Major Development Projects Filed for Former Mission Church Properties: Smith Street Project to Feature 17-Story Tower

Two developers in July filed Letters of Intent (LOI) with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) for large projects on former Mission Church property, including the re-emergence of a massive project that contemplates a 17-story tower on Smith Street that hasn’t been discussed since 2005.

The project at 80-100 Smith St. on the former lowers campus of Mission Church is brought by Back Bay-based Weston Associates, owned by Paul and Mark Donahue. The revived plan would build 212,000 sq. ft. of development in two buildings on the campus that would feature rental and ownership opportunities. A new building at 100 Smith St. would be the centerpiece of the project and would go up 17 stories and include 171 rental apartments. There would be 171 below grade parking spaces under the building and at grade in a parking court. The second building at 80 Smith St. would provide 66 units of housing in a six-story building, with 20 ownership condos on the top levels of the building. The below-grade parking garage would accommodate parking for both buildings in a 29,500 sq. ft. area.

“The proponent envisions revitalizing and converting the project site into a residential development that enhances the immediate area, while respecting the history of the property,” read the filing. “In addition to new widened sidewalks, improved pedestrian connections and public realm upgrades, the new development would include a design aesthetic that acknowledges the historical conditions at the structures to be demolished, while introducing new and appropriate architecture for its future utilization…Unlike the City’s prior approvals in 2005, the proposed project would introduce a variety of residential housing types for rental and homeownership options…With approximately 237 units, the proposed project will also address the shortage of market-rate and affordable housing, pursuant to the City’s Inclusionary Development policy.”

Both of the properties, 80 Smith and 100 Smith St., were approved for demolition in 2005 under the old plan, and that remains intact, according to the LOI. A building at 90 Smith St., which bisects the current proposal and formerly was part of the Mission Grammar School, was renovated by Weston Associates in 2010 and is used for institutional office space.

Weston Associates said it had reached out to community organizations and abutters already, including the Mission Main Task Force, the Tobin Community Center, the Tobin School, Mission Church, Community Alliance of Mission Hill (CAMH), and Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services.

Weston Associates indicated it did plan to file its full Expanded Project Notification Form very soon and start the Article 80 review process.

The original project in 2005 had approval to build at high-rise at 100 Smith Street, a mid-rise at 80 Smith St., and would have converted the Mission Grammar building into housing as well. That proposal contained 229 rental units.

Savage Real Estate to File for 1558 Tremont

Building on projects already completed in Mission Hill, Savage Real Estate filed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Boston Planning and Development Agency in July saying they would propose a seven-story mixed-use building at 1558 Tremont St. – a property now vacant and a bit blighted at the corner of St. Alphonsus Street.

According to property records, Jason and Melanie Savage of Savage Real Estate bought the property from Mission Church in 2016 for $3.7 million. The three-story building on the property would be demolished, and the proposed project would contemplate building a seven-story building with 139 units of housing, 1,700 sq. ft. of ground-floor retail and 54 parking spaces on two levels. Approximately 44 of those parking space would be dedicated for use by the church under the proposed project.

“The proposed project is ideally located within walking distance to multiple public transportation options and is bound by Tremont Street to the north, St. Alphonsus Street to the west, Pontiac Street to the east and contains approximately 20,687 sq. ft.,” read the filing. “The proposed design has been carefully studied and developed to incorporate design elements that will respond to and enhance the surrounding area.”

The proposal would be vetted through the Article 80 Large Project review process, and a full filing is expected soon.

Savage Real Estate has already successfully developed The Tremont at 1480 Tremont St. and Longwood Terrace at 40 Fisher Avenue – both in Mission Hill.

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