News Briefs

BPDA Board Approves Redevelopment of BFIT Campus in South End

At its monthly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 15, which was held virtually, the Boston Planning & Development Agency approved the proposed redevelopment of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) campus in the South End.

​Boston-based developer Related Beal is proposing  a project for 41 Berkeley St. comprising three components: a 193-unit senior care facility, which would be operated by a national provider, Atria Senior Living, Inc; the adaptive reuse of the Franklin Union building into condominiums; and the renovation and expansion of 4 Appleton St. into approximately 13,950 square feet of income-restricted, age-restricted residential use, as well as 11,550 square feet of retail space, which includes 3,450 square feet of non-profit affordable community space.

​BFIR intends to relocate to its new campus now under construction in Roxbury’s Nubian Square.

MBTA Receiving More Than $66 Million for Improvements to Symphony Station

The MBTA will receive $66.6 million to make Symphony station on the E branch of the Green line fully accessible, officials announced on Monday, Dec. 19.

​Improvements to the 80-year-old station will include raised platforms for easier boarding, four new elevators, accessible bathrooms, improved lighting, and new signage.

​Funding for the project, which ais expected to get underway in 2024, comes via the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, which has announced 15 grants in nine states, totaling $686 million.

Friday is Deadline to Start Coverage Through the Health Connector 

The deadline for Massachusetts residents to start the New Year with health coverage is looming, with Friday, Dec. 23 being the last day to enroll with Massachusetts Health Connector, for coverage starting in January. 

The Health Connector’s Open Enrollment runs through Jan. 23, 2023, but the busiest deadline annually is the December date leading to January coverage. Residents who need coverage can go to to sign up or find local help with an application. 

“Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in coverage, with more than 97 percent of the state having health insurance, but there are still people who need access,” says Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “Getting coverage through the Health Connector means having the peace of mind that comes with being able to see a doctor when needed, as well as getting access to free preventive health care and other services.” 

Residents can get an estimate for health plan costs in two minutes or less by visiting the Health Connector’s online Get an Estimate tool. For those looking for one-on-one assistance with an application, there are 19 Navigator organizations in more than 30 locations that have trained, experienced people available to help complete an application and pick a plan. People with questions or need assistance can also use the Health Connector’s new online chat service, or call customer service at 888-MA-ENROLL if they need additional help. 

The Health Connector makes health insurance and services more affordable by offering help paying for monthly subsidies, including through the ConnectorCare program that includes premiums as low as $0, low co-pays, and no deductibles; as well as extended federal Advance Premium Tax Credits that can help pay for thousands of dollars of premiums a year.  

The majority of people who apply for health coverage through the Health Connector will qualify for help lowering their health care costs. Also, new for ConnectorCare members in 2023 are $0 co-pays for a number of important medications for chronic conditions, like diabetes, asthma, coronary artery disease and hypertension. 

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