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Life-sciences labs, residential buildings planned for area at the end of the Reserved Channel

Rendering of part of the proposed Reserved Channel development

Bird-infused rendering by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The owner of numerous industrial facilities and warehouses in South Boston and a Toronto developer have filed plans for an eight-building development on parcels along Pappas Way and West 1st Street in South Boston that would include 205 residential units, life-sciences lab space, a supermarket and a rebuilt one-acre park along the Reserved Channel.

In their filing with the BPDA, Pappas Enterprises and Oxford Properties Group say their 1.74-million-square-foot project - nearly as large as the Edison-plant replacement project - will include two 11-story life-sciences buildings, a 10-story building, shorter lab and office buildings and two six-story residential buildings.

Pappas owns part of the roughly 13 acres of the proposed development but leases most of the land from Massport.

The proposal lists the need for 1,161 parking spaces at the complex, currently a desolate stretch of parking lots and low-slung warehouses and garages that does not have any MBTA bus stops. However, the companies add that "the proposed parking space count will continue to be refined through discussions with the community, City, and Massport" on ways to comply with both the area's ban on new parking spaces for commercial buildings and the city's goal of "reducing vehicle miles travelled by 50% by 2030." The filing does not specify how many parking spaces the site currently has.

The plans call for construction of four new short roads from Pappas Way and West 1st Street and an extension of F Street into the development. The companies say these roads will be designed as "robust slow-speed infrastructure" aimed at prioritizing the movement of pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders over drivers, through traffic-calming approaches such as sidewalk bump-outs at crosswalks.

The plans call for 970 spaces for parking bicycles. Spots on each block will be reserved for ride-share drivers to pick up and drop off riders.

Also to be resolved through ongoing meetings with officials and the community: The exact nature of the units in the residential buildings - which would sit along West 1st Street.

In addition to a public park along the Reserved Channel, the plans also call for a publicly accessible "civic pavilion."

The view from the Reserved Channel:

Rendering of the view from the Reserved Channel

Because the development would sit right across Pappas Way from the Reserved Channel, the companies say they will build the buildings and key infrastructure above what the city now projects for flooding in 2070.

In addition to the BPDA, the project will also need approval from Massport and state environmental officials.

The two companies say that in the long term, the project could be extended across 29 more acres of land that Pappas leases from Massport along Pappas Way and E Street. However, the filing states that this land is currently in use by a series of industrial and commercial clients, who would be allowed to continue their leases with Pappas.

Pappas holdings. Lots marked with dashed lines are the ones proposed for redevelopment now:

Map showing Pappas holdings in the area /></div>
<p><a href=Reserved Channel Development filings and meeting schedule.


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Will it be on stilts?


but that’s not enough parking spaces especially this close to the Cruiseport and the Edison Plsnt monstrosity development.


1,100 parking spaces for 200 apartments isn't enough? We can't keep allowing massive parking garages for people who want to drive into Boston and expect traffic and walk ability to get any better. Boston's "Design for Cars, accommodate public transit, bikes and pedestrians later if possible has been a colossal failure and the Seaport is a great example of this.


How many people do you think are going to be at this grocery store/lab space at one time? Or is each residential unit going to have 4 cars apiece?


at the 2 existing grocery stores that we were told doesn’t need that many parking spaces because they are near MBTA stations and nobody will drive there.
Shaws/Star Market at JFK and Whole Foods “right over the bridge to Broadway Station”. You cannot get a parking spot at either without a lot of effort.


I have never once had to fight for a space at the Star Market, and the Whole Foods has free valet once you negotiate the line. Your parking alarmism is not useful.


1,161 spaces
205 residential units

If we assume every unit has 1.5 cars (which I think is actually a bit generous, but whatever), that's 308 spaces accounted for.

That still leaves 853 spaces for the grocery store + life sciences buildings.

Now, I don't know how many people these life sciences buildings will employ, but let's say its a couple hundred each, and all of them drive in every day, and they leave their cars parked there all day - that's still 453 spaces left for the grocery store.

Are we really going to say that that's not enough? Are we really expecting that this grocery store + life sciences building is going to have 853 people working and shopping there, all day, every day? Because if so, that sounds like a great thing for the city, honestly, and maybe even a reason to expand this complex further even if it costs a few more parking spaces.

Just pave it and put in a lot. No buildings, no residences.

Heck, let's just tear all of Boston down for car habitat. Space for cars is much more important than space for people. Just look at thriving downtown Detroit and Hartford!!!

I mean, that whole area is going to be underwater in 10 years. The "oh we're planning for 2070" in the filings is laughable. If developers want to set their money on fire building a building that's going to last for maybe 15 years at best, they can knock themselves out, but this isn't going to give any kind of long term relief to the "we don't have enough homes" issue in Boston.

