The Boston Department of Neighborhood Development and the BPDA are readying bid requests for several vacant lots and one parking lot in Dudley Square in the hopes of seeing more housing and commercial space built in the neighborhood.
Draft RFPs for the lots say winning bidders will have to agree to several criteria, including providing far more affordable housing than normally required by the city for normal, in exchange for winning permission to build up to 12 stories - and maybe even higher if they can prove the new buildings would mean "a gateway to the community while providing a desired mix of uses and greater affordable housing opportunities to the area."
The lots in question are two adjoining lots on Washington Street between Ruggles and Williams streets, a lot on Warren Street at Zeigler Street and one on Dudley Street at Kenilworth Street.
For all of the lots, the city wants to see retail or commercial space on the first floor, topped by several floors or residential - and possibly some office - space. Developers would have to commit to making at least two-thirds of their units affordable - with at least a third set aside for people making no more than 50% of the area median income. Normally, the city requires developers to put aside only 13% of their units for potential tenants making up to 80% of the area median income.
Each of the proposals has specific targets based on the parcels' locations. For example, whoever wins 40-50 Warren St. would have to include a public parking component to replace the parking spaces that would be lost when the lot is built on. Also:
Development on 40-50 Warren Street must contribute to creating a new, high quality public realm in the center of Dudley Square that is engaging, community focused, and supports continuous pedestrian activity along the Warren Street corridor. The site’s central location in Dudley Square must be utilized to contribute to a lively urban realm surrounding the bus station.
Proposals that combine immediate adjoining parcels to increase economic feasibility, public benefits and improve vehicular and pedestrian access are encouraged. ...
Development teams submitting proposals should consider including uses that will generate new employment prospects in such areas of interest as education, health, finance and the sciences. Similarly respondents should have proven experience in and capacity for attracting such uses.
For the Washington Street parcels, the city is not looking for public parking, but:
Given the site’s central location in Dudley Square, the proposed design should contribute to the neighborhood’s identity and architectural history while presenting a mix of uses that respond to the rich cultural heritage of the square. A key consideration for any new development will be to not diminish the visibility and accessibility of Haley House from the street, impede access to Haley House or in any way devalue the prominence of the location of Haley House. Developers should ultimately discuss or demonstrate how their development supports the ongoing operation of Haley House while conforming to the uses and design guidelines defined below.
The base of the building must be a combination of retail, cultural and/or entertainment uses that contribute to the identity of the Dudley Square Cultural District. Office uses are possible at the ground floor as long as they create an active and engaging streetscape for the neighborhood.
And on Dudley Street:
The base of the building must be a combination of retail, cultural and/or entertainment uses that contribute to the identity of the Dudley Square Cultural District. This is particularly important given the site’s prominent location on Dudley Square Plaza. Office uses are possible at the ground floor as long as they create an active and engaging streetscape for the neighborhood.
DND hopes to send out the RFPs by the end of March.
2147 Washington St. draft RFP (2.5M PDF).
75-81 Dudley St. draft RFP (2.2M PDF).
45-50 Warren St. draft RFP (2.5M PDF).