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$5-billion mini-city approved on Columbia Point

Rendering of Dorchester Bay City

New development in the front, UMass and JFK Library in the back. Rendering by Stantec.

The Dorchester Reporter reports the BPDA last week approved the 36-acre Dorchester Bay City project, which will include 1,950 apartments and enough offices, labs and stores to employ up to 17,000 people.

Although mostly focused on the old Bayside Expo Center site owned by UMass Boston, Accordia Partners' project will also include the sites now occupied by the Santander Bank processing center and the Boston Teachers Union.

The company is proposing at least $41.7 million towards transportation infrastructure, including helping to pay to rebuild the crumbling JFK/UMass T station - as well as $23 million for upgrading Moakley Park. The site will also have more than 8 acres set aside as public open space.

Because the whole site is at current sea level, the project calls for streets to be raised a foot above expected flood levels and a ridge along its sea shore.

Dorchester Bay City filings.



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Yay, more housing!


… genuinely affordable and includes housing for people trying to move out of shelters into homes.


The cost of housing goes down when there is more of it

Do you have any plan to create this "genuinely affordable" housing you speak of, and create it now?

Developers aren't going to spend millions upon millions of dollars to create free housing for people, that's just not how it works


Apparently, you don't know how many low-income or affordable housing is created in this Commonwealth or this country.

One program is the Low Income Housing Tax Credit--or LIHTC. This is a HUD program


This among many other programs at the state and federal level is "how it works."

But please enlighten us further with your freshman high school econ understanding of Supply and Demand as it relates to housing.


What he said!

Yay to all kinds of housing. But it would be good to see even more housing on this site. And more supportive/transitional housing, but simply building more homes is not going to get everyone out of shelters into stable housing (substance abuse issues aren't solved solely with having enough houses, although it's a pretty important start).


What is the source of that number? Thanks


Boston [the city] has less than 300,000 housing units* -- to house its US Census estimated 650,706 people [Population Estimates, July 1, 2022, (V2022)]**

Assuming that there are about two people per housing unit [2.3]*** -- adding 200,000 units would make room for an additional 460,000 people. However, there is no indication that there is any demand for housing of that magnitude. Indeed according to the US Census the population peaked around 2020 and has declined by about 4% since then -- and there are more than 12,00 vacant units.

* Infoplease Updated June 5, 2020
Total Housing Units in Boston 251,935 100%
Occupied housing units 239,528 95.1%
Vacant housing units 12,407 4.9%

** Boston Population, Census, April 1, 2020 675,647

*** Infoplease
Total households 239,528 100.0%
Family households (families) 115,096 48.1%
With own children under 18 years 54,310 22.7%
Married-couple family 65,747 27.4%
With own children under 18 years 28,219 11.8%
Female householder, no husband present 39,366 16.4%
With own children under 18 years 22,793 9.5%
Nonfamily households 124,432 51.9%
Householder living alone 88,944 37.1%
Householder 65 years and over 21,796 9.1%
Households with individuals under 18 years 61,428 25.6%
Households with individuals 65 years and over 45,350 18.9%

Average household size 2.31
Average family size 3.17


8.7 jobs:housing ratio. Should be reversed.


"If you build it, they will drown."


With it being pretty much at sea level.. this area in the coming decade is going to flood regardless of the roads are a food above sea level

So it'll be Seaport 2. A playground for the rich that will flood.


…. not sea level.

But yes, Seaport is a playground for the rich. A lot of money wasted there.


I'm sure that when push comes to shove (trickle comes to flood?), there'll be plenty of money to protect the Seaport from the sea. Not so much with non-wealthy coastal communities.


How many days a year will this be cut off from anywhere else?

How will transit be arranged such that it can be reached?

Will they end up stationing boats during high tides in case there is an emergency?

… Boston Harbor Islands become islands again like Castle Island and Deer Island.

Wasn't Castle Island 'de-islanded' by a man-made jetty? I used to fish there for flounder.