Is right across the street. Do you know where they make you park? Any additional parking would be a god send.

I work at the Omni hotel, and we lose much of our parking to the cruise traffic in summer.

parking in the First Street corridor is terrible and Wu’s unused bus/bike lanes on Summer and L Streets removed hundreds of parking spaces.

And it only makes a small dent in filling in that area between South Boston and the Seaport. Hopefully it does well so they can get to the remaining 29 acres.


Fort Point, Seaport....it's all South Boston.

There are so many nice condos on East and west first street, but no sidewalks at all! Papas was is quite a lovely walk, but everything around it is dilapidated manufacturing and gravel soft shoulders of a busted old road with unsafe pedestrian paths, so this is a long overdue project!

For those confused, the blue and while sections over buildings that kind of look like small dock areas, as in fact solar panels.

If Mayor Wu and Governor Healy are serious about their climate pledges and investing in transit, they would already have some sort of plan in place about how to expand transit to this area. Maybe something like an extension to the Silver Line or dare I say it - a subway?

If you are going to fill 29 acres with housing and jobs close to downtown Boston, it seems like a good idea to have some sort of plan to transport those people around as well. Maybe a transit aficionado (@Ari O) can point me in the right direction if I am out of line here.


From the Federal Reserve to City Point. Straight down Summer Street to L Street.

They don't need all that grass at the Fed. Trolleys can switch right there. That's why we have double enders.

Lay tracks and go.

All they would be doing is putting back what was there from 1890 until about 1940.


I would love to ride it during a Nor'easter.

It's *just* too far from things to be transit-accessible. A bit more than a mile from South Station and just a bit too far from the 7 bus to bus (either a 25 minute walk or a 5 minute bus ride and 10 minute walk, plus waiting for the bus) and a 15 minute walk from Broadway. Some kind of corporate shuttle would help to fill the gap, especially if there was a bus lane on Summer Street, but the BCEC shat all over that.

To kind of sort of agree with John Costello (blind clocks and stopped squirrels, etc) some sort of streetcar there wouldn't be entirely ridiculous, although I'm not exactly sure what it would do. Maybe something that started at Andrew, ran up along the Red Line and then up The Mythical Track 61, and then did a one-way loop under the BCEC and down E Street/Pumphouse and back on Cypher.

Pair that with converting the Silver Line to light rail (which it was originally built for, stick the airport buses on a Summer bus lane) and have it take a left at Silver Line Way to hit that same loop. The only real crossing would be at E/Pumphouse and Summer. So that whole neighborhood gets a good connection to the Red Line at Andrew and everything at South Station, the Silver Line gets enough capacity (buses will never provide it, plus railed vehicles can go faster in tunnels) and it would put some transit in the otherwise wasteland that is the Seaport.


You pompous arse.




Takes one ...


That’s the worst part to me. It’s clearly needed, definitely possible, and even financially feasible (maybe private sector funds/construction management in exchange for increased density or more favorable zoning?). But no one at City Hall or MBTA headquarters appears to even think about it.


One of two things is true, either there's a near-infinite demand for lab space in this city, or in 10 years we're going to be up to our necks in unused lab space that can't easily be repurposed.


As far as I understood it, the need for things like hoods etc meant that you couldn't use other spaces for labs, but I don't know of any reason why lab space couldn't be used for other things if it had to be?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is why

It costs a sht ton of money to build labs and the vents needed. No developer would even consider the conversion to something else unless the real estate mark sagged worse than a baby's diaper with a full load

But I'd argue "we'd take longer to make back our initial investment" is a much easier problem to get over if something needs to be repurposed as opposed to "it would require additional and expensive work to be done".

It's easier to convert labs to other than the other way 'round.

Frankenfood will be the only thing available in the dystopian future.

I am not sure what bank is underwriting this loan - the Globe reported on 11/10 -

"Lab space vacancies in the Boston area hit a 10-year high in the third quarter, reaching an 11.7 percent availability rate, according to a report released Thursday by real estate firm Colliers. This represents more than five million square feet of unclaimed space, up from just 300,000 square feet of available space on the market in 2021. The demand from companies looking for space has dropped from about eight million square feet in 2021 to about two million square feet today."


Lab Space is the oxy contin of the office developer world.

They just can't get enough of it.


Heaven forfend we just build more housing!

Doesn't have the city sticking its thumbs on the scale requiring a certain percentage of space to be "affordable" -- essentially forcing private subsidy of that space -- because existing zoning is so restrictive that practically nothing residential can be built without variances. Then you've got neighborhood/community groups with their hands out as well.

At the current rates for commercial and residential loans, I don't see how much new residential construction can happen without some serious government handouts.