Art Park site guidelines updated

The City has issued updated proposal guidelines for redeveloping the City-owned land between Parker and Terrace Streets, which currently contains community gardens and the Art Park. The redeveloped site would have a larger gardening area and might contain art elements.

The new guidelines, which were updated through comments from the last community meeting and the comment period after, call for less housing, separating the project into two development opportunities and eliminating the requirement for art elements.

There have been many critics of the plan, especially against any housing along Parker Street.

“The spirit remains the same,” John Feuerbach of the Department of Neighborhood Development said about the new guidelines.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the DND are working together to find a developer for the site, which will be a “green building” project. The City has a similar “green building” project in the works on Highland Avenue in Roxbury. Urbanica, Inc. has been picked to develop that project.

The Parker and Terrace Street site contains the Art Park, which is an area with murals, mosaic footpath tiles and colorful furniture. The park would be dismantled, but there might be elements throughout the new site. Earlier guidelines required a certain amount of art elements. The new guidelines encourage the developers to include art elements in areas not built upon.

The guidelines also decreased the amount of housing for the project. Earlier guidelines asked for 10 to 12 residential units on Parker Street and 35 to 46 residential units on Terrace Street. That has changed to 6 to 9 units and 25 to 35 units on Parker and Terrace Streets, respectively.

The City also divided the site into two different development opportunities, but both will remain under a single request for proposal (RFP). A developer may submit a proposal for one opportunity or both.

One opportunity is the housing development along Parker Street, which cannot exceed three buildings. The second opportunity is the community garden space on Parker Street and the combined housing, commercial and light industrial use along Terrace Street.

Feuerbach said the City hopes to issue a RFP at the end of the month or in January. He said the City was not looking for additional comments on the newest guidelines after the last community meeting and comment period. But, Feuerbach said, if anyone has questions or concerns, to call him at 617-635-0353 or email him at [email protected].

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