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Developer of proposed life-sciences buildings in Sullivan Square adds pedestrian/bicyclist path to help transformation of the square from terrifying to pleasant

Rendering of proposed Cambridge Street development

Rendering of pedestrian-friendly project by SGA and DREAM Collaborative.

A developer proposing 13- and 11-story life-sciences buildings on Cambridge Street next to I-93 in Charlestown has added a dedicated 700-foot-long path for pedestrians and bicyclists it says will let them get from Hood Park and the Lost Village to the Sullivan Square T stop with reduced worries about getting squashed like a bug.

In revised plans filed with the BPDA, the Fallon Co. says it would build a 700-foot-long, tree-lined "shared-use path" that will also be accessible to people in wheelchairs. The company originally proposed a narrower, pedestrian-only path that would have included staircases, making it inaccessible to people with mobility issues. The path would connect with a similar path proposed for the 20-acre Hood Park development.

Fallon, working with Owens Cos., which owns the site, is proposing a total of 802,000 square feet of space in two buildings sharing a common "podium." In addition to the life-sciences floors, the buildings would also have room for stores and a roughly 390-seat restaurant. The plans call for a garage with 482 parking spaces - down from the 682 originally proposed in July.

Drone's eye view of the two buildings

The new filing details the new path:

The predominant north-south route through the Project Site, which was envisioned as a pedestrian-only connection in the [original filings], has been reimagined, consistent with the goals of PLAN: Charlestown, as a public "Shared-Use Path" that provides a 10-to-12-foot clear path through the Project Site, connecting the Lost Village and Sullivan Square with D Street and Hood Park. The current design has improved ADA accessibility, replacing all staircases with sloped or ramped surfaces to create full accessibility along the Shared-Use Path. The improved pathway will serve pedestrians and cyclists, and will be characterized by a distinct ground treatment, effectively demarcating it from the surrounding courtyard areas, pocket open spaces, and secondary paths. Special attention has been given to sidewalk dimensions, unobstructed pathways, seamless transitions, street furniture, and appropriate materials. The updated design includes the careful integration of trees and landscaping, bike racks, benches, and diverse site furniture which, when combined with the updated site design, will serve to create an active, connected, and safe public environment.

The path will connect to:

An inviting plaza and broad staircases will provide venues for programmed events and casual gatherings. Spill-out spaces adjacent to the Project's active-use ground-floor spaces will activate the area during daytime and evening hours.

The filing adds, more generally:

The Project Site is currently an auto-centric, industrial site that has been closed off to the public for many years. The proposed Project will transform this wind-swept lot into a vibrant, transit- oriented development with active ground floor uses that will contribute to the emerging growth and revitalization of Sullivan Square and the area west of Rutherford Avenue. The proposed buildings are designed to reflect the area’s existing industrial character and future context while providing a sophisticated and modern life sciences/office/R&D facility. The scale of the proposed buildings is in keeping with the emerging context west of Rutherford Avenue, consistent with the scale and height of neighboring projects, and consistent with the Final Draft of PLAN: Charlestown and its related zoning amendments.

The first floor of the buildings would be constructed high enough to escape the sort of flooding the area might see in the year 2070.

Fallon and Owens hope to begin 30 months of construction next year.

60-66 Cambridge St. filings and meeting schedule.

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Comments

Magoo thinks this is too cool. Magoo is going to rock Magoo’s unicycle while wearing Magoo’s unitard throo the square. Magoo.

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I don't want to see Magoo be ghost unicycled on the Charlestown Drag Strip.

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The company originally proposed a narrower, pedestrian-only path that would have included staircases, making it inaccessible to people with mobility issues.

Did the company propose this in 1989?

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