Developers propose nearly 1,600 residential units at old South Boston power plant

Architect's rendering. See it larger.

The developers working on transforming the 15-acre Boston Edison power-plant site today filed formal plans with the BPDA and state environmental regulators for 2.1 million square feet of development, including 1,588 residential units, a 150-room hotel, 340,000 square feet of office space and 68,000 square feet of retail, 987 parking spaces and more than an acre of public space along the Reserved Channel.

In their filing, developers Hilco Global and Redgate Capital Partners said they would mostly tear down the current behemoth structures - except for the historic early-20th-century "turbine hall" - and replace them with eight blocks of building, with three residential buildings reaching 20 or 21 stories.

The filing states the units will be split between apartments and condos.

The developers estimate the total buildout will take 10 to 15 years once the project is approved by both city and state regulators - they hope to begin work next year. They write they would start with renovation of the turbine hall and construction of residential units along East 1 Street, "to re-link the Site to the neighborhood and create an active edge."

Hilco and Redgate are counting on residents and visitors using public transit - and bicycling and their feet:

The Project Site has convenient public transit access and is located approximately 0.5 miles from the Silver Line at Design Center Place, and 1.5 miles to South Station, which provides access to the Red Line, Silver Line, commuter and passenger rails, Amtrak, and local and regional bus service. The Project Site is also located along local bus routes that provide access to South Station, which facilitates opportunities to minimize vehicle trips and encourages alternative modes of travel.

Because of the site's location on the Reserved Channel, the developers said they are taking several steps to deal with potential flooding, including having the first floors be three feet higher than an anticipated "100-year flood" in 2070, putting emergency generators on the roof - and electrical systems in general higher than the 100-year-flood level, giving units windows that can be opened by hand should the power go out, and making sure plantings along the channel can survive saltwater inundation.

Also planned: An emphasis on art and start-up industry:

To further its goal of creating an Arts and Industry district at the Site, the Proponent will make available both indoor and outdoor space for local artists, artisans and makers. This will include floor spaces for both local individuals and organizations to be located on-site, as well as spaces for the performance, display or sale of their work. This is in addition to making outdoor spaces available for Arts and Industry uses, which will be programmed in a complementary manner.

From the filing:

Map
L Street
L Street recreation

776 L Street project notification form (24M PDF).

Feds charge bank VP and husband figured out way to create real-life Human Fund

A senior vice president at Bank of America, her husband and a Boston woman were indicted today on charges they figured out how to steal $2.7 million from the bank through transactions with non-profit groups in Boston and Atlanta, the US Attorney's office reports.

Palestine "Pam" Ace, 45, one-time senior vice president of Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management Division and her husband, Jonathan R. Ace, 46, both of Rockland, and Brianna Alexis Forde, 35, of Boston, were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. Palestine Ace was also indicted on 12 counts of bank fraud and four counts of wire fraud; Jonathan Ace was also charged with two counts of wire fraud and one engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction; and Forde was also indicted on two counts of wire fraud.

According to the US Attorney's office, the three cooked up a scheme in which they "donated" large sums to various charities, then asked them to return large parts of the money as proof they could be trusted with further donations. But instead of making out checks to the banks, the non-profit groups were told to write checks in the name of Jonathan Ace or Forde, the feds say.

On various occasions, Jonathan Ace pressured the recipients of the donated funds to return a higher percentage of the funds to him, by using intimidation and threats of public humiliation.

Ace's outgoing checks, misappropriated from a bank marketing fund, were each for up to $50,000, the US Attorney's office says, adding she sent out at least 75 such checks between 2010 and 2015.

The indictment also alleges that Palestine and Jonathan Ace used a portion of the funds they embezzled from Bank of America to support their lifestyle and pay for personal expenses, including lavish birthday parties and the purchase of a $17,000 Kawasaki motorcycle.

Innocent, etc.

Stress caused by breaking up jail fights doesn't warrant extra disability payments for guards, court rules

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a state law intended to financially help jail guards injured by inmates only applies to physical injuries, not mental ones.

The ruling comes in the case of a Suffolk County corrections guard who sued to get benefits after the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department stopped paying him workers' comp for the racing heart, heavy breathing and light headedness he experienced after he broke up a series of inmate fights in 2010.

The state's highest court ruled that because the law specifies "bodily injury," it means only physical injuries, such as "any burn, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, injury to any internal organ," which rules out symptoms caused by stress, such as those experienced by the guard. The court noted the guard underwent two independent medical exams, and that:

Both doctors concurred that the defendant's symptoms were a physiological response to stress, that the sinus tachycardia was neither the result nor the cause of any physical harm, and that there was no evidence of structural heart disease. ... As the plaintiff's sinus tachycardia is an impairment of function which has not led to structural heart damage, it is not a physical impairment or injury. Therefore, the plaintiff does not have a bodily injury within the meaning of the statute.

The court concluded that had the legislature intended to include mental distress, it would have used the phrase "personal injury" or even just "injury."

Personal injury, as the term is used in the workers' compensation statute, encompasses physical as well as mental or emotional disabilities. ... As G. L. c. 126, § 18A, expressly refers to the workers' compensation statute, we must assume that the Legislature used the narrower term intentionally.

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