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South Boston power plant redevelopment hits a couple of bumps

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Odd views, housing restrictions

The big-time redevelopment plans for the 15.2-acre site of the long-shuttered New Boston Generating Station in South Boston (aka the South Boston Edison Power Plant) have hit a couple of possible roadblocks.

Recall that developers Hilco Global and Redgate want to build 2.1 million square feet of residential, office, hotel, retail, park, and restaurant space at the site, including in eight new buildings and three preserved turbine halls.

It turns out, however, that the site’s previous owner signed a deed restriction with the state that prohibits housing development there. That restriction applies to the current owners, too, though they’re in talks with the state to lift it.

A more intractable problem lay in a $75 million hauling roadway the state is building between the Conley Shipping Terminal and the Summer Street bridge. That means that potential residents and workers at the redeveloped site could end up looking at—and hearing—the rumble of heavy trucks day in and day out.

Current designs include a theoretical buffer between the meat of the redevelopment and the cacophony of the roadway (which is visible in the bottom left corner of the above rendering). Will that be enough?

Time and circumstances will tell. The issue does highlight what the Globe’s Tim Logan points out “is the sort of complication more real estate projects face as development pushes deeper into odd and underused industrial corners of the city, forcing builders to get creative with how they use space.”

Stay tuned.