BPDA approves 10.2 million s/f in projects valued at $5.6b in 2019

January 10, 2020 - Front Section

Boston, MA In a year-end report, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) approved more than 10.2 million s/f of new development projects valued at $5.6 billion in 2019.

The approvals involved a total of 4,974 residential units, including 1,216 income-restricted units that represent 24% of total units.

The approved projects will generate more than $2 million in new Inclusionary Development Policy funds and $21.7 million in Linkage fees to support affordable housing and job training. The development projects approved in 2019 will create an estimated 8,462 construction jobs and 7,799 permanent jobs.

“The development projects approved this year have created affordable housing opportunities and new open space, benefited our economy and job market and contributed to workforce development programs,” said BPDA director Brian Golden. “We have an unprecedented number of neighborhood planning studies underway that allow us to listen to residents and shape the future of Boston together with the community.”

The residential units approved this year make progress towards mayor Martin Walsh’s goal to create 69,000 new units of housing by the year 2030. In the fall, mayor Walsh announced that the city had surpassed 30,000 units permitted, including 6,000 income-restricted units, under the plan.

The BPDA held 458 agency-sponsored meetings across every city neighborhood in 2019.

In November, the BPDA celebrated more than 105 PLAN: Mattapan community engagement events since the planning study began. This year the BPDA also announced two new strategic planning and rezoning efforts: PLAN: Charlestown and the Western Ave. Corridor Study and Rezoning in Allston-Brighton. The formal public process for PLAN: Charlestown is expected to begin in early 2020.

Among some of the other BPDA highlights for 2019 included:

Mayor Walsh signed a Home Rule Petition that enables the city of Boston to have more flexibility to fund affordable housing and workforce training through Boston’s Linkage Program and would codify IDP into Boston’s Zoning Code to protect the city’s ability to create and fund income-restricted housing. The legislation is now at the Massachusetts State House where mayor Walsh testified in support in December.

Request for Proposals were released for Roxbury’s Blair Lot and Nawn Factory and Building 108 in Charlestown.

In September the BPDA Board adopted the Coastal Flood Resilience Design Guidelines, building on Climate Ready Boston, mayor Walsh’s ongoing initiative to help Boston plan for the impacts of climate change and build a more resilient future.

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