The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Board last week authorized the agency to extend its rent deferment program for qualified commercial tenants at BPDA-owned properties through September. The agency launched this program in April as a way to support the small and large businesses on BPDA-owned properties that have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“As a major landowner in Boston, the BPDA is in a unique position to assist with the City’s ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts and support the many small, local businesses that fuel our economy,” said BPDA Director Brian Golden. “Extending our rent deferment program is one way we can assist our tenants in sustaining their businesses and preserving jobs during this unprecedented time.”
The BPDA Real Estate Department oversees 13 million square feet of real estate assets spanning Boston’s neighborhoods. The BPDA manages its properties with the intent to guide inclusive economic growth for the City of Boston. The two largest holdings are the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park (RLFMP) in South Boston. The BPDA leases commercial and industrial space at 12 Channel Street in the RLFMP and the China Trade Building at 2 Boylston Street.
The July Board Meeting was held virtually to ensure the safety of the public, staff members, and BPDA Board Members during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This month, the Board also voted to:
•Enter into a license agreement with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospitalfor the temporary use of a BPDA-owned pier adjacent to Mayor Thomas M. Menino Park in Charlestown for the Spaulding Adaptive Sport Center’s Weingarten Program. This program provides patients with a bridge between rehabilitation and returning to an active lifestyle.
In response to COVID-19 the BPDA has postponed all in-person public meetings for Article 80 development projects and planning initiatives. Last month, the BPDA launched a pilot program to resume these meetings virtually via Zoom after months of work by an interagency working group and with support from local community groups and elected officials.