Proposed 1033–1055 Washington St. Development Pondered at Public Meeting

The subject at hand during a virtual public meeting sponsored by the Boston Planning & Development Agency on Wednesday, May 31, was the proposed 1033-1055 Washington St. development in the South End, along with a Draft Planned Development Area (PDA) Development Plan filed in connection with the project.

​The Druker Co. is proposing a project comprising two life science/office buildings – 1055 Washington St. (the north building) and 1033 Washington St. (the south building), respectively – that would sit on an L-shaped site, with an above-grade connection between the sixth to eighth floors of the two buildings. The two structures would stand approximately 150 feet high to the roofline, below about 20 feet of screened mechanicals. Both buildings will include ground-floor retail and restaurant space, community/non-profit space, and two levels of below-grade parking, as well as 254 bike spaces throughout the site.

​Each building will have its own lobby and ground-floor retail and restaurant space, along with their own individual fitness accommodations and civic space, said David Manfredi, CEO and founding principal of Elkus Manfredi Architects.

​The project will create a landscaped, mid-block pedestrian path between the two buildings, said Manfredi, which, in its latest iteration, would take pedestrians from Traveler and Washington streets, through a straight line going east to west onto Millicent Way and then Shawmut Avenue before eventually reaching the Castle Square apartment complex on Tremont Street.

The path, which intends to reinvigorate Washington Street as a commercial corridor, would range in width from 85 feet down to 25 feet at its narrowest point near Shawmut Avenue, said Mikyoung Kim, a landscape architect for the project. It would be adorned with planter, canopy trees, and outdoor seating along the way, she said, and would also offer open view corridors intersecting the site.

​Access for deliveries would be provided off of Shawmut Avenue, said Manfredi, with only one way in and one way out, and all loading taking place behind closed doors. All cars will exit and enter the buildings onto Washington Street, he said.

​Five curb-cuts, including four on Washington Street and one on Shawmut Avenue, are located on the project site, said Manfredi.

​Stephen Tisdalle, who represents the board of  trustees for the Lucas Building, which directly abuts the site, said they would support the project while applauding the design.

​Tisdalle said the Lucas trustees supported creating the ingress and egress, along with an additional curb cut, on Washington Street, but wouldn’t support any changes to traffic flow on Shawmut Avenue, including a new curbcut there.

​Additionally, Tisdalle lauded the developer for their commitment to landscape an open parcel located next to the project site, and to maintain it into perpetuity as a public park.

​Tisdalle also underscored the need for more parking in the neighborhood and said that the Lucas trustees don’t want to see the city reduce parking accommodations in the current plan.

​Emily Antonelli, a representative for the neighboring 100 Shawmut condominium building, also voiced their support for the project, which, she said, “would undoubtedly have a positive economic impact on the neighborhood.”

​Antonelli also echoed another of Tisdalle’s recommendations and urged the developer to maintain Shawmut Avenue as a one-way street.

​Kate Chang, vice president of community and government relations for the Pine Street, voiced her organization’s support for the project, especially since the ground-floor restaurant and retail uses could  provide possible future partnership opportunities for the Pine Street Inn’s workforce training program.

​Kristi Keefe, one of two co-executive directors for the Boston Center for the Arts, located at 539 Tremont St., also supported the proposal.

Barbra Boylan, vice president of The Druker Co., assured neighbors that the lab space in the buildings would be limited to Biosafety Levels 1 and 2, and that the PDA would contain language specifying that the buildings’ use couldn’t later be changed to Biosafety Levels 3 and 4.

While the tenants of the two buildings have still yet to be determined, Manfredi said he expects that the project would comprise about 60 percent lab use and 40 percent office use, which is typical of new mixed-use lab buildings in Boston or Cambridge, but he added that ratio could change as the project progresses.

​The developer plans to make an additional Article 80 filing with the BPDA in the next month or so, which will trigger another 30-day round of public comment, said Sarah Black, BPDA senior project manager.

​The public comment period for the PDA Development Plan for the project ends on June 16. Public comments can be submitted to Sarah Black of the BPDA via email at [email protected], or submitted via the BPDA project page at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.