BPDA Proposes to Hire Consultant for PLAN Charlestown

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) is petitioning its Board at the meeting on Thursday, June 10, to hire a consultant to assist in the preparation of the planning study for PLAN Charlestown.

In a memo to the Board, the BPDA is asking permission to put out an RFP to engage a consultant to assist with the end study for the process at a cost of $190,000.

“The Study will be a collaborative effort between the BPDA and several City of Boston Departments and other public agencies,” read the memo. “Work on the Study is expected to begin in late September 2021 and is anticipated to be completed within 12 months. BPDA staff requests that a RFP be used to identify the consultant team to assist in the preparation of the Study rather than an Invitation for Bids due to the highly specialized nature of the Study. The Chief Procurement Officer of the BPDA has determined that the selection of a consultant team to complete the Study requires comparative judgments of factors in addition to price.”

Director Brian Golden has approved and recommended the RFP and expenditure.

The memo said the study will consider “opportunities to preserve, enhance, and grow the neighborhood of Charlestown.”

The four primary points in the study will be:

•Urban Design (updates to Urban Design guidelines for Charlestown’s original peninsula and Urban Design frameworks and buildout scenarios for Charlestown’s Rutherford Corridor and Sullivan Square).

•Mobility (Transportation capacity analysis assistance and enhanced mobility recommendations).

•Financial Analysis (Financial model to quantify the value share for the creation of public goods, estimated market value analysis of public land, and public land disposition strategies).

•Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Project process equity impact assessment).

The PLAN Charlestown process began in January 2020, and the Study is expected to be released in 2022.

“(The Study) will outline a long-term vision for land use, public realm, and mobility in the…Study Area map,” read the memo. “Following completion of the planning process, this plan will be used by the BPDA and its partner agencies to update zoning regulations, guide the review of development proposals, and direct public and private investments to improve the neighborhood’s public realm and transportation networks.”

1-2 Thompson Square

The BPDA Board will be facing a vote at the Thursday meeting to recommend the construction project at 1-2 Thompson Sq. – a fill in project that includes demolishing the one-story commercial building next to the Five Cent Bank and replacing it with a new five-story building with nine condo units and nine underground parking spots. The project is targeted at $10.6 million.

The recommendation is to approve the project, which has undergone the Article 80E Small Project Review. If approved, it will move to a hearing at the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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