City releases RFP for Art Park site

April 5, 2013
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After several delays, the City has issued the request for proposals (RFP) for redeveloping the Art Park site, which is City-owned land between Parker and Terrace Streets.

The RFP is a culmination of more than a yearlong process that at times has been contentious, with many critics of the plan voicing displeasure of housing being built along Parker Street.

The RFP can be found at cityofboston.gov/dnd/rfp. The deadline for bids is June 10 at 4 p.m. The City expects to hold a community meeting sometime in July on the bids submitted.

The City delayed issuing the RFP for several months, while it attempted to get the City Council’s approval to sell four of the 11 City-owned parcels at the site. The Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) currently controls those parcels, but can’t sell them without the City Council’s approval. The City finally released the RFP in March in anticipation of getting that approval.

The Parker and Terrace Streets site currently contains community gardens and the Art Park. The Art Park is an area with murals, mosaic footpath tiles and colorful furniture. The park would be dismantled. The redeveloped site would have a larger gardening area and housing and might contain art elements.

The site is divided into two different development opportunities, but both will remain under the single 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 RFP calls for six to nine residential units there. That opportunity will also be on the hook for 25 percent of the cost to improve the community garden.

The second opportunity is the community garden space on Parker Street and the combined housing, commercial and light industrial use along Terrace Street. The RFP calls for 25 to 35 residential units with the second opportunity.

The minimum offer for the first opportunity has to be $127,559, while for the second opportunity the minimum is $360,825.

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.

 

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