What is the vision for Allston Yards?
We are proposing to redevelop the existing approximately 10.6-acre Project Site with a mixed-use, transit-oriented development (“TOD”) consisting of residential, office, a flagship grocery store, as well as other ground-floor retail, restaurants, and fitness uses.
The proposed project will include a new approximately 24,000 square foot (half-acre) Community Green to be activated with programming to enhance use and enjoyment, such as outdoor health and wellness events, public art exhibits, music concerts and holiday festivals.
Our project goals are:
- Create a mixed-use, transit-oriented project based on community, Impact Advisory Group (“IAG”), and city feedback that is consistent with the vision of the Guest Street Planning Study and aligned with Smart Growth principles
- Continue Stop & Shop’s 20-plus year commitment to the Allston-Brighton neighborhood by constructing a new state-of-the-art, flagship grocery store in a location and configuration to allow the existing supermarket to remain open during construction
- Provide a range of housing options in a variety of sizes and price points, including an opportunity for affordable units and home ownership units;
- Connect the Project Site to the larger surrounding street grid, thereby improving vehicular circulation for the neighborhood
- Provide new connections for transit, bicycles, and pedestrians
- Create community space for Allston-Brighton residents to use as a gathering place for neighborhood meetings and special events
- Incorporate attractive landscaping and publicly-accessible open spaces throughout the Project Site, including a programmed approximately 0.5-acre Community Green, landscaped plazas, and large sidewalks all activated through lighting, site furnishings, special paving, wayfinding signage, connectivity to retail/restaurant/café spaces and public art
- Create approximately 2,500 new construction jobs and more than 1,000 new permanent jobs
- Create substantial net new annual real estate tax revenue for the City, as well as state sales and business tax revenue
What do you see as the primary public benefits of this Project?
The Proposed Project will result in significant public benefits, including:
- Extensive transportation infrastructure, including a new street network, constructed as part of the initial work
- Substantial pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular improvements
- Open space, including a new 24,000 square foot (half-acre) Community Green to be programmed for year-round use
- Increased housing options for the community (i.e., varying sizes and price points), including homeownership units and affordable units consistent with the City’s Inclusionary Development Policy
- Multi-million dollar endowment to fund programs, organizations, groups and/or others that promote wellness, healthy eating, education, public realm and transportation enhancements
- Increased commuter rail ridership to support the viability and increased service levels of the new Boston Landing Station
Where is this Proposed Project located?
The Project Site lies within the growing neighborhood of Allston just south of the Turnpike bounded by the Everett Street bridge to the east, the Boston Volvo Village dealership and a mix of other uses that front on North Beacon Street to the south and Arthur Street and the Boston Landing redevelopment project to the west.
What exists on the site now?
The Project Site is currently an older, suburban-style shopping center occupied by Stop & Shop, Dollar Tree, and HomeGoods, along with a large surface parking lot. Our goal is to transform this underutilized urban site into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood.
Please explain the project timing.
The Proposed Project will take place in phases.
The initial phase of development will be located on the northeast parcel of the Project Site and will consist of a mix of uses, including:
- Up to 360 residential units,
- New state-of-the-art grocery store,
- New community space for Allston-Brighton residents to use as a gathering place for neighborhood meetings, educational, and special events.
- In addition, a restaurant is proposed as part of the new approximately half-acre Community Green.
- Structured parking will be provided to support this initial phase (Up to 410 structured parking spaces will be constructed (some below-grade) to support the first phase. Below the grocery store, one floor of at-grade parking is proposed for short-term grocery store users.)
- Site-wide improvements, including a new street network as well as roadway and utility infrastructure improvements suitable for the full build-out of the Proposed Project.
The current Stop & Shop grocery store will remain in operation throughout the initial phase of development and until the new store is open, allowing the neighborhood to have continual access to essential supermarket services.
Upon completion of the initial phase, the remaining buildings are planned to be developed in multiple phases over several years.
How long do you expect the approval process to take and when do you expect to begin construction?
The initial phase of work, or the enabling phase, is anticipated to begin with site preparation in the second quarter of 2019. Upon completion of Building 1, the remaining buildings and Project Site are planned to be developed in phases depending on market and other conditions. Under interim conditions, some building areas may be temporarily improved with surface parking areas or open areas.
When would you expect Phase 1 to open?
Phase 1 opening is estimated to be in 2021.
How will construction affect parking at the current Stop & Shop?
There will be a Construction Management Plan for the operations during construction to minimize the impacts of construction on shoppers’ use of the current store. During construction of phase 1, a temporary parking lot will be constructed to accommodate Stop & Shop customers.
