The developers that have proposed turning the old Boston Edison power plant along L Street into a mixed-use development today filed new plans that call for fewer residential units and somewhat shorter buildings than originally proposed - and a possible solution to waterfront gridlock through funding of a new bus route to the site.
And in their filing with the BPDA and state environmental officials, Hilco Redevelopment Partners and Redgate Capital Partners said they would be willing to start up the new route - which would be available to anybody with a CharlieCard - well before any of the new buildings are open for occupancy.
The Proponent is prepared to begin a pilot of supplemental service upon receiving its master plan approvals for the Project and the commencement of demolition (currently planned for 2019), even before any occupancy of the Project Site.
In their newest filing, the developers are proposing a total of 1,344 residential units - 777 apartments and 567 condos - down from the 1,600 they proposed last year. The tallest building on the site would rise 206 feet, down from the 220 originally proposed; two other buildings would also be shorter. They are proposing a hotel with 344 rooms - up from the 150 proposed last year. In total, the project, when completed in 12 to 15 years, would have 1.93 million square feet of residential, office, retail and hotel space, down from the 2.1 million first proposed.
The development would have 1,397 parking spaces.
The companies say they hope to begin demolition of the giant buildings next year and begin construction in 2020. Two key buildings - a hall housing turbines and an 1898 building - would be kept as part of the project. The first new buildings to go up would be low-rise residential buildings along East 1st Street.
They add they plan to add 5.5 acres of public space, including along the waterfront, and with pedestrian connections to the rest of the Harborwalk.
The entire site will have its grade increased to protect the buildings against the sea-level change and fiercer storms expected due to climate change, they say.
The filing discusses the bus proposal in a bit more detail:
Although located approximately 1.5 miles from South Station, the growing City Point neighborhood of South Boston, which is not served by the MBTA Red Line, is experiencing gaps and shortfalls in its MBTA public transit service (bus service). To help address this issue, the Proponent proposes to fund and operate, in partnership with the MBTA, an innovative supplemental bus service that is open to anyone with a Charlie Card.
This supplemental service would be expressly designed to identify and address, in real time, gaps and shortfalls in established MBTA bus service caused by changes in transit demand, traffic patterns and usage. The service would create the opportunity to pilot potentially more efficient routes (such as inbound service to South Station along First Street, or inbound service to South Station along Summer Street that does not continue into the Financial District) that could both supplement existing MBTA bus service and also provide real-time evidence supporting changes to existing service.
The Proponent has begun discussions with the MBTA regarding a public-private partnership to implement this proposed supplemental bus service, which would advance the objectives of the MBTA's on-going "Better Bus Project" initiative. Once launched, the Proponent may enlist other private landowners to further leverage this service and assist in providing more transit capacity and options in the area. Due to the pressing neighborhood need for better transit service and as a demonstration of its commitment to this key Project element, the Proponent is prepared to begin a pilot of supplemental service upon receiving its master plan approvals for the Project and the commencement of demolition (currently planned for 2019), before any actual occupancy of the site.
Proposed remake of the turbine hall:
Draft project-impact report (35M PDF).