New mixed-use project pitched for South Bay area

Map shows the properties in the project plan bounded by Mass. Ave., Allstate Rd., Willow and Fields Courts, and Enterprise St.

A mixed-use development plan filed last week with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) would, if approved, bring an additional 239 housing units and retail space to a corner of Dorchester near the South Bay mall. The letter of intent noted that “Project Locus” would include three buildings on parcels at Mass Ave. and Allstate Road.

The project would comprise about 208,500 square feet of new development consisting of residential housing — both condos and rentals— and with retail and office space with on-site parking, according to Joseph P. Hanley, an attorney representing the proponent, Willow Baker LLC.

The combined 1.3 acre project site includes 13 contiguous and abutting parcels of “underutilized” and “distressed” properties along Willow, Baker, and Fields Court, Hanley wrote in the filing.

“The proponent envisions revitalizing and converting the combined project site into a mixed-use development that enhances its immediate area,” he added, “with new widened sidewalks, public realm and open space, pedestrian and vehicular access and underground utility upgrades for the immediate area.”

Hanley also pointed out that “in addition to other non-descript residential and industrial properties, the site is abutted by several newer multi-family condominium buildings. Unlike the nearby South Bay development and its recent infrastructure upgrades, however, the area around the Project Site is burdened by insufficient sidewalk conditions, distressed public and private roadways, lacking in open space and with an array of unsightly utility poles and power lines.” 

The residential part of the project would comply with the city’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), he added, with the carving out of a percentage of the units and reserving them as affordable housing. 

The developer has already met with abutters, nearby property owners and other interested parties, Hanley said, including multiple meetings and discussions with its abutting residential condominium associations as well as local elected and appointed officials.

The company also presented the plans at initial community meetings with the John W. McCormack Civic Association and Polish Triangle United and to an initial abutters meeting, Hanley noted.

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