A large affordable housing development is moving forward between the West End and North End neighborhoods at Parcel 1B in the Bulfinch Triangle. Related Beal is breaking ground this week on a $230 million, 14-story, 239 unit residential building that will include street retail and 220 hotel rooms. A 69-space parking garage is also part of the project. The housing units will be for residents with qualified incomes ranging from 30 percent Area Median Income (AMI) up to 165 percent AMI. About half will be for mid-range incomes (2
The housing units will be for residents with qualified incomes ranging from 30 percent Area Median Income (AMI) up to 165 percent AMI. About half will be for mid-range incomes (i.e., 2 person household earning $78,800) and the other half at lower income levels. The mid-range rents will be approximately $1,600 for a 2-bedroom apartment, well under the current market rate in downtown Boston. Additionally, 10 percent of the residential units will be three-bedroom units for family housing.
Parcel 1B is a vacant lot that came out of the Big Dig between Valenti, Causeway and Beverly Streets. The state-owned land abuts The Victor and is the latest in the area’s building boom that includes Lovejoy Wharf, One Canal, 131 Beverly, the Boston Garden Project under development and the massive overhaul of the Government Center Garage. The developer has entered into a 99-year land lease with the State, including financing of $86 million in bonds from MassDevelopment and tax incentives. Related Beal will pay a percentage of revenues instead of property taxes. The hotel and retail space will also be exempt from property taxes until 2019.
“Our administration is working to turn vacant and underutilized state-owned land into powerful drivers of economic development,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a statement. “Utilizing state land to create workforce and affordable housing and to create new jobs can also play a big part in making great communities across the Commonwealth.”
The Parcel 1B project is expected to open in 2018 and would be Boston’s first large scale workforce housing development under Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s housing plan entitled, “Changing City: Boston 2030,” which calls for the creation of 53,000 new residential units by 2030 – 44,000 specifically for workforce units.
Financing of the project includes:
- Tax-exempt bond financing issued by MassDevelopment
- Four percent federal / state low income housing tax credits administered through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
- Resources from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF)
- 121A, a tax stabilization plan created by the City of Boston
- A contribution from a partnership between Boston Properties and Delaware North as part of their affordable housing commitments for projects in the immediate neighborhood
“I congratulate the team at Related Beal for reaching this early milestone in redeveloping Parcel 1B. They were able to work creatively to secure the financing needed to bring this unique project to fruition, and I look forward to the ground breaking,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh in a release. “We are committed to working together to unlock housing opportunities for all of our families, and this project will bring more options to the heart of downtown.”
Parcel 1B is located across the street from Lovejoy Wharf where Related Beal developed 160 North Washington Street for Converse’s new headquarters and 131 Beverly Street. After years of being closed, the North End Harborwalk under the Charlestown Bridge has reopened with a new pathway behind Lovejoy Wharf to the North Station area and Charles River Dam. Related Beal is also funding various public improvements, including a new park, close to Parcel 1B. In addition, the company is supporting the North Station Area Transportation Action Plan. The plan, which also covers the West End, Bulfinch Triangle, and Government Center, will provide an analysis of the existing transportation network as well as potential near- and long-term improvements across various types of transit.
Ted Lubitz, a Vice President at Related Beal who oversees Related Beal’s affordable projects in Boston and the surrounding area said, “We look forward to starting construction on the first large scale mixed-use workforce and affordable housing development downtown Boston has seen in more than 25 years. The units at Parcel 1B wouldn’t be realized without Related Beal and the city and state’s passion and tenacity for creating more diverse housing options in Boston. Affordable housing has been our company’s foundation for over 40-years, and we are excited to deliver this project and pursue more mixed income opportunities in the Greater Boston area.”