Business

Walsh administration sets stage for housing growth in new report

City Housing Report 2014-2030: A graphic from the city report characterizes "access to the Homeownership Market" by neighborhood. Image courtesy City of BostonCity Housing Report 2014-2030: A graphic from the city report characterizes "access to the Homeownership Market" by neighborhood. Image courtesy City of BostonThe Walsh administration released its first housing plan this week. The 140-page document is titled “Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030” and lays out the major challenges and goals for meeting the demand for new housing for a population that is on the rise. The plan anticipates that the city’s population will surge past the 709,000 mark by 2030 — a growth from today of some 91,000 people.

The report notes that the last time Boston was home to 700,000-plus people was in the 1950s. Back then, large families often lived in a single unit — like the classic Dorchester three-decker experience. In today’s Boston, this report notes, “fewer people inhabit each unit of housing, making our current housing stock insufficient to accommodate this growth.”

Insufficient is putting it mildly. Even in Dorchester, which is categorized in this report as one of the city neighborhoods with “good access” to middle income housing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to find affordable homes or rental units.

The report is candid in saying that “given the constraints of space, the high cost of land, declining federal funding, and a finite amount of City dollars available, we must acknowledge that the City cannot build its way out of this problem.” But, build we must. The Walsh plan pledges to produce 53,000 new units of housing between now and 2030 – a growth of 20 percent in terms of the number of households.  Read more

Parking stand-off leaves Savin Hill condo plan in limbo

Savin Hill Ave. project: Architect’s rendering showed proposed condos over Savin Bar + Kitchen. Drawing courtesy RODE Architects.Savin Hill Ave. project: Architect’s rendering showed proposed condos over Savin Bar + Kitchen. Drawing courtesy RODE Architects.

The future of a vacant lot across from Savin Hill T station, previously the site of a proposed 14-unit residential and commercial development, hangs in the balance after the project’s private developer, David Higgins, said late Tuesday evening that he was walking away from the development.  Read more

For sale: 1912 comfort station; bids start at $100

Build in 1912 as a "comfort station" for commuters, this building on Columbia Road is now for sale through the city of Boston.

It sits idle, a relic of Dorchester’s days as a bustling streetcar suburb. Tucked between a weathered supply store and the olde town’s first cemetery, the Uphams Corner Comfort Station— as it was called in its days of utility— is far from comforting to the modern eyes. Boarded up since 1977, its dual entrances are sealed off from the Columbia Road sidewalk by chain-links. Just over the fence is the historic Dorchester North Burial Ground, where some of the original settlement’s founding mothers and fathers have found three-and-a-half centuries of rest.

Despite its crumbling condition, there’s still a certain charm to the tiny building with the red, terracotta roof— or what’s left of it. It was essentially a rest stop for commuters who found shelter and a “powder room” here on their way into the city.

For a limited time, it can all be yours for just $100.  Read more

What next for the Globe property?

Columbia Point Master Plan: Task force created clear guidelines for development along Morrissey Blvd. including the Globe property.Columbia Point Master Plan: Task force created clear guidelines for development along Morrissey Blvd. including the Globe property.After years of “maybe it is, maybe it isn’t” for sale, it appears that the Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard is really on the market as a number of developers have prepared bids to purchase the site. The big question for its neighbors, of course, is what will replace the Globe?

Several years ago the city was faced with several major properties on the boulevard being actively considered for new development. These included the air rights above the MBTA property outside JFK-UMass station, a parcel between the station and the Shaw’s supermarket parking lot, the market itself, the adjacent building that houses radio stations, the old Ch. 56 property, and the Globe. Additionally, there were plans being made for the other side of the boulevard – significant and substantial new buildings at UMass Boston and a redevelopment of the Bayside Mall site.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) rightly called a “time out” on individual project proposals to prepare a master plan that would coordinate and integrate all the new uses for the several sites across the Morrissey Boulevard/Columbia Point peninsula.  Read more

New tool allows Bostonians to explore solar potential

By 
Michael Norton, State House News Service
Sep. 17, 2014

Boston residents and businesses may now go online and learn about the solar power potential of their homes and buildings, including installation cost estimates. Mayor Martin Walsh on Tuesday announced Solar System Boston, a mapping system the city has launched in partnership with Greenovate Boston and Mapdwell, an MIT spinoff, that the mayor says will allow users to explore their own potential to take advantage of solar prices that the Dorchester Democrat says are "plummeting."  Read more

Opportunity sets up shop on Quincy Street

Quincy Street revitalization: Mayor Walsh and fellow elected officials at the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center opening on Monday. Photo by Don WestQuincy Street revitalization: Mayor Walsh and fellow elected officials at the Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center opening on Monday. Photo by Don West

The $15 million, state-of-the-art Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center is officially open for business after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday at the long-vacant site of the departed Pearl Meats facility.

The 36,000-square-foot multi-use industrial food production facility will allow local food retailers of all sizes to prep their food with low overhead as they work to grow their businesses.  Read more

For Paciulli, his bank’s business is ‘personal’

Tony Paciulli: Pursuer of justiceTony Paciulli: Pursuer of justicePresident and CEO Tony Paciulli is very clear about priorities at Meetinghouse Bank: “We emphasize personal attention” he tells his clients and staff. That philosophy is especially the case, it seems, when someone attempts to hold up his bank.

Last Thursday, shortly after 2 p.m., a lone note-passer demanded cash from a teller at the Lower Mills bank and then, with money in hand, fled on foot down Richmond Street. “I heard the teller scream and I came out of my office and saw him going out the door,” Paciulli told the Reporter. Intent on giving the matter his “personal attention,” the chief executive followed the man down Richmond Street, and caught up with him a block away at the corner of Butler Street.

“I tried to tackle him to the ground, but he was too big,” Paciulli said, describing the suspect as weighing more than 300 pounds. “We took a couple of shots at each other, but when I saw him reaching into his pants, I backed off, in case he had a knife or a gun.”  Read more

Plans moving along for $1.7m brewery on Bowdoin Street

A rendering of the proposed brewery exterior by Rode Architects.

Over the next year, an 18,000-square foot abandoned warehouse at 181 Bowdoin St. will be transformed into the first contract manufacturing brewery in the state – a $1.7 million project set to make waves, beginning in the Bowdoin Geneva neighborhood.

“There’s no other facility in Massachusetts, that we know of, that bottles, cans, and kegs to smaller craft brew company contractors,” said Dorchester Brewing Company (DBC) co-founder Travis Lee. “We’re looking to create an intimate, artistic craft setting for multiple craft brewing companies.”  Read more

Carpenters union video shows 'reality of underground economy'

By 
Staff
Sep. 1, 2014

This video produced by the Dorchester-based New England Regional Council of Carpenters shows how construction jobs are sometimes "misclassified" to avoid paying employees a fair or timely wage.  Read more

Landlord set to sell his key properties in Adams Village

Arthur S. Murphy owns property on both sides of Adams Street, including the two-story commercial building at 526 Gallivan Blvd., shown on the right. Photo by Bill Forry

The owner of two key commercial buildings in Adams Corner intends to sell his high-profile properties, a move that is likely to trigger a new round of redevelopment in Dorchester’s gateway village.

Arthur S. Murphy controls the flagship two-story corner building at 526 Gallivan Blvd. that houses Windy City and China Sky restaurants and the Butcher Shop, along with other office space. Murphy also owns an assortment of storefront condo units along Adams Street. He told the Reporter last week that he is entertaining offers for his entire Adams Corner portfolio.  Read more