Remember Boston's so-called "sausage parcel" in South Boston? The city had O.K.'d a hotel of up to 502 rooms for the 30,437-square-foot site off Congress Street, so dubbed because of its narrow shape. Then the Great Recession intervened, and developer Madison Properties, which had bought the sausage parcel from NStar in 2006, decided the economy (and maybe the parcel's shape) didn't support a hotel. They returned to the city with plans for an apartment complex. The city said no.
Well, the city appears to have warmed to a fresh pitch by Madison for residential on the parcel. The developer now plans a $200 million, 22-story complex with 414 apartments called the Residences at 399 Congress Street (rendered at right). Innovation units, all the rage in Southie, will be a big part of the re-pitched plan. Per The Herald's Donna Goodison: "Apartments on the fourth to 20th floors would be weighted toward smaller units. A second- and third-floor 'innovation extended stay and collaboration center' calls for 60 compact innovation apartment units and shared gathering, work and conference areas, and business amenities."
And why the city's change of heart? Madison has agreed to up the share of affordable housing at 399 Congress in the form of those innovation units (Innovation District and all that, you see). Plus, we gander, the economy's changed so much in the last few years development-wise and the momentum in the city's real estate has reached such critical mass that opting for nothing at a prime-address development site, no matter how unusually shaped, was simply not a box on the checklist any longer.
· Sausage Site May Get Stuffed with Housing [Herald]
· Boston's Tastiest Development Fight Grinds On in Southie [Curbed Boston]
· Developers, Brokers Trying to Make 'M Block' Happen [Curbed Boston]
· How to Talk About the Innovation District [Curbed Boston]
· Our Updated Residential Heatmap: 66 Projects and Counting [Curbed Boston]