A number of changes are in the works throughout the city of Boston. From the development of a new waterfront park to a growing trend of creating residential developments without onsite parking, here is a look at some of these changes.
Expectations for New Waterfront Park Continue to Grow
The nonprofit Trustees of Reservations, which owns around 27,000 acres of parkland and beaches in Massachusetts, has announced plans to build a park along the city’s waterfront. The group has compared their plans to the Manhattan High Line development, which was a popular conversion of an unused elevated rail line that helped to transform the area around it. Living up to these expectations will not be easy, however, particularly considering that the Trustees will have to navigate through the city’s complicated development processes.
To help make their plans a reality, the Trustees have hired planners from the Rose Kennedy Greenway as well as attorneys who have a history of working within the city and state processes. The group has also brought on the landscape architect who was behind the Smith Family Waterfront Park outside of the Boston Children’s Museum and the Brooklyn Bridge Park located along the waterfront. The group has not, however, selected a site and competition for the increasingly valuable waterfront property is quite stiff.
MBTA Searching for Someone to Redevelop the Quincy Center Station
The MBTA has issued a request for proposals from anyone who might be interested in redeveloping the 6.31 acres of air space above and around the Quincy Center Station. The area, which includes the Red Line and commuter-rail stops, is currently home to a condemned five-story parking garage. Demolition of the top three stories of the garage is supposed to begin this fall. A major development in the space, which also includes the air rights above the adjoining train rights of way as well as the site of the Quincy Center Bus Terminal, would fit in a trend of major transit hubs drawing in some of the biggest new projects in the region.
Lack of Parking Becoming a Trend with New Boston Developments
While parking was once a priority when creating new developments in Boston, a new trend has seen a growing number of developments choosing not to include parking. In fact, the Boston Planning & Development Agency recently approved two new apartment projects that do not include plans for parking. This includes a 19-story project at 212 Stuart Street in Bay Village offering 133 units, two of which will be townhouse-style apartments, and a 21-story project at 47 LaGrange Street in Chinatown offering 130 units. These two new developments will join the condos at Lovely Wharf in their decision to forego onsite parking, though residents of that development do have the option to rent parking spaces at the nearby 101 Beverly Street development. Both Lovely Wharf and Beverly are being developed by Related Beal.
A number of factors seem to be fueling this new Boston trend. First, bypassing onsite parking saves developers a significant amount of money. Furthermore, the developers claim that the projects are located near to public transportation. Thereby eliminating the need for on-site parking. The project at 212 Stuart has struck a deal with an adjoining garage at 200 Stuart to provide for limited parking for residents, while the project also calls for including plenty of bike parking.