Hood Files New Master Plan with State Environmental Regulators

The Hood Park developers have filed their amended Master Plan proposal this week with the state’s environmental regulators – a process known as MEPA.

In planning charrettes held in Charlestown over the last few months, the filing was announced to the public, and was filed with the state as discussed.

Filings with the City’s Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) are expected in the fall after more local planning/input meetings.

“Hood Park proposes to revise the Park’s existing City of Boston development approvals granted in October 2000 by creating a mixed-use development to further the goals of Imagine Boston 2030 and the Rutherford Avenue/Sullivan Square reconstruction,” read the filing. “The proponent proposes to update the Park’s Existing Year 2016 Mast Plan in order to create a truly mixed-use development through the introduction of retail, hotel, lab, entertainment and more residential uses to the Park. In order to integrate the Park into its surrounding neighborhood, the various uses will be distributed throughout the site and new vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle connections will be created across Rutherford Avenue, in conjunction with the redesign of Rutherford Avenue and Sullivan Square…”

The MEPA process is the beginning of a potentially long process that looks at everything from traffic impacts to stormwater impacts to shadow studies. The proposal by Hood is not new to the community, as there have been meetings about it over the last few months. However, it does start the first official review process for the project.

The crux of the new program is to propose five new buildings in place of three buildings and two structured parking garages that are already approved. The five new buildings will add another 500,000 sq. ft. of development to the Master Plan for a total of 1.735 million sq. ft. The five new buildings include three new office buildings totaling 710,814 sq. ft.; a 23-story (213,450 sq. ft) hotel; and a 15-story (177,478 sq. ft.) 200-unit residential building at 25 Supertest St.

The idea to move the parking into the new buildings, relocating 1,765 parking spaces into an upcoming garage and on floors 2-5 of the new buildings.

A robust open space plan is also described in the filing, with a centerpiece pond that acts as flood retention and a public amenity.

On a purely environmental note, Hood Park indicated that they will be raising the entire property from 17 feet to 20 feet in order to be more resilient to flooding.

“We will be regrading and raising the entire 20-acre Park by approximately three feet from base elevation 17 to base elevation 20, representing a significant improvement in the resiliency of the campus during storm and flood events as it elevates the park to the newer high storm surge elevation level…,” read the filing.

The MEPA review will continue in the coming months.

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