Huge Dorchester Bay City plan gets thumbs up from BPDA

September 16, 2023 by No Comments

The former location of the Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester presents an eerie scene reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic setting, with a vast expanse of asphalt and overgrown weeds intertwined within a chain-link fence. Surrounding this site, one can find office buildings, a hotel, the well-traveled Harborwalk, and low-rise brick apartments, which offer views of the waterfront and the downtown skyline to the north.

For some time now, plans have been in progress to transform this 36-acre area on Columbia Point into a climate-resilient urban enclave, positioned adjacent to the UMass-Boston campus. Recently, on Thursday, developer Accordia Partners took a significant stride toward realizing this vision.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency board, during its Thursday night session, granted approval for the master plan of Dorchester Bay City, a $5 billion project encompassing 21 mixed-use buildings along Mount Vernon Street and Morrissey Boulevard. The development blueprint encompasses 6.1 million square feet of office and research and development space, housing units, and the potential inclusion of academic facilities, all surrounded by 15.4 acres of open space. Notably, 20 percent of the projected 1,957 apartments will be designated as affordable housing.

Anticipated to span a timeframe of 10 to 15 years for full completion, the project still awaits approvals for individual building designs and specific development plans.

Situated on the shores of Dorchester Bay, amid five significant flood-prone areas, the project prioritizes resiliency measures to safeguard both the development itself and the neighboring Dorchester and South Boston communities. These measures involve elevating the entire site by approximately three feet, creating a gradual incline away from the water. A raised ridge along the waterfront will align with flood protection initiatives undertaken by the adjoining state and city-owned properties along the Harborwalk, Carson Beach, and Moakley Park, in addition to other waterfront enhancements near the UMass Boston campus.


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