BRA board received an in-depth presentation finalizing the Christian Science Masterplan at tonight’s board meeting. The Plaza Revitalization Project Plan consists of three main objectives: (1) enhance the Plaza for the community; (2) improve the environmental sustainability of the Plaza; and (3) explore opportunities for underutilized real estate.
The Church has limited the amount of proposed new development on selected edges of the Plaza to 950,000 square feet of vacant land since any more density would impact the Plaza and its surrounding areas in undesirable ways, including reducing the amount of open space. Nine separate sites in and around the Plaza were studied for their development potential. Six of the sites were eliminated from consideration because of their urban design implications, size, location, or existing features, such as the Reflecting Pool. Three sites (two of which will be combined into one site) were determined to be the best locations for development. The Dalton/Belvidere Street Site consist of two parcels. Planned uses for the tow buildings include residential, hotel, ground floor retail and small office use. The Hunting Avenue Site is planned for residential use and will activate the dormant corner of the plaza with life and activity.
Over the past two years, the BRA and the Church have worked with a mayor-appointed Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) as part of the community review process. Next, the Church will now pursue zoning relief for the site, through a Planned Development Area Master Plan, which will require a map and text amendment to the Boston Zoning Code. Once the zoning process is completed, the Church will issue a request for proposals to select a development team. Each project will go through the Article 80 Development Review Process. It is expected that the CAC members will serve on the IAG(s) for each part of the project.