Plan to build two apartment towers on Morrissey Blvd. filed with city

A rendering shared by the development team for 75 Morrissey Blvd. show how two residential towers would rise on the block between the old Boston Globe and JFK-UMass station.

The proponents behind two residential towers that would rise as high as 17 stories above Morrissey Boulevard filed their initial plans with the city of Boston today, beginning what will likely be a lengthy review process for project that would bring dramatic change to Dorchester’s skyline, along with over 600 units of new housing.

Morrissey CFL Holdings LLC filed its “letter of intent” with the the Boston Planning and Development Agency today. The letter is signed by David Raftery, a principal developer associated with Center Court Partners, which purchased the 2.23-acre site at 75 Morrissey from the car dealer Herb Chambers in June 2017 for $14.5 million. The group also owns the Star Market parcel and the Beasley Media Group building.

The specific site in question at 75 Morrissey Blvd. is a long-vacant television studio (WB56) that is immediately adjacent to the old Boston Globe campus, which is currently being renovated into a complex office space known as The BEAT.

The “Phase 1” development plan for the parcel proposes “approximately 608 units in two residential buildings proposed at 15 and 17 stories.” The site area is 97,739 square feet and one of three parcels owned by Morrissey CFL Holdings, LLC. The adjacent parcels, 35-55 Morrissey Boulevard, are a combined 290,763 square feet and would be re-developed in future phases.

The letter reads: “The Proponent has engaged the abutters, the community (primarily the Columbia/Savin Hill Civic Association), the BPDA and other stakeholders in a yearlong discussion of appropriate uses and densities for all Morrissey CFL Holdings sites. Through this process, a phased development plan was identified. This [letter of intent] is for the Phase 1 parcel (75 Morrissey) which proposes approximately 608 units in two residential buildings proposed at 15 and 17 stories.”

The proposal as laid out in today’s letter is a scaled-back version of an initial proposal floated to city and civic leaders in 2018. That conceptual plan from property owners Center Court Partners envisioned two towers with 24 and 21 stories respectively.

“As noted, the potential redevelopment for these sites will be evaluated in a master plan study,” wrote Raftery, whose holding company also controls adjacent properties at 55 Morrissey and 35-45 Morrissey. Beasley Media Group operates out of a two-story brick building at the 55 Morrissey site under a long-term lease. At 35-45 Morrissey, a one-story brick commercial building is occupied by Star Market Supermarket and Harbor Point Liquor Store, also under long term leases.

One element of the Center Court plan shown to neighbors in meetings last year includes the construction of a new street that would connect the various properties between The BEAT campus and the Hub25 apartment complex next to the MBTA station.

Down the line, Center Court envisions four or five new buildings in phases two and three, accounting for 1,080 units of housing, 86,500 square feet of retail, including a 60,000-square foot market, and around 1,000 parking spaces. This vision sees an existing roadway in the middle of the Hub 25 site extended to and through the new project, creating a tree- and park-lined internal road to the east of the expressway.