NPC Approved for Dot Block During Raucous BPDA Meeting
Although the updated plans for the Dot Block were not up for public debate at the BPDA meeting on April 11th, a group of disgruntled citizens were on hand to speak in opposition of the project. Chairman Timothy Burke's gavel got quite a workout as he tried to silence the crowd who claimed the $200M, project set to clean up a long-blighted industrial area, will displace Dorchester residents. Despite the interruptions, the NPC was approved, even receiving positive feedback from a Board member who is a neighbor to the project.
The newly approved plans call for an increase in residential units from 362 to 488, 66 of which will be IDP units. The increase in units allows for deeper levels of affordability than required and 33 of the IDP units are designated for Neighborhood Diversity Preference. Changes were also put in place to decrease the retail/restaurant square footage to 23,000. With smaller spaces the development team hopes to be able to welcome more local, small businesses to the project. The final major change to the plans was to the parking. The previous plan called for an above ground parking garage which has now been moved below grade allowing for significantly more green/open space, around 1.3 acres in total.
A spokesperson for Samuels and Associates, who joined the project team in December of 2018, told BLDUP via email: "After many months of review and feedback, we are pleased to have earned BPDA approval to move forward with revised plans for the Dot Block project. The current proposal improves upon the project originally approved by the BPDA in 2016, adding more housing opportunities, connecting neighborhoods together and providing more open space."
A construction start date is yet to be determined.