Our vision for the future of L Street Station is to transform a piece of the city that is currently walled off and inaccessible to the public into a vibrant and connected extension of the South Boston neighborhood. Among the array of activities and amenities we envision, it would offer the community direct access to the waterfront as well as open spaces and gathering areas to connect with friends and neighbors. The site covers 15 acres and we propose to create activity and engagement with research & development space, office, housing, retail, hotel and space for the arts; all of which will be anchored by the preservation of the former power station’s century-old turbine halls, which are rich with cultural history.
The new mixed-use L Street Station redevelopment proposal consists of:
- 1.68 million gross square feet of development situated on 15 acres of land along the Reserved Channel that includes three residential blocks, a 231-key hotel and three commercial buildings with 1,214 parking spaces below and above ground
- A large, new 2.5-acre publicly accessible open space along the waterfront with inviting landscaping, programmable open space and amenities
- Indoor space dedicated for local artists, artisans and makers, in addition to outdoor space for arts and industry uses
- More than 80,000 square feet of neighborhood retail that the community has asked for like a farmer’s market in the Turbine Hall, a local bakery, butcher or restaurant
Here are some additional key elements that will bring our vision to life:
- Site clean-up: We will decommission and clean up this heavily industrial site so that it is safe.
- Adaptive reuse and preservation: We think the site’s history and character are worth preserving, which is why we’re committed to adaptive reuse and rehabilitation of portions of the existing buildings, including the main turbine hall.
- Waterfront access: We’d like to create a waterfront plaza that is a public open space with views of the city, access to the water and pedestrian walkways and retail corridors adjacent to the turbine hall.
- Public realm improvements: The public realm will be upgraded to provide a number of amenities throughout the site, including a new network of outdoor open spaces, places for outdoor dining, direct waterfront access, arts and community programming and a thriving retail corridor. We want to convert the site to a “live/work/play” mix of uses that fit with the neighborhood.
- Site access: We’d like to minimize the use of cars by providing better alternatives (buses, shuttles, ridesharing services, biking, walking, etc). The site will be designed to encourage bicycle and pedestrian use through improvements to adjacent roadways. We also plan to take down the walls and fences surrounding the site and create connections into and through the site, so that is feels accessible and inviting to the South Boston neighborhood, all the way down to the water’s edge.
- Environmentally friendly: We want to make the site green, sustainable, and resilient.
The development team for L Street Station is a joint venture between Redgate Capital Partners and Hilco Redevelopment Partners. Redgate has a long-standing and proven track record of successfully completing projects in Greater Boston, including NorthPoint, MIT Kendall Square and Quincy Center. Hilco has deep experience in complicated, adaptive reuse projects of obsolete industrial sites, including The Gauge in Waltham, Tradepoint Atlantic in Baltimore, MD and numerous other properties across the country. The team has strategically partnered to make the site a unique and transformative development on South Boston’s waterfront. For more on our team, please check out our team page.
The L Street Station site is a waterfront location at 776 Summer Street in the heart of South Boston and within walking distance of the Seaport, beaches and the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Broadway.
The L Street Station sits on South Boston’s waterfront and is comprised of approximately 15 acres bordering both Summer and First street.
The site was formerly owned by Exelon and was used for intermittent power generation until 2016.
The site will be decommissioned over the course of many months and during the process will adhere to all state and federal regulations and public notifications requirements. We will fund an independent licensed site professional, working for the neighborhood, to review our environmental remediation plans.
We are committed to ensuring a healthy and safe environment for future residents and the South Boston community.
We will preserve the four historic turbine halls that run the length of the site from north to south and represent the height of power generation and the architectural ornament that accompanied this technological feat. We believe these halls are the heart and soul of the development and give the site character, a sense of place and preserve a piece of South Boston history for future generations.
We will have buildings of various heights in different areas around the site, reaching between 56 feet and 198 feet. Today, the buildings on the site reach up to 330 feet.
We have been meeting with the community members of South Boston and listening carefully to their concerns about quality transit, affordable housing and other important issues. For example, we have increased the number of affordable units to make up 16% of the units on site, which is above the 13% required by the city. We are committed to addressing these concerns as well as aligning our goals and values with other City of Boston planning initiatives including Imagine Boston 2030, Boston Creates, Climate Ready Boston, Go Boston 2030, and Housing a Changing City.
The project will be built in phases over approximately 15 years, with site remediation and demolition beginning as soon as we receive approvals.
What has changed between the previously filed version and the newest plan?
