The second of four virtual meetings in 2022 concerning the proposed Dorchester Bay City project (the “DBC”) took place via ZOOM on Thursday, January 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. The two key topics discussed were housing, followed by economic development, with particular emphases on affordable housing and jobs that would become available as DBC is developed.
The overall outline of this meeting had diversity, equity, and inclusion as its themes. The benefits claimed from the DBC project include economic/small business development in a little-used part of Boston, protection of the Harbor Point neighborhood (and its residents) from storms and sea level rise, resilient infrastructure for outdoor pursuits (biking, walking, beaching), building sustainably green structures that are carbon neutral, and enhancing Boston’s access to nearby parks and shorelines. DBC will also provide affordable homes to rent or buy, as well as additional challenging, well-paid jobs.
DBC’s inclusive housing means building 1,970 housing units, which includes a proposed 986 affordable units (both onsite and offsite). A fund of $10 million for DBC funding will be set up to enable first-time buyers purchase their own homes. In addition, $18 million on added linkage funds will be established, bringing total linkage funds to $58 million. Various affordable unit types will range from compact studios up to three-bedroom apartments. Accordia and DBC plan to provide guidance and economic advice to those who wish to explore any of the project’s affordable residential offerings.
The economic empowerment aspects of DBC involve neighborhood retail businesses. DBC plans to provide 25,000 square feet of affordable retail space for these businesses, which could include branches of local restaurants and entrepreneurial stores that market products made in Boston. During the DBC project’s build-out, Accordia anticipates about 25,000 construction jobs will be generated. Over the long term, they estimate another 15,000 permanent jobs will be created. In addition, they will provide several million dollars to non-profit agencies for the arts, education, workforce training, and other valuable community efforts. This will all be accomplished with the assistance of dedicated personnel from Accordia and DBC, who’ll work full-time with public and private community partners to put these measures into effect.
The January 20 Accordia/DBC meeting closed with this summary: 986 affordable un its (onsite and offsite), a $58 million partnership supporting affordable housing, $10 million of home ownership support, 25000 square feet of affordable retail space, a partnership for extensive job training , and 40,000 new jobs (25,000 construction; 15,000 permanent). As background information, the first virtual meeting on DBC in 2022 was held via ZOOM on Thursday evening, January 10. This followed a series of DBC community meetings held late in 2021. The topics of the meeting on the 10th were “Transportation, Infrastructure, and Resiliency”; it was reported on by South Boston Online on page two of our January 20 issue. The remaining two virtual DBC meetings will take place on Monday, January 31, and on Thursday, February 17, also via ZOOM. Both are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m.; both are open to the public. The topics of those final meetings, respectively, are “Public Improvements” and “Urban Design/Open Space”.
Accordia Partners’ Kirk Sykes is chairing the four 2022 virtual ZOOM meetings. Basic figures that describe the proposed project are its site size of more than 35 acres, and a final build-out amounting to approximately of six million (6,000,000) square feet. The capital investment is in the $5 billion range – ($5,000,000,000). Approximately half of the site will be devoted to open space – roads, walkways, green areas, public facilities, and so on