Monday, March 18, 2013
All but nine senior staff members at the Boston Redevelopment Authority will receive their first raise in five years.
Boston Redevelopment Authority staffers will receive raises for the first time in five years, the Boston Herald reported. With a budget separate from the city’s budget, the BRA recently approved 3 percent raises for all employees except for nine senior staff members, including Director Peter Meade and Chief Planner Kairos Shen. The increase puts eight staff members above the $100,000 salary level, for a total of 34 BRA employees who make six digits, according to the Herald. BRA spokeswoman Susan Elsbree told the newspaper that the raises represented a cost of living increase. BRA employees have worked without raises since 2008 and even received a pay cut one year, in 2009, the Herald reported. The BRA employs 207 people today—a drop from …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Boston Redevelopment Authority has scheduled a series of public meetings and tours to kick off review of the area between Long Wharf and the Moakley Bridge.
The city will kick off its latest round of waterfront development planning with a series of public meetings and tours in mid-March. This newest planning process, which is expected to last 18 months to two years, involves the redevelopment of the Downtown Waterfront area, from Long Wharf down to the Evelyn Moakley Bridge (Seaport Boulevard) and the James Hook & Co. lobster business, said Chris Busch, waterfront planner for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. "The events in March are sort of a kick-off, an introduction and orientation," Busch said. "Then we’ll get into monthly meetings to develop the municipal harbor plan specific to the downtown waterfront area between Long Wharf and Hook Lobsters." Over the past 20 years, the city has …
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The new 38-story building will offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with a nearby retail element.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority has given the go-ahead for a developer to construct a new 38-story apartment and retail tower near the TD Garden. The board voted unanimously on Feb. 14 to approve the AvalonBay Communities Inc. project—Nashua Street Residences—which features 503 residential units ranging from studio to three-bedroom apartments and a two-story "retail arcade" that connects to TD Garden and North Station. In 2006, the developer received BRA approval to construct a building with 363 units—a mix of condominiums and apartments. But economic conditions had put the project on hold until recently. The latest proposal was filed in November. Proponents of the project said at the Feb. 14 BRA meeting that they had met with several …
Monday, January 7, 2013
A look at some of the Boston Redevelopment Authority's upcoming public meetings.
Boston residents can get involved and have their voices heard by attending a public meeting on a number of new developments underway this year and coming up. The Boston Redevelopment Authority has posted the following meetings for this week: The Boston Redevelopment Authority’s next board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Boston City Hall, in the ninth-floor room 900. All meetings are open to the public unless otherwise stated.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The Zoning Commission will consider the BRA's proposal at a meeting on Dec. 12.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority is looking to ban new billboards, signboards and other outdoor ads from Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Kenmore Square and Boston’s financial district, the Boston Herald reported on Tuesday. The proposal to ban new signs will come before the Boston Zoning Commission at a public hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday at City Hall. Billboards and signs already placed would be exempt from the new zoning regulations, if the changes are approved. Such signs are already banned from about 90 percent of the city, according to the Herald article. The new regulations would apply to signs that advertise or announce a business, service or event offered at a site other than the one where the sign is located. Also on the …
Monday, December 10, 2012
The project will look at sidewalks, roadways, pedestrian zones, signage and retail vendors.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority has selected a firm to develop a streetscape design program for Boston’s Downtown Crossing Business Improvement District. Klopfer Martin Design Group, located at 214 Cambridge St., Boston, was selected from 11 proposals submitted to the BRA for the project. “At the [Boston Improvement District’s] Annual Meeting, KMDG presented its long-term vision for a district-wide standard of design to be implemented in the public realm i.e. sidewalks, roadways, the pedestrian zone, signage, and the vending program,” according to a press release posted on the BRA website. “Experts in landscape architecture, wayfinding, urban design, universal design, vending, civil and traffic engineering, and bicycling have been …
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Two of the city's biggest developers recently changed proposals, reducing office space in favor of more residential space. Why that might be good for Boston.
Boston developers are hot for housing and cool on office space lately—and that could be a good thing for the city. The Abbey Group recently announced a sharp change to its $150 million mixed-use project in Fenway. The original plans, approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in November, called for about 100,000 square feet of office space. But the developer decided to scrap all of it to increase the building’s residential count from 210 apartments to 322 units of apartments and condominiums. That announcement follows a similar change in plans from Millennium Partners. The team behind the proposed tower at the former Filene’s site in Downtown Crossing submitted revised plans this summer that slashed proposed office space from 469,000 …
Monday, August 27, 2012
How to comment, participate in or find out who is on an impact advisory group.
Despite the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s efforts at transparency, portions of the authority’s review process may still happen outside the view of the average Beacon Hill resident. But, if you’re interested in knowing what’s going on—or getting involved—here’s what you need to know: Participating with an impact advisory group Heather Campisano, the authority’s Deputy Director for Development Review, said that the groups are usually composed of already-engaged members of the local community, but “In some cases, you do see new faces and we actually encourage that.” How can you make yourself one of those new faces? Contact your state representative, state senator or city councilor. Campisano said the authority seeks nominations from …
Monday, August 20, 2012
Eleven steps major Boston projects have to complete from proposal to final approval.
If you start with an open hand and close a finger for each time you can recall hearing the Boston Redevelopment Authority's name spoken in scorn, we suspect that you’ll end the exercise with a fist—perhaps a tightly clenched one. The agency's rules can frustrate developers and designers, and its decisions often seem arcane and opaque to Beacon Hill residents. But the Authority tries to be open, according to Heather Campisano, the authority’s Deputy Director for Development Review. As an example, she outlined in a conversation with Patch how the BRA handles input from the public on projects larger than 50,000 square feet. Major steps: To find out about the BRA’s meeting schedule, go to bostonredevelopmentauthority.org and check the “events…
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Plan increases residential space and parking but reduces office and retail space.
Let’s start with the good news: Millennium Partners’ latest plan released this week by the Boston Redevelopment Authority shows progress on getting a building constructed in the gaping pit at the heart of Downtown Crossing. Now the bad news: the revision nixes earlier plans to preserve the façade of the 1905 Jones McDuffee and Stratton building on Franklin Street. According to the report, the change would be necessary to support Millenium’s new plan of preserving the remnants of the Burnham Building on the other side of the site as a separate but attached structure. “The base of the new Tower component will not directly abut the Burnham Building, but be set to the corner of Franklin and Washington streets,” Millennium’s report read. “In …