The BPDA has begun looking at selling the development rights to a Sullivan Square lot now used by Boston EMS - but with the proviso that anything built there include a new and two-bay ambulance garage that would let the city provide extra ambulance service in the growing neighborhood from a facility better designed to survive being in a flood plain.
The BPDA has long owned the 6,100-square-foot lot at 516 Main St. The state leased the land in 1992 to build a one-bay ambulance garage as part of its Big Dig mitigation. In a meeting at the Schrafft building earlier this week, it said the site would be ideal for a mixed-use building that would let the city:
Redevelop an underutilized and potentially blighted property with a project that enhances the neighborhood, provides jobs and economic development, and promotes transit-oriented growth.
Boston EMS says that with a second bay, it could add another ambulance that would provide an extra 16 hours of coverage to Charlestown, which now sees about 2,500 ambulance runs a year.
The BPDA elaborated on its goals:
A replacement of the existing EMS substation with a permanent modern facility of the same square footage, including two vehicle bays and office space and ground floor commercial and / or retail space with residential housing above.
Proponents are encouraged to incorporate any privately owned abutting property into this project and in order to do so, must demonstrate site control of the abutting property by providing either a currently dated and valid Purchase & Sales or Option Agreement. Inclusion of the EMS station is a mandatory community benefit that is required by BPDA.
Mayor Walsh last year made such public/private partnerships a priority for improving city facilities. The International Place complex downtown has both a fire station and an EMS facility built in.
BPDA presentation (1.2M PDF).