$5 billion, 36-acre development approved in Dorchester; It will add apartments, offices and retail

A new 36-acre development approved Thursday will bring apartments, offices, lab space, retail, restaurants and more to Dorchester’s Columbia Point Peninsula.

The Boston Planning and Development Agency has approved the master plan for Dorchester Bay City, a $5 billion mixed-use project proposed by Accordia Partners, a Boston-based commercial real estate investment and development firm.

The plan would add 21 buildings totaling 6.48 million square feet, seven of which would contain a total of 1,957 apartments, 20% of which would be income restricted.

“Dorchester Bay City’s final master plan is a clear reflection of the comprehensive feedback we received from numerous community organizations, residents and business owners across a comprehensive three-and-a-half-year public design, planning, city and state agency. The collaboration was a great success,” Kirk Sykes and Richard Galvin of Accordia Partners said in a statement. And the community participation process.”

“Our team began with a bold plan to create a stunning, inclusive, multi-purpose space on this site; in particular, the idea of ​​enhancing economic opportunity was a driver in all key decisions regarding key project components.

The property, which includes four parcels of land, is the site of the former Bayside Expo Center along Mount Vernon Avenue and Morrissey Street.

Much of it is currently occupied by surface parking lots. It is currently owned by the University of Massachusetts and is adjacent to the university system’s Boston campus. The developers’ lease agreement provides between $192 million and $235 million to support UMass’ educational programs.

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In addition to commercial, residential and cultural uses, the project will include a new vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle street system, more than 19 acres of open space, a public pavilion, and an 8,000-square-foot Learning and Innovation Center for job training. .

To contribute to the Columbia Point Master Plan, adopted by the BPDA in 2011, the new street system will create connections to nearby public recreation areas such as Carson Beach, Moakley Park and the Dorchester Shores Preserve.

It will also encourage walking and cycling through public bike share stations, public bike racks, indoor space for approximately 3,700 bikes, and proximity to the JFK/UMass MBTA station.

Map showing the Columbia Point area where the city of Dorchester Bay was planned. (Accordia Partners)

Construction will be divided into three phases over 10 to 15 years, with each building or group of buildings going through its own planning and approval process with the BPDA.

Given the coastal location of the site, which is currently a major flood pathway, the plans include plans to reduce flood risks and impacts.

The site will be raised and graded to slope down to neighboring properties and the new street network will be created at a higher elevation. The developers will also contribute $5 million to create a flood protection system within the Dorchester Shores Preserve during the first phase of the project.

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In addition, the developers will contribute $10 million to the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance’s Homeownership Savings Program, which aims to reduce racial gaps in wealth and homeownership.

The developers will also contribute approximately $23 million for maintenance and repairs at Moakley Park, $41.6 million for transportation improvements and $1.2 million for public art installations throughout Dorchester Bay City.

Through the city connection fee, the project will contribute $53.6 million in affordable housing and $9.9 million in job training.

The project is expected to create up to 25,000 jobs in the construction field and between 13,000 to 17,000 permanent jobs in various industries.

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