BRA Says Yes to New St. Project

September 29, 2014
By
An architectural drawing of the plans for the waterfront development project on New Street that was approved by the BRA last week.

An architectural drawing of the plans for the waterfront development
project on New Street that was approved by the BRA last week.

Following a community meeting hosted by city officials to hear feedback about a proposed  East Boston waterfront development project last month–Gerding Edlen, a Portland, Oregon-based developer received Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) approval for its project on New Street.

Last week the BRA voted unanimously to approve the project that will redevelop an old industrial warehouse into a 16-story mixed use development.

According to Gerding Edlen’s notice of project change with the city the development team will develop 259 residential units, 4,900 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space, 155 off street parking spaces and over 33,000 sq. ft. of public open space that would include 12 ft. wide extension of the Harborwalk and transportation dock.

Gerding Edlen purchased the 4-acre site from the New Street Reality Trust. The former project gained BRA approval in the mid 2000s but was never built. Varney Hintlian, a trustee for New Street Reality Trust, planed to convert the former industrial building on 6-26 New Street into residential units. However, Hintlian changed his plan to a more scaled down version of the one that gained BRA approval.  The former plan would have added 224 waterfront units and expanded the building to 15 stories.

Gerding Edlen’s project is projected to be in the $120 million to $140 million range.

“I’m excited to see this project finally start to get off the ground,” said City Councilor Sal LaMattina. “I supported the former owners of the site because I believe it would have jumpstarted waterfront development in East Boston. With the neighborhood becoming more desirable for developers, renters and buyers and waterfront development underway it’s no longer a secret East Boston is the next hot spot in the city.”

The BRA is allowing Gerding Edlen to pay into a fund that will contribute to affordable housing somewhere in the city instead of building the required 15 percent of affordable units on site. BRA officials said this decision was made because they felt putting the affordable component on the site would make the project financially ‘unviable’.

Gerding Edlen agreed to pay $7.8 million towards the fund.

  The New Street site is located in the southwestern comer of Eastie’s waterfront. New Street and Maverick Landing to the east, LoPresti Park to the south, Boston Inner Harbor to the west and the Boston Towing and Transportation Companies property to the north bind it. It is located in close proximity to Maverick Square and the MBTA’s Blue Line Maverick Station.

The public comment period on the project will end on Monday, July 21.

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