Fairmount Corridor: Boston’s next transit-oriented development hotspot Update

By Matthew M. Robare

Blue Hill Avenue Station

A rendering of the future Blue Hill Avenue commuter rail station in Mattapan.

In the recent Go Boston 2030 transportation action plan, the City of Boston identifies the Fairmount commuter rail line, which runs through largely undeveloped parts of Boston’s Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park neighborhoods, as a key public transit corridor for future investment. Go Boston 2030 calls for the procurement of diesel multiple units (DMUs), self-propulsion railcars similar to the electrically-powered trains of the MBTA Green Line, that would allow for frequent transit service every 15 minutes during peak hours; Fairmount Line trains currently run every hour. With future frequent transit service and an untapped location minutes from Downtown Boston, the Fairmount corridor presents enormous transit-oriented development potential, where small bets could have major dividends. A number of development projects have already been proposed and approved along the corridor, with many more sure to come.

Fairmount Map

A map of the Fairmount Line, which runs from South Station to Readville.

Moving southward from South Station, the first stop on the Fairmount Line is Newmarket, one of Boston’s few remaining industrial districts, wedged between Roxbury and Dorchester. The district melds organically into nearby residential neighborhoods and includes the existing South Bay Shopping Center. Former City Councilor Mike Ross has noted Newmarket’s potential for residential development and the establishment of a new artist community.

Steps from Newmarket Station, the 720,000 square foot South Bay Town Center mixed-use development is well underway. South Bay Town Center will incorporate a walkable street grid, similar to Assembly Row in Somerville, and will feature around 475 apartments with retail space, a hotel and a movie theater. A number of smaller apartment buildings, including the recently approved 40-unit 1258-1272 Massachusetts Avenue, are also being developed nearby.


A rendering of the South Bay Town Center development.

The Newmarket neighborhood also offers an intriguing possibility for industrial and research & development (R&D) office space construction. With close proximity to the Boston University Medical Campus and improved connections to the MBTA Red Line and the Seaport District through South Station, Newmarket could be an attractive and viable alternative to Kendall Square, Alewife and the Longwood Medical Area for start-up office space.

The next stop on the Fairmount Line is Uphams Corner, a walkable mixed-use district featuring a variety of residential types as well as a neighborhood shopping and office district. A startup incubator space, the Fairmount Innovation Lab, recently opened in the heart of Uphams Corner in a historic office building. A 20-unit residential building with 3,032 square feet of ground-floor retail was recently proposed at 734 Dudley Street, steps from the train station.

Uphams Corner presents a number of vacant lots ripe for development, as well as building renovation opportunities. Many industrial buildings line East Cottage Street; vacant lots are scattered across the neighborhood, including along Leyland Street and Robey Street. Next to Uphams Corner Station on Dudley Street is the Leon Electrical Building, a 50,000 square foot vacant factory building which presents a unique opportunity for adaptive reuse and transit-oriented development. Steps away from the station, the approved Indigo Block development will transform the Maxwell Box property, a vacant industrial facility located at 65 East Cottage Street, into a multifaceted mixed-use complex featuring 80 apartment residences, ground-floor retail and some light industrial space.


The Indigo Block will replace a decrepit industrial building with 80 apartments in Uphams Corner.

After Uphams Corner is the Four Corners/Geneva station. Existing development around the station is mainly residential, with clusters of commercial development on Blue Hill Avenue, Columbia Road, Geneva Avenue and Washington Street. A few projects are planned in the area. At 16 Ronald Street, a 54-unit affordable senior housing building, Hearth at Four Corners, will be built. At 123 Hamilton Street, an upcoming 52-studio residential development will be rented to chronically or formerly homeless individuals 55 years of age and older. At 191-195 Bowdoin St, a mixed-use development will feature 41 affordable apartment residences with 6,057 square feet of ground-floor retail that could be occupied by the Dorchester Community Food Co-op, a grassroots initiative to create a community and worker-owned grocery store. Good opportunities for redevelopment could be had off of Westwood and Wilrose Streets, where there are many acres of largely undeveloped land. The area also has a fine stock of pre-war apartment buildings, similar to those along Commonwealth Avenue in Allston or in the Fenway.


Hearth at Four Corners will feature 54 affordable senior housing units next to the Four Corners/Geneva station.

A number of vacant lots are also located around the Morton Street station on the Fairmount Line, including a 2.84-acre parcel on Evans Street next to the Morton Village Apartments. A short walk to the Morton Street station, at 1199-1203 Blue Hill Avenue, a market rate mixed-use development with 21 condominium residences, 3,000 square feet of retail and a 55-seat, 2,800 square foot restaurant with outdoor seating was recently proposed.


1199-1203 Blue Hill Avenue would feature 21 condominium residences, 3,000 square feet of retail and a 55-seat, 2,800 square foot restaurant with outdoor seating.

