Exciting news is on the horizon for Boston as the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) recently gave the green light to the ambitious Dorchester Bay City project. This transformative venture is set to breathe new life into the former Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester, unveiling a grand vision that encompasses 1,900 residential units spread across 21 buildings, spanning over 36 acres of land on Dorchester's Columbia Point peninsula.

The master plan, which received approval at the September BPDA meeting, unfolds in three meticulously planned phases. This undertaking is more than just a housing project; it's a thoughtful blend of residential, office, research and development, retail, restaurant, commercial, and cultural spaces. The diversity in use is mirrored in the architectural landscape, with the 21 buildings promising a harmonious coexistence of purposes.

For those eager to call Dorchester Bay City home, seven residential buildings will offer a total of 1,957 apartments. Crucially, 20% of these units will be income-restricted, aligning with the commitment to create an inclusive and diverse community. Each building will undergo an individual review process, ensuring transparency and community involvement.

What sets this project apart is its dedication to community and connectivity. A robust street system designed for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars will not only foster a sense of neighborhood but also link to nearby public recreation areas like Carson Beach, Moakley Park, and Dorchester Shores Reservation. With 11 acres of public realm improvements and over 8 acres of open space, Dorchester Bay City promises a vibrant and green urban environment.

The project aligns seamlessly with Boston's transportation and resilience goals. Inside parking for 3,700 bicycles, 500 public bike racks, and bike-sharing stations underline the commitment to sustainable transportation. In response to the potential flooding challenges posed by the location, each building will adhere to Boston’s Coastal Flood Resilience Overlay District standards. Additionally, resiliency measures will be implemented to safeguard the site and the neighborhood from periodic flooding.

As a beacon of community support, the project earmarks substantial funds for various community benefits. Affordable housing receives a boost with $53.7 million, while jobs training and the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance’s program benefit from $9.9 million and $10 million, respectively. The commitment extends to Moakley Park maintenance, transportation improvements, public art installations, and a host of community-centric initiatives, totaling millions in investment.

Perhaps most impactful are the social benefits, with $8.2 million dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, economic development, job training, and cultural programs. This also includes the creation of 13,000 to 17,000 permanent jobs, cementing its role not only as an architectural marvel but as an economic powerhouse. 

Posted by Ryan Drowne on
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