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Developers shrink housing component of South Boston power plant redevelopment

Other big development news of the week includes Northeastern proposing another private dorm and the umpteenth try at redeveloping the Boston Harbor Garage

A large, box, shuttered power plant as seen through a chain-link fence. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Welcome back to Critical Mass., in which Curbed Boston covers all the major development news in the region every week. This go-round includes an avalanche of proposals, plans, and groundbreakings, including a theater in Fenway, a complex in Allston, and a tower on the waterfront. Shall we?


Probably the biggest news of the week: Another plan to redevelop the Boston Harbor Garage at 270 Atlantic Avenue on Boston’s waterfront. If the effort sounds familiar, it is: The Chiofaro Company, which bought the carpark in 2007, has been trying to redevelop it pretty much since. The latest plan calls for a tower of up to 600 feet.

In other big-plan news, Related Beal proposed redeveloping 6.5 acres along A Street in Fort Point into an approximately 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development. That development would include a building for laboratory and research space, a residential building, and an office one. It would also mean the end of another Boston parking lot.

Rendering of a tall, boxy residential building. BPDA/Elkus Manfredi

Speaking of doomed parking lots: Northeastern University proposed this week building another privately developed and operated dormitory, this one on a surface lot at 840 Columbus Avenue in Roxbury. The first five floors of the approximately 525,000-square-foot building would be academic and office space with the remaining 21 floors for the dorms.

It’s definitely a trend, isn’t it? A New Jersey developer wants to turn a 1.81-acre site at 780 Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester that’s now used for parking into a six-story, 207-unit apartment complex.

Okay, that’s it for parking lot-related redevelopment this week. Now on to the six-building Allston Square proposal where Cambridge Street meets Harvard Avenue. That plan won a key approval from the Boston Planning and Development Agency. It’s due to include 344 residential units.

Meanwhile, the developers who want to remake South Boston’s old Edison Power Plant updated their plans for the 15-acre site. In particular, Redgate and Hilco Redevelopment cut the number of proposed residences as part of the project to 636 from 1,588. The reduction followed criticism from some local residents worried about such an influx of newcomers.

Also re: the waterfront, the Massachusetts Port Authority named the seven developers vying to redevelop a 1.1-acre site in the Seaport District that could accommodate up to 600,000 square feet of mixed-use space.

Rendering of a cavernous concert hall with fans cheering a band on stage. Fenway Sports Group

Now to two construction milestones. The development team behind what will be the first Canopy by Hilton hotel in Massachusetts started work on the planned 212-room inn at 111 North Street near the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. And the backers of what’s now called the MGM Music Hall at Fenway officially broke ground on that four-level performance venue next to Fenway Park.

Finally, Harvard Union Maverick Davis Square is changing rapidly amid development and other market forces. Will the neighborhood’s current character survive?