In August, the Boston Planning & Development Agency approved plans to build a 1.6 million square foot technology and life sciences hub. The finished project will have four buildings in total and will be developed on the former site of the Boston Flower Exchange. The original parcel was purchased in 2016, and developer Abby Group hopes to break ground on the project in the spring of 2019. The estimated cost of the project is expected to be around $1 billion and is planned to span 5.6 acres.
Naturally, the development will likely impact already problematic Boston traffic. Group has plans to discuss potential ways to mitigate this with transportation representatives. Early suggestions include a new ramp on the Southeast Expressway and improving public transportation access to the area, particularly for buses. However, as construction begins, other plans for facilitating transportation around the area may be considered.
Impacts to the Neighborhood
The South End Exchange is a massive project that will likely take years to fully complete. Construction may pose challenges to South End apartment owners, including increased noise levels and longer commutes to work and school. However, these temporary setbacks are unlikely to continue to be a problem once construction is finished and the benefit of such a large project to the South End neighborhood is immeasurable.
The South End Exchange will consist of buildings dedicated to office, biotech, lab, and biomedical uses. There will also be 30,000 square feet of cultural and civic space, and 1.1 acre of space accessible to the public, including retail shops on the ground floor. Jobs will undoubtedly open up in the area, both for construction workers during the building phase, and office and lab positions when the Exchange opens. Locals in the South End neighborhood who seek employment in the South End Exchange can decrease their commute time and work closer to home. Owners of Boston luxury apartments in the South End may particularly enjoy the new opportunities that the South End Exchange will bring for employment, shopping, and public space.
The Largest South-End Project in Decades
It has been many decades since a project this large has been underway in the South End area. When construction has been completed, it will be exciting to see how the South End Exchange breathes new life into this charming, historic area of Boston.