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Two-building development near Cambridge’s Alewife stop would add 100 apartments

Other big development news from the week includes a brouhaha over a failed Mass. Pike project and some milestones off Morrissey Boulevard

Critical Mass. is a weekly roundup of the area’s most notable development news. This go-round is a truly eclectic affair, with everything from a woonerf in West Roxbury to a brewery in Dorchester—plus Dudley Square’s biggest development site.


First, that woonerf—or right of way that prioritizes social interaction as well as pedestrians and cyclists. The Dutch-developed idea will be part of a West Roxbury development on both sides of Gardner Street that will produce 18 townhouses and another 70 apartments in a separate four-story building.

Rendering of a boxy and glassy mixed-use complex. Nordblom Company

Now to the brewery, which will be part of the massive ongoing mixed-use redevelopment of the Boston Globe’s former 16.5-acre headquarters off Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester (rendered above). Dubbed The BEAT, the project recently cleared a couple of milestones, including a snazzy new sign, and now plans to open in spring 2020.

Meanwhile, over in Roxbury, it’s back to the drawing board at Dudley Square’s biggest development site. The Boston Planning and Development Agency decided not to renew the requisite development designation for the team behind the 1.2 million-square-foot project at Tremont and Whittier streets dubbed Tremont Crossing. Said team hit too many financing speed bumps over the past eight years, as the BPDA saw it.

Speaking of scotched projects, John Hancock has put its property at 380 Stuart Street in Back Bay on the market. Recall that the insurance colossus had planned to build a 388-foot, 26-story commercial, architecturally bewitching building there as part of a relocation of employees. Turns out John Hancock doesn’t need the space—but the site still has the necessary okays for such a tower.

Good grief, more arrested development news! Construction tycoon John Fish is suing developer Stephen Weiner over the latter’s August decision to scrap plans for a 484-foot tower over the Massachusetts Turnpike where Massachusetts Avenue meets Boylston Street. Fish says Weiner’s move cost him tens of millions of dollars.

And, speaking of lawsuits, a Suffolk Superior court judge allowed one challenging zoning changes that would enable developer Don Chiofaro to build a tower in place of the Boston Harbor Garage to advance. Those opposed to Chiofaro’s plans say the zoning changes also facilitate restrictions on public access to the waterfront.

Also advancing: The 23-story, 307-unit apartment building going up at 501 Congress Street in the Seaport District, which is now due to open in March. Stay tuned for the asking rents.

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