Boston Redevelopment Authority OKs Two Multi-Million-Dollar Developments

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor The Merano, a $165 million mixed-use project near the TD Garden, was unanimously approved last week by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. As mentioned in the official statement, the BRA first approved Epsilon Associates’ proposal in August [...]

The Merano, a $165 million mixed-use project near the TD Garden, was unanimously approved last week by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. As mentioned in the official statement, the BRA first approved Epsilon Associates’ proposal in August 2008; back then the project included two hotels, office space, retail and restaurant space, mechanized car parking and the inclusion of 86-88 Washington Street. However, due to the recession, the project had to be readapted and its office component was changed to residential units which are currently easier to finance.

With a total square footage of 491,700, and employing as many as 240 construction jobs and 275 permanent jobs, The Merano is expected to fuel economic momentum in Boston’s historic Bulfinch Triangle, a district bounded by Canal, Market, Merrimac and Causeway Streets. The development team made up of Boston Development Group, CBT Architects, Epsilon Associates, Inc., Howard Stein Hudson and legal advisor Goulston & Storrs is expected to break ground on the project in spring 2012.

According to the approved construction plan, the 149-foot-tall Merano building will include 248,000 square feet of residential space with 230 apartments, a 149,000-square-foot Marriott Courtyard hotel with 210 guest rooms, 13,000 square feet of restaurant space, 4,700 square feet of retail space, 30 affordable on-site units and 184 parking spaces. Scheduled to complete in two years, the project will be mainly financed by private investors and developers; Boston Redevelopment Group agreed to contribute $973,000 in public improvements that would offset the construction’s impact on traffic and community space.

Another development proposal approved by the BRA Board last week was 49/51/63 Melcher Street, a 176,200-square-foot mixed-used project that would revitalize three adjoining buildings located in Fort Point Channel, in the Boston’s Innovation District. A team of development companies including Archon Group, Goldman Properties, Melcher Street Holdings LLC, Gerding Edlen Development, Bargmann, Hendrie & Archetype, Epsilon Associates, Inc., Howard Stein Hudson Associates and legal advisor Dalton and Finegold, LLP will oversee the $34 million project. The Melcher Street project will be completed in three phases at the end of which the Innovation District will add a combination of office spaces, community and restaurant space, as well as 60 new residential units. The development is expected to employ up to 200 construction jobs and 614 permanent jobs.

Illustrations courtesy of the Boston Redevelopment Authority