This past week the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved two more real estate projects in the South End’s SoWa district that combined will result in bringing more than 970 new residential units to Harrison Ave.
The first and larger development is The Harrison Albany Block, (shown above from Albany Street), it will include 650 residential units and span from Harrison Avenue to Albany Street between East Canton and East Dedham streets.
Aerial view of The Harrison Albany block
The large development will include three levels of below grade parking garage, 29,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space and 65 affordable units (with some designated specifically for working artists). In addition, the developers will pay into a BPDA fund to purchase or subsidize another 65 units someplace else. Originally proposed as a 710 unit development back in the fall of 2015 modest reductions were made in response to neighborhood concerns.
370-380 Harrison Avenue
The second residential complex approved by the BPDA this past week is for the 370-380 Harrison project, which will include 92 condos and 232 apartments that will be built on the site of the former Quinzani Bakery and Ho Kong Bean Sprout Co. next to the Ink Block. The developer has committed to ensuring at least 20% of the units will be marketed as affordable.
Similar to the Harrison Albany Block, the 370-380 Harrison Ave. project has scaled back slightly from the original proposal shared last March, which initially proposed 280 residential units. It is unclear if their original proposal of including 180 parking spaces and commercial space were changed.
The Girard at 600 Harrison Avenue recently opened in the South End
There has been a lot of construction in Boston’s South End lately with much of the development taking place in a section of the neighborhood referred to as SoWa (South of Washington Street).
Below is a roundup of much of the development activity in the neighborhood.
AC Hotel South End – 273 Albany Street Construction on this 200-room AC Hotel by Marriott started in February 2016 next to the Ink Block Development. The hotel’s ground floor will host a number of amenities including a bar and lounge area, a fitness center, an indoor pool, conference rooms and more. The six story building is expected (but we will see) to complete construction by the end of this year.
The Factory at 46 Wareham – 46 Wareham Street Construction started on this mixed use building in November 2015. The project will restore the facade of an existing historic industrial building and construct a new addition to create condominiums as well as 30,000+ square feet of office space. Originally scheduled to open in the summer of 2017 the timeline seems ambitious but progress has clearly been made.
345 Harrison Avenue Construction on the two 14-story residential buildings that comprise this new development in the South End started in March 2016. The development is expected to include 585 residential units, 275 parking spaces, 325 bicycle spaces as well as 40,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Located across from the Ink Block Development this is one of several new construction projects that is transforming the neighborhood by converting under-used or vacant space into vibrant residential complexes. 345 Harrison is expected to complete construction by the end of 2018.
The Lucas – 136 Shawmut Avenue Construction on this unique 33-unit residential building repurposes what was a vacant German Catholic church into a modern luxury condominium. While construction started in October of 2015, no date of completion has been provided, but word on the street is that this will not be finished before the end of this year – possibly early 2018.
370-380 Harrison Avenue Construction has yet to begin on this project as plans await approval after some positive initial feedback. It was last January that plans were initially shared which would demolish the Quinzani Bakery and Ho Kong Bean Sprout Co. on the corner of Harrison Avenue and East Berkeley Streets to create a 300,000 square-foot housing and retail project with 180 parking spaces.
Source for construction updates: bldup.com
The Harrison Albany block will include 650 new residential units
The Harrison / Albany block residential project has been modified according to an article in last week’s The Boston Sun. Developers have indicated they will reduce the number of units from 687 to 650 so they can reduce the height of some of the buildings. They will also slightly decrease the size of the parking garage from 700 to 450 spaces with the ability to increase that number to 650 spaces if stackers are used. The most drastic change is the 575 Albany Street building will now be six stories tall (not ten stories as initially proposed).
The developers have hired traffic engineers to evaluate the impact on the neighborhood. However, if there is a concern about the impact of traffic then I think the answer is to bring more reliable public transportation to the neighborhood; not restricting new developments in a downtown neighborhood where there is already a shortage of housing. These new residential buildings are literally across from I-93 and blocks from I-90, making it ideally situated. It is not the developers or neighborhoods fault the city is failing at providing adequate public transportation to alleviate surface traffic.
You can read more about this large development on the BRA website here and the real estate website Bldup has a lot of information available here.
It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I was writing that the South End and SoWa Open Markets were opening for the season, but the reality is it has been six months and tomorrow, Sunday, October 30th marks the last market of the season. Both markets have continued to thrive and had a stellar year.
South End Open Market and the SOWA Market are separated by 3 blocks and are open from 10 AM – 4PM. Come over to the neighborhood and check them out before they close up for the season.
Sergio models for SoWa artist, Tom Ouellette at 450 Harrison Ave #208
Friday, May 6 is SoWa First Friday, a monthly event that celebrates our community of artists and those who love art. The monthly celebration is free and open to the public and includes more than 20 galleries and 60 studios, that stay open from 5-9 PM with most of the participating galleries and artists located at 450 and 460 Harrison Avenue in the SoWa district of the South End.
If you’ve not been recently or if you are looking for something to do this Friday, come by after work to admire the local talent and to show your support for the local artists and galleries. There is something for everyone including fashion designers showcasing their latest garments, sculpture, abstract art and more.
For more information about the participating art galleries link here, and link here for more information about SoWa First Friday’s.
“Brain Wash” by Federico Uribe made from shoelaces and pins at Adelson Galleries
GALVIN-ized Headwear at 450 Harrison Avenue
Abigail Ogilvy Gallery at 460 Harrison Ave #C7
Jaqueline Cedar exhibit: Be real at Steven Zevitas Gallery at 450 Harrison Ave.
In less than a month, the farmer’s, artist’s and food truck markets will reopen on Sunday, May 1, but this year you may think that you are seeing double.
This year the South End Market and GTI are hosting separate markets just blocks from each other. The South End Market is relocating to the Ming’s Supermarket parking lot across the street from the Ink Block and closing Traveler Street between Washington St. and Harrison Ave., lining it with many of the 100+ participating artisans to consolidate and expand their space.
Just two blocks away the newly branded SOWA Open Market will take place in the same space as previous years, stretching from Thayer Street through the parking lots for Cinquecento and Gaslight along Harrison Ave. Fortunately the two markets are literally separated by mere blocks so it will be relatively easy to visit both and hopefully alleviate some of the increased traffic the market has created as it has grown in popularity in recent years.
The organizers of the South End Market have not published a list of participating Farmer’s Market vendors but if they do I’ll do my best to share it. The SOWA Farmer’s Market list of participating vendors is available here.
Starting Sunday, May 1, 2016 the South End will host two weekly markets that will be separated by about 3 blocks. For those familiar with where the Sunday market has traditionally resided nothing much will seem different. The South End Market as it was previously known is moving closer to the Ink Block and will be located in Ming’s Supermarket parking lot. The artist market by the studios and farmer’s market by Cinquecento will now go by the name SOWA Market.
One notable difference with this year’s SOWA Market is their intention to be open on both Saturday and Sunday following the grand opening. The Saturday Farmer’s Market will be slightly smaller with more vendors initially participating every Sunday alongside the Vintage and Artist Markets as well as the Food Truck court located one block away in the Gaslight and BSC parking lot. Below are the names of the vendors lined up to participate for the SOWA Market 2016 season.
For more information about the SOWA Market visit here.