MBTA ‘optimistic’ about re-use of property at Mattapan station

An image shows the MBTA-owned land next to Mattapan station that is being marketed for sale and redevelopment. Courtesy Massachusetts Realty Group

A realtor representing the MBTA held an on-site meeting on Jan. 20 with parties interested in purchasing a 2.48-acre parking lot and two other nearby parcels next to the Mattapan Square station. The site is being marketed as “a rare opportunity for transit-oriented development minutes outside of Downtown Boston” and is apparently drawing strong interest from the development community.

According to MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo, the Wednesday afternoon “pre-bid meeting was well attended by a variety of firms.”

“Massachusetts Realty Group held a question and answer session at the meeting and also released formal responses to the questions received,” said Pesaturo. “The MBTA is optimistic that the high level of interest will result in an acceptable development plan for the MBTA and the community.”

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is also pushing the site as a “unique opportunity.” In a posting on its website, the BRA notes that the city – and neighbors – hope that the site will be redeveloped “for residential uses, focusing on market-rate ownership or cooperative housing with a portion devoted to affordable housing” with “ground floor commercial and support service uses.”

This site has been marketed before – in 2008 and 2012 – but with the economy in a nose-dive and, later, just beginning to recover, the property registered little interest from would-be developers. Today, with a building boom underway across the city, there is unprecedented interest in the River Street location. Pesaturo told the Reporter that there were “dozens of registered bidders” for the parcel.

In 2014, the MBTA was close to selling the lot for $1.5 million to a Hyde Park-based charter school until that deal was detailed publicly in this newspaper, leading to calls for a renewed, open-bid process that is now nearing its end.

Bids must be submitted to the Massachusetts Realty Group by Feb. 24.