BPDA to Host Medford Street Meeting on Monday

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) will be hosting a virtual Impact Advisory Group (IAG) meeting  in connection with the Planned Development Area (PDA) Master Plan associated with the 425 Medford Street project on Monday, March 28 at 6 p.m.

Residnets can register for the meeting at https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_cck7txaRQeeLIxvHRDYihQ.

The Master Plan consists of the redevelopment of an approximately 25-acre site located at 425 Medford St. in Charlestown with a multi-phased mixed-use development focused on resolving sea-level-rise issues facing Charlestown and the areas beyond.

The City of Boston’s new coastal Zoning Overlay District that went into effect last month includes Charlesrtown’s waterfront along the Mystic River, the area around the Schrafft’s City Center wrapping around to Rutherford Avenue area and Mishawam as well as the Navy Yard along the Boston Harbor. The zoning requires new development in Charlestown and other Boston coastal neighborhoods to take additional steps to limit the damage and displacement related to the impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise.

The Flatley Company’s development team’s biggest focus with the project is to address resiliency. Some of the resiliency measures Flatley plans to take to protect the neighborhood from sea level rise is to use a 22 foot elevation as the project’s starting point to develop public open space along the waterfront.

This elevation of 22 feet is based on the 2070 one percent flood elevation with one foot of freeboard on top. Freeboard is basically an additional safety net above the predicted sea level rise. While addressing sea level rise, Flatley wants to create meaningful spaces for people to enjoy, and not just build a wall and have some impenetrable barrier that creates no public open space.

In addition to the waterfront resiliency, the proposed project will create another eight acres of public open space, totaling approximately 13 acres, all surrounding and incorporated with approximately 1.8 million gross square feet of mixed-use development featuring residential, hotel, office/laboratory, ground-floor retail, and parking uses.

“Please note that the purpose of this meeting is different from that of a traditional community meeting,” said the BPDA in a statement about the upcoming meeting. “As part of the development review process, IAG members work closely with BPDA staff to identify the impacts of a project and recommend appropriate community benefits to offset those impacts. IAG meetings prioritize discussion between the project proponent and IAG members.”

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