Davis Companies Files PDA for Shawmut Ave,Overall Block Could Yield 500-Plus Units

By Seth Daniel

In a coordinated approach with two abutting property owner, the Davis Companies has been the first to submit detailed plans for the Shawmut and Herald Street Block in the New York Streets neighborhood – a block that could see more than 500 new units between the three owners.

The Davis Companies purchased the 112 Shawmut Ave. building from ABCD a few years back, and with the successful move of the ABCD Head Start program to the Cathedral earlier this year, filed a Letter of Intent. Last week, they put in a Project Notification Form (PNF) with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) calling for 143 units of housing in a combined rehabilitation/new construction building on what is considered a gateway property to the South End.

“We are excited to work together along with the BPDA and the community to contribute a dynamic development that will enhance Shawmut Avenue and add vitality to the South End neighborhood,” read a joint statement from the Davis Companies, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England (CCBA), and the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC).

The Davis Companies proposes a new 13-story residential building with ground floor retail/café use at 112 Shawmut Ave., on the southeast corner of the Shawmut Avenue/Herald Street intersection. It would house 143 units of housing and 124 spaces of underground parking.

The building will feature a part rehabilitation of the older building, with a new tower being developed behind and above the old building.

Public realm improvements, including new paving, street trees and new plant materials, will be provided one the Shawmut Avenue and Herald Street sidewalks to accentuate a walkable edge in accordance with the city of Boston Complete Streets guidelines.

While Davis is the first to go, they have filed under a Planned Development Area (PDA) – which overrides current zoning and allows for 150-foot tall buildings. The other two entities have not officially filed, but have been included in the PDA designation for what now looks to be the complete revitalization of the entire block – including the old nursing home building and the current Chinese market.

The BCEC detailed in the 112 Shawmut Ave. filing that they intend to develop the old nursing home site by constructing an 11-story, 150 foot building.
It will house two religious sanctuaries, a gym, fitness rooms, offices, classrooms, meeting spaces for religious instruction, and a small ground floor commercial space. The residential portion will include 72 units of housing. It could also include underground parking for 30 vehicles.

The CCBA property, which is now a very busy Chinese grocery store, would likely consist of a new building that is nine stories tall at the corner of Herald and Washington Street, and then graduating to 14 stories tall (150 feet) further down Washington Street.

It will have 302 units of residential housing, with 14,200 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial or community space.

It could also have an underground parking garage for 120 cars.

All together, the three entities are prepared right now to develop 517 units of housing, along with significant amenity and community space – though very little parking.

Of the 517 proposed units in the PDA, there are only 274 parking spaces proposed in underground garages.

The Davis Companies indicated it had met with elected officials, abutters, neighborhood groups and other interested parties. The filing kicks of the Article 80 review process, which triggers several public meetings and long approval process.

The project schedule anticipated construction starting in the first quarter of 2018, with completion in the third quarter of 2019.

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