BPDA Gives Nod to Two Eastie Projects

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Article from the Eastern Boston Times, written by John Lynds
At last Thursday’s Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) meeting the BPDA approved two East Boston residential development projects that will add 61 units of housing to the neighborhood, eight of which will be set aside as affordable units.

The first project approved by the BPDA will allow developer, MG2, to go ahead with plans to re-develop a 6,074 square-foot commercial site at 152 Liverpool Street in the Central Square section of the neighborhood that is currently an auto repair shop.

The project will involve the demolition of the former auto repair shop and the construction of a new, five-story, mixed use building, containing 23 residential units, one commercial unit, and nine off-street parking spaces located in the building’s garage. The garage will be entered and exited via Liverpool Street, which has access to Central Square and Meridian Street.

According to MG2’s attorney, Richard Lynds, the proposed project would create a residential development combining market-rate and affordable housing opportunities in an ‘aesthetic appropriate’ in scale, massing and design to the Central Square area. The retail space, explained Lynds, could be used as a cafe or affordable office space.

The project will include three affordable units under the BPDA’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP).

In its ruling the BPDA wrote, “The 152 Liverpool St. project will demolish the existing automobile repair facility that currently occupies the site and construct a five story, approximately 23,010 square foot mixed-use building with approximately 23 residential rental units, including three income-restricted units, approximately 1,910 square feet of retail/commercial space, approximately nine off-street vehicle parking spaces, and at least 23 on-site bicycle storage spaces. As currently proposed, the 23 residential units are anticipated to consist of two studio units, eight one-bedroom units, twelve two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit.”

The second project approved by the BPDA will replace a former factory at 287-293 Maverick St. with 38 residential units, including five IDP units and commercial space.

Developer MG2 received community support from both the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association and the Gove Street Citizens Association. MG2 plans to tear down an former industrial building known locally as the ‘Pickle Factory’ at 287-293 Maverick St. and replace it with 38 condo units.

The site is currently occupied by a garage and warehouse, and is approximately eight minutes walking distance from the MBTA Blue Line subway and bus service at Maverick Station.

The project will construct a five-story, mixed-use building with 38 homeownership condo units, five income-restricted (IDP) units, retail/commercial space, 30 off-street vehicle parking spaces, and at least 38 on-site bicycle storage spaces. The 38 residential units are expected to consist of two studio units, 10 one-bedroom units and 25 two-bedroom units.

“In addition to revitalizing the former industrial site, the project will provide a number of public benefits to the East Boston neighborhood, including, but not limited to: pedestrian access improvements and new widened sidewalks, a $30,000 contribution toward a neighborhood transportation analysis, planning initiative, or public realm improvement(s), and a $5,000 contribution for the Crossroads Family Center, Inc. to support the organization’s mission and the services provided to support families as they transition from homelessness to independent living and self-sufficiency,” the BPDA wrote in its ruling.