Walsh Backs Development Study For Roxbury, Dorchester

Rendering of the proposed Dudley Square tower.

Rendering of the proposed Dudley Square tower.

Roxbury’s Dudley Square and Dorchester’s Glover’s Corner are the latest neighborhoods where Boston Mayor Marty Walsh wants to study the potential for higher-density development.

During Tuesday’s State of the City address, Walsh announced that the neighborhoods will become new planning areas for the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) as part of efforts to control spiraling housing costs.

“New homes will help bring costs back to working people’s budgets,” Walsh said during Monday’s address.

Developer Kenneth Guscott’s Long Bay Management Co. last year floated preliminary plans for what would become Dudley Square’s tallest structure: a $190 million, 25-story residential tower containing more than 100 apartments and up to 100,000 square feet of commercial space.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority last year identified corridors along the MBTA Red Line in Dorchester and Orange Line in Jamaica Plain where the city will consider changing zoning to allow taller multifamily buildings. Walsh has set a goal of encouraging development of 53,000 additional housing units by 2030.

The initiative takes place even as thousands of apartment units are already in the permitting pipeline in neighborhoods including South Boston, Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.

Sara Myerson, who has headed the ongoing Imagine Boston 2030 master planning effort since August, has been named the BRA’s new director of planning, Walsh announced.

Myerson will oversee an expanded BRA planning staff as the agency brings more of those duties in-house. The agency recently filled six new positions for full-time planners, including three who are assigned to concentrate on the two-year master plan process. In the past, many of the BRA’s planning studies have been performed by private consultants.

To protect residents whose homes are threatened by gentrification, Walsh announced the formation of a new Office of Housing Stability that will provide incentives to landlords to retain affordable housing stock and provide assistance for affected tenants.

“People want to live in Boston,” Walsh said. “That’s a good thing. But we need to shape growth as a community, not let it shape us.”

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Walsh Backs Development Study For Roxbury, Dorchester

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min