It now says a foot over expected sea level which makes a big difference, but more fundamentally you have to look at the big picture. One of the most fundamental things we can do to slow global warming is for more people to live in cities. Dense walkable neighborhoods emit far less CO2. And of course, having more people move into dense walkable cities doesn't just mean Boston, but the other examples in the United States are mostly also along the coasts, so applying that logic has much broader implications than a few projects in Boston. (Although Boston has some unique exposures to flood risk, much of that is in the already very developed downtown.) Building along the coasts will make that property more at risk of flooding, but it produces a localized flood risk which can be compensated for in development plans, whereas if you don't build more, it'll mean more flooding across the entire planet.


Cities only work for reducing carbon footprint when they don't require car travel to get to a grocery store, get to work, get around the area, etc.


It's probably only a 10-15 minute walk to both of those things depending on where you are starting from in that area and with that many people another market might move into the development itself.

The article also states that the developers are putting up a bunch of money for rehab of the JFK/UMass T Station (Columbia Rd for the old timers). They're currently working on a bike path that will stay on the gas tank side of the highway south of there and eventually the upgrade of Morrissey will vastly improve bike transit which will connect this development to southern Dorchester, Quincy & Milton primarily via dedicated paths or secondary roads.


You'd be swimming now.


A food above sea level? Is that two lobster rolls end to end?


Thanks, typo fixed!


...I could afford to live there!


"raised a food above expected flood levels". Funny typo aside, this is based on some very optimistic sea level rise forecast.

Even the Deer Island sewage treatment plants that was built four decades ago was designed to accommodate two feet if I remember correctly.


Deer Island can accommodate two feet...but only if you flush them in smaller pieces a few at a time.


This will bring the cost of housing down in the City.
Has anyone heard that before?


More units build will lower housing costs but it needs to be an order of magnitude more units, not just a few big developments each year.

There was an interesting article in the NYT last week about how Tokyo has pretty inexpensive housing because they are constantly replacing old buildings and do not care about historical significance. Oh, and they have a great and extensive public transportation network.

People have this idea that the government can mandate low housing prices if only there was political support. That also doesn't work except for people who happen have rented the right place at the right time.


Perhaps my math is wrong here, but if you're adding 17,000 jobs but only building 1,950 apartments isn't that going to make the housing shortage even worse?!


Most of those jobs won't pay enough to afford an apartment. The problem solves itself!


Distance from work. This is an awesome project but will certainly increase rents in the surrounding area.


Seems like a really puny margin of safety to me.

Idk what measure they use for flood levels, but it boggles my mind when (other) places remediate to "above 100 foot flood levels" when "1000 year floods" seem to be happening all the time.

Sometimes these margins seem more like they are following outdated policy of "good enough" as part of a cash grab designed to survive a 30 year mortgage cycle rather than a long term investment that will survive numerous generations.

Devil is in the details, I guess. But I doubt future buyers will be paying attention sooner than the insurance companies will.


The Globe reported the area (36 acres) was going to be raised with 3 feet of fill.

My first reaction was; where is that coming from and how is it getting there? Barge?

My quick calculation indicates roughly 24 thousand 25 ton trucks if brought in by road.

The big dig redux!

They don't need to raise the entire 36 acre lot, just the portion that won't be covered by buildings. Some of the fill for that will come from the material excavated for foundations and sub-structures of the phase 1 buildings.

Why are people so negative about everything all the time? It seems exhausting.


Why are people so negative about everything all the time?

How are you enjoying your first day in Boston?


The site sits on Dorchester Bay, amid five major floodplains, and resiliency measures were critical to protect both the project and the Dorchester and South Boston neighborhoods, the development team said. They include raising the whole site by about three feet, with a gentle slope toward higher points away from the water. A raised ridge along the water will tie in with flood-protection efforts by the adjoining state and city-owned land along the Harborwalk, Carson Beach and Moakley Park along with other waterfront improvements at the UMass Boston campus.

Says the whole site

You know, that "Seaport" area built out to Menino's grand vision for the early 80s?

K-Circle will go from wicked bad to K-apocalypse. Not only that, but the Expressway, Morrisey, Columbia Road, and Old Colony. Not just because of the construction project, but permanently.

If only we had safe, reliable, public transit.


Barges are far more efficient for waterfront property.

There is no indication on how fill would be brought in and where they are getting it. We have run out of hills to tear down and dredging on this scale would be an environmental disaster.

We have run out of hills to tear down...

Have you ever been past 128?



Note to self - lock up rights to domain names for "Dorchester Bay City Rollers"


We need more lab space.