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DotBlock, South Bay Projects in Dorchester Good to Go

Will add nearly 900 apartments in several buildings

The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved two major projects on Thursday evening that will add nearly 900 apartments and many, many buildings to Dorchester, surely further changing Boston's largest neighborhood.

The biggest of the pair is a 700,000-square-foot expansion of the South Bay Shopping Center by its South Carolina-based owner. That project will add 475 apartments in a 10-acre complex also due to include restaurants, a 130-room hotel, and a 12-screen movie theater. It would involve the construction of five six-story buildings.

Farther into Dorchester, between Savin Hill and Fields Corner, will be DotBlock, the other big-time project the BRA just O.K.'d. That development will unfold over several buildings (more than 10, totaling nearly 400,000 square feet) and will include 362 apartments, plus retail. That retail could include a grocery store, according to the Globe's Tim Logan.

Both developments have been a long time coming. It's not yet clear when construction will commence, though DotBlock's developer, the Atlas Investment Group, had been talking about this summer. Stay tuned.