By: Demetrios Salpoglou
The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) recently approved seven new projects this August. These decisions are in line with much bigger plans for changing how people live, work, and travel in this bustling area. Let’s learn more about the priorities of everyone from government officials to developers to everyday citizens, and how these new projects reflect them. With projects for both residential and commercial purposes, all city dwellers should know more about where the future of Boston is headed.
New Units, New Attitudes
Mayor Martin Walsh has made a lot of promises about providing more affordable housing to the people of the city, and these projects are just one way he’s making good on his promises. Between the seven projects, Boston can expect an additional 223 units — of which 42 will be affordable. These 42 units are a part of the more than 765 affordable units that were approved this year. Since the beginning of 2018, 20% of the residential units approved are being specifically set aside for families in the lower and middle income brackets.
New Jobs, New Opportunities
Walsh isn’t just looking to increase the affordable housing in the city, he’s also looking to create more jobs for the many hard workers upon which the city stands. The projects are estimated to create thousands of new construction jobs in the Boston area, boosting the economy and providing more opportunity for everyone. It will also include a 1.6 million square foot office building in Exchange South End that will house everything from tech companies to life science research, adding more than 4,000 permanent jobs to the vibrant city.
The new buildings are being developed with the future in mind. From sustainable materials to better street planning, Bostonians can expect a modern approach to the historic town. For example, the mixed-use building in Exchange South End will feature 30,000 square feet of civic space plus pedestrian and bicycle-friendly streets. Developers are even working closely with the BPDA to potentially implement an electric microgrid to the buildings. This will allow the structure to provide autonomous power to workers in the case of an outage.
Bringing People Together
These units aim to bring people from all walks of life together through their layouts. A 46-unit structure near Penniman Park will include two units with studio space where artists can both live and work, while one on Mount Hood Road will put its residents close to the B Branch of the MBTA Green Line. A development in Jamaica Plain will open up two new pocket parks for the entire public to enjoy. With a mix of studios and multi-bedroom units, these seven new projects promise to shake things up in a positive way.
It should be no surprise to Bostonians that real estate in this city never sleeps, as investors constantly look for new sites and opportunities to capitalize upon. City planners hope to work with both public and private interests to reshape the face of the famous Bean Town and leave their mark on the greater society. Keeping up with the trends is a smart way to get a sense of where the city is headed. With more affordable units and public space, residents can expect to see more diversity, togetherness, and progress in Bean Town.