Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Giant Expansion Planned for South Bay Shopping Center

The owner of the South Bay shopping center in Dorchester is planning to expand the complex by another 10 acres, resulting in construction of five new six-story buildings containing 475 apartments, 130 hotel rooms, a cinema, and stores. South Carolina-based developer Edens Inc., which owns several other East Coast shopping centers, wants to start building the first phase of the adjacent South Bay Town Center, in 2016.

The two-decade-old Dorchester shopping complex is no one’s idea of traditional city development. But it bustles as shoppers from Boston neighborhoods seek out the same low prices and broad selection that major chains offer suburban consumers.

Edens’ 9.9-acre mixed-use residential project would plunk 475 apartments, a 130-room hotel, a 65,000-square-foot cinema with 12-screens, multiple restaurant spaces and 113,000 square feet of retail space as well as three parking garages.

A total of 1,066 parking spaces would be included in the project.

The project will encompass 10 parcels on Allstate Road, West Howell and Enterprise streets, and Baker and Field courts — largely vacant, commercial/industrial land and parking lots south of South Bay Center.

Each of the buildings would be mixed-use, except for the hotel—which would stand alone. Edens also plans to add new roads and open space around the new buildings.

The shopping center developer said the social and economic activity generated by the project could be an impetus for “positive change to abutting, antiquated commercial and industrial properties” in the area between Massachusetts Avenue and the Southeast Expressway.

Public officials seem to agree that the new development would surely rejuvenate an area of Dorchester, which is riddled with vacant lots.

“The goal … is to provide a high-quality, pedestrian-oriented experience similar to other shopping districts such as Cambridge’s Harvard Square.”

The company has operated South Bay since 1998 and expanded it to Massachusetts Avenue in 2006. The first phase was built in the early 1990s on the site of a former Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse, after plans for a biomedical facility there failed.

Existing buildings on the site include the closed Kam Man food market, a closed two-story office building, vacant shipping and loading facilities and the Aggregate Concrete plant.

The expansion plan replaces the concrete plant and adjacent buildings with apartments and stores.

Several big-box retail stores already do business at South Bay, including Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Olive Garden and Panera Bread have restaurants on the property.

Edens also plans walkway improvements to connect South Bay Center to commuter rail service at Newmarket Station, as well as bus and subway service at Andrew Station on the MBTA’s Red Line.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Five New Developments Planned for East Boston

Everyone knows that East Boston is undergoing dramatic changes, in part, because of a plethora of long-awaited development.  For several years, buyers and renters have been moving over to Eastie to escape higher costs elsewhere in the city, and soon, these five new developments will get underway to welcome even more new residents to the neighborhood.

Clippership Wharf
25 Lewis Street
Boston, MA 02128

Clippership Wharf is a mixed-use waterfront development in East Boston that will include 492 apartment and condominium units along with lots of retail space.

It will also have 300 plus parking spaces and flourishes such as a fitness center and a canoe/kayak-rental.

To further sweeten the deal, Cassin/Winn Development plans to add 1,381 feet of promenade along the Harbor.


Loftel Boston
175 Orleans Street
Boston, MA 02128

Plans for the Loftel Boston include rehabilitation of a long-vacant six-story building in the Jeffries Point neighborhood, building a two-story addition, then creating 150-room loft style boutique hotel with parking for 65 vehicles.

Boston developer Heath Management plans a “modestly priced” hotel where rooms would average $200 a night or less.

Redevelopment of the historic structure at 175 Orleans Street will cost approximately $20 million.


Hodge Boiler Works
111 Sumner Street
Boston, MA 02128

East Boston waterfront is undergoing a dramatic transformation, and this big project will only enhance that change.

DeNormandie Companies plans to redevelop the old Hodge Boiler Works site on the East Boston waterfront and create 95 rental apartments as well as a six-room bed and breakfast and a new marina building.

Plans also call for a café, a 30-slip marina, a new Harborwalk and a parking garage for 75 vehicles.

The developer of agreed earlier this winter to scale back his plans from 119 apartments to 95, thereby knocking off about 80,000 square feet.


135 Bremen Street

Boston, MA 02128

Last year, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved construction of a 94-unit apartment complex at 135 Bremen Street, between Grove and Porter Streets in the East Boston neighborhood. Rental units will range from studios to 3-BRs.

