National Development of Newton has filed plans to replace a Gold's Gym and a series of Marr Rigging warehouses at 323-365 Dorchester Ave. with four buildings - two with residential units and two outfitted to support the life-sciences labs and offices that are the current hotness in Boston development.
In the plans, filed with the BPDA, the developer says it would build 345 residential units in two buildings on the 5.4-acre site - one 20 stories, one 11 - and 358,550 square feet of dedicated lab space and 285,550 square feet of offices for all those lab workers.
How a high-flying bird would see the other side of the complex:
Also proposed: 55,150 square feet of ground-floor space for restaurants, a grocery and other retail space, along with 670 parking spaces in a below-ground garage and a total of 542 spaces for bicycles.
National Development says it deliberately hired numerous different architectural and engineering teams to come up with a 21st-century complex that pays homage to the area's industrial past, yet provides a more humane area with bike lanes, trees, actual grass lawns on which to play cornhole and other amenities aimed at attracting people to visit the site even if they don't work there:
These building forms are knit together with a new series of public realm, streetscape, and open spaces. In contrast to the industrial building materials and forms, the public realm is lush and green, providing a softness and distinction from the buildings. These spaces seamlessly meld into the adjacent ground floor spaces and will compliment a variety of tenant demising and storefront opportunities. The open spaces are designed with the flexibility to integrate café seating where needed, and if not, be programmed with finely scaled elements such as chess tables, swings, and outdoor conference rooms. Additionally, several unique program elements create “indoor outdoor” spaces, such as the large atrium in the West Commercial building, which serves as an extension and vision termini of the eastern open space. To the west, an Open-Air Pavilion serves as an equally dramatic termini and provides a covered trellis structure that enhances programming opportunities in the outdoor spaces year-round. Together, the open spaces and ground floor uses provide a unique combination of complementary character for the City of Boston and present the best thinking for active and passive recreation in a post-COVID urban environment.
The site sits in what was once South Bay. National Development says that it is not expecting flooding on its site with sea-level rise, given that the city is looking at putting a new flood barrier along the nearby section of Fort Point Channel and because it is expecting the MBTA to address the current "flood pathway" through the nearby Cabot Yard facilities as part of extensive proposed renovation work there. But it says it will raise the elevation of the site by three to four feet, to guard against localized flooding caused by the more extreme storms climate change will bring.
The company hopes to begin 30 months of construction in July, 2022.
323-365 Dorchester Ave. project notification form (101.3M PDF).
323-365 Dorchester Ave. filings and calendar.