building.
    • Fifteen years of $399,000 annual funding will begin with occupancy of 500,000 sq. ft.
  • Improvements to traffic flow and MBTA bus frequency and reliability through smart signals and fiber optic connectivity along Summer Street and the L St. corridor between Drydock Ave. & East Broadway.
  • Transportation Demand Management strategies and ongoing monitoring to measure traffic, transit, and parking impacts that will be used to adjust TDM measures.
  • Bicycle accommodations following BTD guidelines.

Parking Commitments

  • One hundred twenty free parking spaces for South Boston residents on nights and weekends and during snow emergencies.
  • One space per residential unit on site and waived rights to South Boston parking decals for apartment units.
  • Short-term parking restrictions during daytime hours to support project retailers.

Environmental Remediation of the Site

  • Environmental remediation to federal and state standards.
  • Funding for a Licensed Site Professional representing the neighborhood to review the environmental remediation plans.

Additional Economic Benefits

  • Estimated $1.4 million in linkage payments for job training.
  • Estimated $11.6 million in annual tax revenue.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.