Plans for the 127,000 square foot complex include 110 vehicle parking spaces, space for 100 bicycles along with landscaped public space.

The six-floor development is due to have a dozen apartments designated as affordable, as well as 8,300 square feet of commercial space along the ground floor near the Greenway.

Construction is expected to start late this summer, and another 12 to 14 months before completion.


One Fifty One Liverpool
151 Liverpool Street
Boston, MA 02128

Cedarwood Development's plans for 151 Liverpool Street include construction of a new five story residential building with 24 apartments and 35 parking spots at grade-level.

The 38,000-square-foot project will rise a few blocks from the Maverick Blue Line stop and include three apartments designated as permanently affordable.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Buildings Set to Rise at Ink Block Mega-Project

There are few areas where construction is busier than in the South End, where development at the sprawling Ink Block project is moving ahead at frenetic pace. National Development is preparing for construction of the Sienna condominium at the Ink Block in Boston’s South End. The developer plans 79 luxury condominium residences, ranging from studios to 3-BR units, including high ceiling ground-floor units with terraces. Building amenities will include a sky lounge with city views, swimming pool, high-end shops and a restaurant.
The Ink Block is a $250 million transformation of the 6-acre former Boston Herald site in the South End, into a massive mixed-use housing and retail complex, where the first two apartment buildings have already opened.

The 79-unit Siena project will soon get underway and begin to rise alongside the Sepia, joining the city’s largest Whole Foods market in a four-building complex that will have 315 apartments, 83 condos, cafes and five restaurants.

The high-end units, designed by Manfredi Architects, will range in price from $550,000 to more than $2,000,000. A rooftop hangout - complete with grilling stations, called the Skyclub Lounge - will crown the building.

The Siena project is scheduled for completion in early 2017.

Phase II is scheduled to begin construction later this year, and will include an AC Hotel by Marriott as well as a sixth building with more residential units on a parcel adjacent to the Ink Block.

National Development plans to build the 200-room boutique hotel at 223 Albany Street, near the intersection of Traveler Street.

AC Hotel is a limited-service brand that opened in Europe and recently has expanded in the United States.

The six-story AC Marriott is also being designed by Manfredi Architects, and will feature a wavy metal facade with a glass-encased lobby and lounge on the ground floor. A small garden and patio are also planned.

The Ink Block and the Troy Boston apartment complex, being built nearby, are revitalizing a once-gritty section of the South End.

The Ink Block and Troy project will include nearly 800 homes near Interstate 93. Other large projects are planned on surrounding properties that could host several hundred additional homes, office space, and retail stores.

Construction on the AC by Marriott is set to start this year; it is expected to open in early 2017.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

280-Unit Ames Street Residences Prepares to Rise

The Ames Street Residences is a 200,000 square foot residential high rise with 280 apartment units and 16,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The  project, designed by FX/Fowle, will be a slender 22-story tower by rising in front of the Kendall Center East Garage, overlooking the Cambridge Center rooftop garden. 

There will be a mix of unit types at 88 Ames Street, including micro-units, studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms. Developer Boston Properties will set aside 36 apartments in the new building as affordable housing units.

The residential development has been debated for more than a decade, and was originally planned for the site now occupied by the Broad Institute’s new building at 75 Ames Street, located across the street from the site.

The project will now stand on a vacant lot on the south side of Ames Street, between 4 and 5 Kendall Center.

Boston Properties aims to transform Ames Street, between Main Street and Broadway, from a service street to a more active, pedestrian friendly streetscape with active ground floor use on both sides of the street.

The project includes a significant commitment to bicycle transportation with the addition of 296 secure, on-site, weather protected spaces accessible by residents and retail employees.

There will also be an additional 38 short-term bicycle parking spaces along Pioneer Way.

The city had initially asked Boston Properties to subsidize half the cost of a monthly bus and subway CharlieCard for the first 12 months of residence for all tenants, and also to fund $50,000 for Kendall Square transit improvements.

The developer’s counter-offer was for one month of CharlieCards.

After month of wrangling, both side agreed that for each resident, Boston Properties will provide three months of a subsidized CharlieCard and one year of Hubway membership.

The developer will also contribute $50,000 towards transit improvements, construct a Hubway station and install two electric vehicle charging stations.