Down in Mattapan, where construction on the new Blue Hill Avenue station is expected to begin this year, the Cote Village development, which will feature 76 residential units and 4,172 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, is expected to begin construction soon. There are a number of parking lots in the neighborhood near both the upcoming Fairmount Line station and the existing MBTA Red Line trolley station that could be developed. One of them, owned by the MBTA on River Street, has been proposed as a site for 135 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail by the Nuestra Communidad Development Corporation and Preservation of Affordable Housing. Fifty-one percent of the units would be affordable. A proposed bus rapid transit line on Blue Hill Avenue would supplement the upcoming commuter rail station with additional fast, reliable transit.


This development, which would be located adjacent to the existing Mattapan MBTA Red Line station, would contain 135 apartments and approximately 12,000 square feet of retail.

Around Fairmount Station, the Hyde Park neighborhood has a number of parking lots that could be developed, as well as low-density commercial buildings that could be redeveloped into denser developments with a mix of uses. The Residences at Fairmount Station, a joint project by the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation and the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, will bring 27 mixed-income apartment residences to the neighborhood, invigorating the local Main Streets district. On the other side of the commuter rail tracks, Nordblom Company proposes to renovate an existing building at 735 Truman Parkway that was formerly a nursing home into an apartment building with 46 residences.


The Residences at Fairmount Station would feature 27 mixed-income apartment residences and would be located next to the commuter rail station.

At Readville Station, the last stop on the Fairmount Line, a number of industrial sites recommend themselves. A particularly exciting project is Readville Campus, proposed by developer Jordan Warshaw, which would feature five apartment buildings fronting Sprague Pond containing 521 residences targeted at millennials. Two additional projects near the station, 1591-1619 Hyde Park Avenue and 1717 Hyde Park Avenue, are in the planning stages. The neighborhoods around Readville Station feature a diverse housing stock of single-family homes, duplexes, triple deckers and apartment buildings that could be renovated or redeveloped to add density.

Microsoft PowerPoint - 20160323 mayor meeting_WEDNESDAY_FINALpptx

Readville Campus would feature 521 residences targeted at millennials.

Related News

Bullfinch crossing
Bulfinch Crossing in Boston
Jan 23, 2019 - State Street Corporation announced today tha...
Mgh expansion project 275 cambridge street beacon hill boston ma
MGH Expansion Project in Boston
Jan 23, 2019 - Massachusetts General Hospital has announced...
100 hood park drive proposed parking garage concert venue charlestown ma
100 Hood Park Drive in Boston
Jan 23, 2019 - Site Work Underway for 100 Hood Park Drive
270 dorchester avenue the chandlery south boston southie broadway village residential retail mbta red line proposed development
The Chandlery in Boston
Jan 23, 2019 - Navem Partners have acquired the property at...
Harvard university artlab proposed western avenue north beacon street allston boston ma education real estate development
Harvard ArtLab in Boston
Jan 22, 2019 - Construction Nearly Complete for Harvard's A...
One beachmont 205 revere beach parkway apartments gate residential development callahan construction managers
One Beachmont in Revere
Jan 22, 2019 - One Beachmont Welcomes First Residents
Maynard crossing
Maynard Crossing in Maynard
Jan 22, 2019 - Capital Group Properties and SRS Real Estate...
455 harvard street coolidge corner brookline apartments retail proposed building development the danesh group
455 Harvard Street in Brookline
Jan 22, 2019 - Core Climbing for 455 Harvard Street in Broo...
202 southampton street dorchester boston foreign motors automotive dealership
202 Southampton Street in Boston
Jan 20, 2019 - Boston Foreign Motors has acquired the prope...
Blvd at revere beach 322 revere beach blvd revere ma
BLVD at Revere Beach in Revere
Jan 18, 2019 - Capital One has provided $35.3 million in co...
21 35 west 2nd street south boston boston ma
21-35 West 2nd Street in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - BPDA Approves 55 Unit Project in South Bosto...
60 kilmarnock street fenway boston ma
60 Kilmarnock Street in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - 435 Unit Kilmarnock Street Development Appro...
775 morton street
775 Morton Street in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - BPDA Approves 27 Unit Project in Mattapan
Amrheins 80 w broadway south boston boston ma
80 West Broadway in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - The property at 80 W Broadway in South Bosto...
Block 5b assembly row office space retail somerville mbta orange line federal realty jacobs
455 Grand Union Blvd​ in Somerville
Jan 18, 2019 - PUMA Leases 150K SF in Upcoming Phase 3 of A...
Screen shot 2018 09 20 at 10.22.13 am
31 North Beacon Street in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - Exterior Work Ongoing for 31 North Beacon in...
Harvard university science and engineering complex western avenue allston behnisch architekten
Harvard University Science and Engine... in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - Interior and Exterior Work Ongoing for Harva...
50 symphony road fenway condominiums gfc development urbanica residential new construction
The Henry in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - Core in Place for The Henry in the Fenway
191 sumner st %28grace apartments%29 graceapt v maverick lo res 2
187 Sumner St (Grace Apartments) in Boston
Jan 18, 2019 - The Grace Apartments at 187 Sumner Street in...
Chestnut park apartments 10 chestnut street springfield ma
Chestnut Park Apartments in Springfield
Jan 17, 2019 - MassHousing has provided $50 million in fina...