BRA green-lights Indigo Block for Maxwell Box site in Uphams Corner

The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s board of directors last week approved the Indigo Block, a proposal that will transform a former East Cottage Street factory into a mix of affordable housing and commercial uses. The $37 million project will include 80 rental units in a six-story building that will rise from what is now a 2.75 acre vacant lot next to the Uphams Corner station on the Fairmount Line.

The non-profit Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp. was tapped in 2015 to lead a team in rehabbing the site of the former Maxwell Box Company. The property, which was seized by the city in 2011 for its owner’s failure to pay back taxes, sits between swaths of commercial, residential, and community use land.

The partnership between Dorchester Bay EDC, Boston Capital, Escazu Development, Newmarket Community Partners, and Davis Square Architects has been clear that their goal for development is “to keep residents in the neighborhood, not displace them,” according to the design commission presentation.

Approximately 44 units will be reserved for families making at or less than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), 10 units will be reserved for families between 61 and 80 percent AMI, and 26 units will be reserved for families between 81 and 110 percent AMI.

The BRA says rents in the remaining units will top out at about $2,400 for a two-bedroom unit.  A separate two-story commercial-industrial building that will front along East Cottage Street will be divided into multiple light industrial spaces (a combined 8,637 square feet) on the lower floor, overlooked by a mezzanine. The top floor would be reserved for approximately 9,179 square feet of office space.

The commercial locations are associated with 29 parking spaces, made up of 16 dedicated commercial spaces and 13 “swing” spaces that would be shared with residential spaces depending on the time of day.

The project will create an estimated 87 construction jobs.