Davis Companies/EBNHC Development Plan may look a lot different at next Community Meeting

In October the Davis Companies filed a Letter of Intent with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) in calling for the construction of 471 units of housing on a series of parking lots owned by East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) on the two streets. 

At several East Boston virtual community group meetings residents and community leaders expressed their opposition to the size and scope of the development, which abuts the Mary Ellen Welch Greenway. While Friends of the Mary Ellen Welch Greenway members feared the seven-story buildings would cast a portion of the bright and sunny greenway into darkness. Others argued that the project did not include enough affordability. 

However, at the Gove Street Citizens Association (GSCA) meeting Monday, Davis Companies’ Natasha Perez hinted that before her company submits the Project Notification Form (PNF) to the BPDA in February there will be some major changes based on community feedback. 

“I’m here tonight to let you know we were continuing to work with the city,” said Perez. “The feedback we’ve gotten focuses on the affordability, unit count and unit makeup. The goal would be to file the PNF between mid to the end of February and then be able to present the changes based on the recommendation from the community and the city.”

Perez said the Davis Companies is currently trying to formulate a proposal ahead of filing the PNF that is as close to the feedback they heard from the community about the number of units, the mix of affordability and unit size to accommodate more families. 

“We really looked at the affordability piece and want to make sure it goes to people in East Boston,” said Perez. “So those are all components that we’re working on. We’re very hopeful that we can file (a PNF) in mid February to the end of February and hopefully we will have something to present to the community by the 28th of next month.”

The BPDA will also put together an Impact Advisory Group (AIG) for the project in the coming weeks and residents should get more details on that process soon. 

Once the AIG is in place the  community will begin to hear more details on the community benefits package for the neighborhood as it relates to the project. 

As for the original proposal of 471 units Perez said that will most likely come down as community concerns are factored into an updated proposal.  Last year the Davis Companies’ entered into an agreement with the EBNHC over the land. Under the agreement the Health Center will get resources depending on how many homes are actually permitted by the city. For each home that is permitted as part of the project the Health Center will get a guaranteed fixed amount of $80,000. That $80,000 is not a percentage–it is a fixed amount the Health Center negotiated with the Davis Companies. 

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