It’s one of the animating trends in Boston development now—the redevelopment of surface parking lots—and another such property is inching toward its second act.
New Boston Ventures, a South End-based developer well-known for such projects as Boulevard on the Greenway and the Lucas, has closed on its purchase of the 14,180-square-foot lot at 132 Arlington Street in Bay Village.
It’s unclear what will happen to the lot now, though it is likely to remain a parking lot for at least another year under its current lease. That is according to the Dartmouth Company, the brokerage that repped the lot’s seller, an affiliate of National Amusements, the holding company based in Norwood that includes the merged Viacom and CBS.
“The level of interest from high-quality buyers with creative plans for the development of this site was impressive,” Dartmouth executives David Smookler and Peter Considine said in a statement.
As far as its fate, New Boston Ventures’ Lucas was a 36-unit condo conversion of a former Catholic church in the South End, and its Boulevard on the Greenway, which replaced a four-story building and a 19th-century warehouse, also had 36 condos. So residential does not seem out of the question. New Boston has not responded to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Boston surface parking lots—big and small, open to the public and otherwise—continue to disappear beneath new developments. This is true of Back Bay, where a five-story retail and office complex is slated for a Newbury Street lot and in Fort Point, where part of an old Gillette lot is due to become a major mixed-use complex with lots of lab space. And on and on.
Part of the trend due to the sheer value of the land—the lots’ owners are cashing in on a booming Boston. The Newbury Street lot—all of one-third of an acre—went for $40 million, for instance.
The other is due to changing parking norms, especially in downtown Boston. The introduction of Uber, Lyft, et al, in recent years has disrupted how those visiting and moving through Boston get around by car, and public policy has swung decidedly against maintaining sweeps of parking at the expense of other uses.