What opportunity will neighbors and community leaders have to provide input and comments regarding Allston Yards?
The Project Team has now spent more than two years in informal discussions with city officials, community leaders, neighbors, and abutters. The Letter of Intent filed with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (“BPDA”) reflected more than 18 months of review of the Guest Street Planning Study and preliminary outreach to the community.
We are eager to engage in a robust community process that allows us to share our thoughts with the community and work with our neighbors to bring this project to life.
The existing neighborhood Impact Advisory Group, which advises the BPDA, is expected to help the development team and neighbors engage in thoughtful dialogue about how to maximize the benefits associated with this project.
Will there be public meetings, and if so, when will these take place?
Public meetings begin in April 2018. A more detailed meeting calendar can be found at bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/allston-yards
How do people learn more about the project?
We encourage people to sign up to receive development updates with the BPDA. You can do so by visiting their website at: http://www.bostonplans.org/about-us/get-involved
Guest Street Corridor/Smart Growth
What did the development team do to determine that the planning and design process for this project was appropriate for the neighborhood?
Our vision for Allston Yards is a project that remains informed by and consistent with the Guest Street Planning Study and adjacent projects. The Planning Study arose from an intensive community-based process driven by members of the community – residents, business owners, and representatives of community organizations from Allston and Brighton.
We believe that our proposal for Allston Yards will fulfill the Guest Street Planning Study’s vision because it will create mixed-use development, reconnect the street grid with two-way access from Guest Street to Everett Street, activate public spaces and provide multi-modal transportation (pedestrian, bicycle, bus, rail, and automobile) options.
What type of housing does the development team plan for Allston Yards?
Our proposal is based on increased housing options for the community across a range of sizes and price points, including homeownership units and affordable units consistent with the City’s Inclusionary Development Program.
Tell us more about the first residential building that is being proposed as part of the initial phase?
Housing will be part of Building 1, which is proposed to consist of an approximately 16-story building with a mix of uses, including up to 360 residential units, grocery, and retail uses located on the northeast parcel of the Project Site.
How many affordable units will be part of this first phase?
13% of the total units (47 in the first phase) will be designated as affordable, consistent with the Mayor’s Inclusionary Development Policy.
Public Realm Improvements
How will development of Allston Yards impact the public realm?
The project will provide a generous amount of open space for public use, including a new 24,000 square foot (half-acre) Community Green programmed for year-round use and activated with diverse programming, such as outdoor health and wellness events, public art exhibits, music concerts and holiday festivals.
Economic Impact: Jobs and Tax Revenue
What type of economic impact is anticipated as a result of developing Allston Yards?
Subject to final project uses, we anticipate an estimated $3 million in immediate fiscal benefits to the City and BPDA, substantial net new annual real estate taxes for the City, increased sales and business tax revenue for the state, and substantial job creation opportunities. Our initial estimate is that the entirety of the proposed project will support creation of approximately 2,500 new construction jobs and 1,000 new permanent jobs.
Traffic and Transportation
What is your plan to control the flow of traffic at Allston Yards and address the impact of traffic on the community?
We recognize that one of the most important opportunities associated with this project is improving connections and traffic flow and maximizing the benefits of existing public transit. We have created a plan that includes input from our abutters that will provide clear benefits to the neighborhood, our neighbors, as well as future employees, residents and visitors.
All traffic improvements will be done as part of the first phase of the project.
The transportation program for Allston Yards will utilize the immediacy of multi-modal transportation services, including MBTA commuter rail and bus service, while improving site access and circulation for the project and the abutting Boston Landing development.
This includes new two-way roads that extend and connect streets inside and outside the project site while providing enhanced accommodations for pedestrians, bicyclists and on-street parking. In addition, the plan will improve existing intersections with new signage, traffic signals where needed,, striping, and curbing, offer on-site bike-share service, and also will create publicly-accessible walkways along all streets within the project site.
All of these elements combined create a true Transit Oriented Development project that emphasizes convenient walking routes to the commuter rail station, a more pedestrian-friendly environment and a street grid that reconnects the site to the Allston neighborhood.
Sustainability and Environmental Benefits
How will the project minimize environmental impacts and achieve sustainability goals?
We have a comprehensive plan that will promote energy conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve water, promote resiliency and incorporate vegetation and reflective roof materials that reduces the “heat island effect.”
The energy conservation program will comply with the state Stretch Energy Code while our water conservation efforts will reduce annual potable water use for irrigation and sewerage runoff. The program also will enhance resiliency by burying all new utilities below ground to reduce possible power outages during extreme storm events.