At its October board meeting early this month the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved a scaled down version of the controversial 282 Bremen St. project that received Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approval back in March.
The project became contentious back in July after it received initial BPDA approval but was rejected by the ZBA. The ZBA sent the developers of the proposed 145 unit large-scale mixed-use development back to the drawing board citing a lack of greenspace coupled with the size and scope of the project,
Those opposed to the project hoped the project would just go away after it was rejected by the ZBA in July.
However, ahead of the July ZBA hearing the developer reduced the number of units from 145 to 139 and increased the percentage of affordable units from 15 to 20 percent.
Overall the approved project includes artist live/work studios for artists, more affordable three-bedroom apartments aimed at families, 3,200 square feet of retail space and up to 61 off-street vehicle parking spaces.
Bremen Acquisitions filed the project with the BPDA last year that kicked off an Article 80 review by the BPDA and the appointment of an IAG made up of community members for the proposal.
The developer wanted to take a non-conforming and outdated industrial use currently housing Gino’s Auto Body on Bremen Street and turn the site into a development that includes a mix of residential housing and ground-floor retail space.
Other highlights of the project include related upgrades in public realm improvements, including pedestrian and vehicular access, landscaping and streetscape design. With a combined land area of approximately 34,160 square feet, the site consists of nine contiguous parcels of land with a series of non-descript automobile repair structures, one small wood-frame residential buildings, surface parking and multiple curb-cuts off Bremen Street.
The 110,000 square foot building included more than 3,000 square feet of retail space, over 2,155 square feet of artist workspace with gallery programming, up to 61 parking spaces and 145 bicycle storage spaces.
According to the BPDA the ground-floor retail space would be designed for an urban grocery store/market operator, daycare operator or local retailer.
Prior to the July ZBA vote, Bremen Acquisition inked a community mitigation package with members of the project’s IAG.
The package is comparable to other projects of its size with $200,000 in direct money benefits Eastie. The developer agreed to doing 20 percent affordable onsite housing–seven percent more than what is required under the BPDA inclusionary policy. The developer also agreed to install 19 trees, expand the sidewalks–up to 18 feet in some areas, install a safety bump out to make crossing Bremen Street easier