Codman Square, Grove Hall and Columbia Point plans get BRA ok

By 
Reporter Staff
Jun. 17, 2011

The city’s top planning and development agency on Thursday night signed off on redevelopment and education projects in Grove Hall and Codman Square, along with a master plan for the Columbia Point neighborhood.

The board of the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved the $53.1 million redevelopment of Grove Hall’s Quincy Heights that will rehabilitate 129 public housing units. Eleven buildings will be renovated and built, creating an estimated 187 construction jobs, according to the BRA. Overseen by the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation and the Quincy Geneva Housing Corporation, the project covers 156,817 square feet.

The board also approved a $16.2 million capital expansion project spawned by a partnership between Codman Square Health Center and the Codman Academy Public Charter School. The project includes a three-story addition to the Washington St. health center, including an open roof garden. The center’s lower level will be renovated and expanded clinical services, as well as have classrooms for Codman Academy.

The 34,000-square foot project is expected to produce 82 construction jobs and 52 permanent jobs. Construction is expected to start in August and due to be finished by Sept. 2012.

A master plan for the Columbia Point neighborhood also received a sign-off from the BRA. The overhaul of the neighborhood, which covers 412 acres between Dorchester Bay and Interstate 93, could provide $17.2 million in new city property taxes and $4.3 million in state income tax revenue if it’s fully built out.

The master planning process was spurred three and a half years ago by a jump in the potential development of several parcels in the area. But the process slowed as the economy dipped, delaying the development, and UMass Boston’s surprise purchase of the Bayside Exposition Center.

The plan, meant to be a guideline for developers, proposes 17 new acres of park space, new streets to ease traffic along Morrissey Boulevard, and the potential for a building over the JFK/UMass MBTA station, capped at 17 stories.

The Columbia Point neighborhood currently includes a number of high profile institutions, including Sovereign Bank, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, the Massachusetts State Archives, Corcoran Jennison Companies, the Boston Globe, and Boston College High School.