Medford St. Meeting focuses on open space and resilience

Monday night’s community meeting hosted by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) regarding the Planned Development Area (PDA) master plan for the former Domino Sugar Factory at 425 Medford Street focused on open space and resilience.

The master plan includes the redevelopment of an approximately 25-acre site at 425 Medford St. in Charlestown with a multi-phase mixed-use development focused on addressing the sea level rise issues facing Charlestown and the areas beyond face.

Haril Pandya of the Flatley Company development team discusses the open space components of the project at Monday evening’s BPDA meeting.

The new City of Boston Coastal Zoning Overlay District that went into effect last month includes the Charlesrtown waterfront along the Mystic River, the area around downtown Schrafft that wraps around the Rutherford Avenue and Mishawam area as well as the Navy Yard along Boston Harbor. Zoning requires new development in Charlestown and other coastal Boston neighborhoods to take additional steps to limit damage and displacement related to the impacts of coastal storms and sea level rise.

First, Haril Pandya of the Flatley Company development team said the team listened to residents throughout the community process and incorporated some feedback and concerns into the overall design as it relates to the space. open and resilience.

“We listened to a variety of dialogues and conversations and really tried to get a sense of what people are really looking for,” Pandya said. “I think the most important thing that we’re really trying to address is resilience. In doing so, we try to create a balance between what is built and creating an extension of the neighborhood.

Pandya said the development team plans to extend Medford Street through the property to create a streetscape that makes the project site feel more like part of Charlestown rather than a separate parcel on the edge. some water.

“We’re also trying to look at the open space to be more programmable, whether it’s sports activities or trying to create other uses, the community can access it,” Pandya said. “Second, we create better access and better water experiences. It’s not just about taking a path and getting to the water, but adding more accessible routes.

Pandya said that although there are several phases in the project, each phase will have a unique opportunity to access water.

“We don’t want to create the density that we propose as a continuous urban street edge,” Pandya said. “I think the idea here is to split it along this edge of Bedford Street to make sure we create new corridors as well as water access. This will allow wide access for pedestrians. Along with the resilience component, we want to refresh, invigorate and expand the community path to the Harborwalk, while providing a real opportunity to create a premier destination down to the water. ‘

Next, Jonathan Law from the development team talked about some of the resiliency measures Flatley will take to protect the neighborhood from sea level rise.

“In 2017, a Coastal Resilience Solution for East Boston and Charlestown was released that identified downtown Schrafft,” Law said. “So in some areas there will be six feet of water entering not only this site, but also Charlestown and beyond. open public along the waterfront. This 22 foot elevation is based on the 1% flood elevation of 2070 with one foot of freeboard above. The freeboard is essentially an additional safety net to the above predicted sea level rise. So when we first looked at this solution to address sea level rise, but also create meaningful spaces for people to enjoy, we didn’t want to just build a wall and have an impenetrable barrier that doesn’t create any open public space.

Instead, the flood barrier will be a new, publicly accessible waterfront landscape stretching from Flatley’s property at 529 Main Street, along 465 Medford Street to 425 Medford, all totaling half a mile. long. This new resilient edge of the waterfront will include an extension of the harbor promenade and other public thoroughfares, passive and active recreation and seating areas, green spaces and parks, several viewing areas, shaded shelters , flood-proof seat steps and a public boat launch, kayak launch and dock. In addition to the Waterfront Resilience Zone, the proposed project will create an additional eight acres of public open space, totaling approximately 13 acres, all surrounding and incorporated with approximately 1.8 million gross square feet of mixed-use development including residences, hotels, offices/laboratories. , retail on the ground floor and parking.

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