We have made a number of changes to the project that are in direct response to feedback we heard from the community last year, including:
- Increased commercial use at the site: Shifted balance of site to 65 percent commercial use and 35 percent residential, reducing the amount of housing from 1,344 units to 636 units and increasing the amount of research & development and office space
- Additional affordable housing: Added 26 middle-income affordable units, bringing total affordable units to 16% of residential units at the site
- Reduced size: The overall size has been from 1.93 million to 1.68 million gross square feet of development, a reduction of 250,000 square feet
- Remediation: We will fund a licensed site professional, working for the neighborhood, to review our environmental remediation plans.
- Parking: There will be one parking space on-site for every residential unit, and 120 of the commercial parking spaces will be reserved for night and weekend parking by neighbors at no cost. Additionally, we will waive the right to get a South Boston residential parking sticker for all of our rental apartment units
- Retail: We will create a priority for existing South Boston businesses to locate in the retail spaces on-site and offer them a rent discount. We will not allow any marijuana-related uses in retail or other space on the site.
- Additional Community Benefits:
- Commitment for improvements to Medal of Honor Park, athletic fields and playgrounds: $1M in capital improvements and $750,000 for improved activation, operations and maintenance ($50,000 per year for fifteen years)
- Sponsorship of two annual scholarships for South Boston students (each an award of $10,000 per year for four years; total commitment of $1.2M over fifteen years)
Yes, we are committed to providing all of the affordable housing associated with this project on-site. We have increased the number of affordable units to now make up 16% of the total units at the site, including 20 apartment units at 150% of Area Median Income.
In response to feedback from the BPDA and local residents, we have revised our plans to include over 1,200 parking spaces to support the project. Our proposed parking program creates additional opportunities for night, weekend and snow emergency parking for South Boston residents at no cost.
We will provide the MBTA with a fifteen year operating subsidy that will support additional service on bus Routes 7 and 9, including Sunday service on Route 7.
We will also be making improvements to the L Street/Summer Street corridor that will improve the flow of traffic and improve pedestrian safety at key neighborhood intersections.
Finally, we think walking and biking will continue to be important ways of getting people to and from the site, which is why we’re designing the site to encourage bike and pedestrian use, including widening sidewalks on both sides of East First Street.
Improvements to local streets and intersections will be made over time as project phases are built, including:
- New sidewalks and street lighting;
- Upgraded signals and/or new traffic signals at a number of intersections;
- Improved signal timing/coordination;
- Dedicated turning lanes on Summer and on First Street; and
- Adding bus stops where possible on Summer Street.
At full build-out, which is expected to take 15 years to complete, there will be 636 residential units on site. These units will be a mix of for-sale and rental housing, and will be made available at a range of price points.
We have broken down the project into multiple phases that will take place over the next 15 years. If approved, we will begin demolition and remediation at the site, followed by the first residential units and the use of the turbine halls for events, such as farmer’s markets. Once completed, the site will be more than 50% accessible.
Construction will take place in the following phases:
- Demolition (2020)
- We will also address the remaining environmental issues on the site
- Phase 1A (2021 – 2023)
- Construction of low-rise residential along East 1st Street
- Renovation of the turbine hall on First Street into office
- Two additional turbine halls renovated into an interim condition for public events and activities
- Streetscape improvements like wider sidewalks and street trees will be made along portions of East 1st Street
- Phase 1B (2022 – 2024)
- Construction of commercial buildings on east side of the property
- Considerable public realm improvements
- Full extension of M Street through the project site
- Phase 1C (2023 – 2025)
- Construction of hotel and residential uses
- Complete renovation of the 1898 building as office space
- Public realm improvements to increase accessibility of waterfront from East 1st Street
- Public realm improvements along Elkins Street
- Phase 2 (2025 – 2030)
- Improvements along Summer Street
- Development of waterfront open space
- Integration of ground-floor retail oriented toward neighborhood uses
- Final renovation of the historic turbine halls and the Administration Building, which will contain space for cultural and community uses
- Construction of additional residential and hotel uses
The shift to more commercial use will allow for the creation of jobs and better protection for the working port, while still advancing the broader goals of the City of Boston, which includes the development of residential units and affordable housing.
More commercial helps in the following ways:
- Provides a further buffer to the port side of the site: By switching the buildings on the east side of the property—which are in the most sensitive locations to the port—to commercial use, this offers an increased buffer for the port
- Complementary commercial uses: Research & development uses at the site will create synergy between work at the port and work on the site
- Benefits to growing cruise ship business: The hotel and neighborhood retail on site will be a destination for cruise ship visitors. Existing South Boston businesses will be given priority to locate in the retail spaces on-site.
- Job creation: The diversified commercial use will generate 2,500 construction jobs as well as permanent jobs across a broad spectrum of income levels