Revised Plan for Hodge Boiler Works Site Presented

An architectural rendering of the Hodge Boiler Works site where Phillip DeNormandie’s company is preparing to construct a 5-story, 95-unit residential building on East Boston waterfront.

The company planning to redevelop the former Hodge Boiler Works site on Sumner Street pitched its revised project to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last week.

The BRA listened to the DeNormandie Group’s planners and seemed to like the scaled down plan. However, the BRA did not have a quorum and were unable to take vote to approve the project.  Instead, the BRA tabled the proposal until its next meeting in a few weeks. The BRA’s design review committee also wanted time to iron out a few concerns they had with DeNormandie’s roof design.

With that said, sources close to the project expect the BRA to give DeNormandie the green light at its next meeting thus catapulting Eastie into a new era of waterfront development.

At a community meeting last month, DeNormandie unveiled its modified plan for the former Hodge Boiler Works to the neighborhood.

Planners for the DeNormandie Companies pitched a scaled down version of their original plan to build an 8-story, 119 unit residential complex.

Now DeNormandie has decided to build a 5-story, 95 units building that is 80,000 sq. ft. less than the original design.

The complex would include 23 parking spaces above ground and another 52 parking spaces in a garage beneath the building that would contain Zipcars for resident’s commuter needs according to DeNormandie.

All but seven of the 95 units would be market rate. Jamie Fay, president of Fort Point Associates who is working with the DeNormandie Companies on the design, expects that although rents in Eastie are on the rise but lower than other parts of the city the project at Hodge Boiler Works should fetch rents similar to other market-rate waterfront developments in places like Charlestown and the North End.

While slightly smaller than the original design, the new building will remain in touch with its historic industrial roots with such architectural details as glass-block windows and extra wide window bays.

There will be a small bed and breakfast overlooking Boston Harbor and the apartments will consist of studios, one bedroom, two bedroom, and penthouse level duplexes. The property will also include a waterfront café, a marina, a marina services building, and a water taxi stop.

Additionally, there will be a public plaza incorporated into the city’s Harbor Walk as well as rooftop pavilions for residential and public use.

DeNormandie will incorporate a number of sustainable design principles in order to minimize its environmental impact. The development is considered infill redevelopment, which enhances a pre-existing urban area rather than contributing to sprawl. The property is a short walk from public transportation, and the garage has designated parking for bicycles and the previously mentioned Zipcars.

The building will have a storm water filtration management system to minimize its runoff impact, and there will also be a rainwater recovery system that will provide water for the landscape. Heating and cooling will be provided by geothermal well systems and made more efficient by low-e coated glass.

The interiors will include recyclable carpet and FSC certified wood oak floors with recycled content.

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