L Street Station will 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. We have spent years meeting with and responding to the community to refine our plans and make this a reality. We are excited to 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 will 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 will bring:
- 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, including 120 free community parking spaces.
- 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
- Approximately 83,700 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 benefits:
- Site clean-up: We will decommission and clean up this heavily industrial site so that it is safe.
- Adaptive reuse and preservation: 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 halls.
- Waterfront access: We will 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 will 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, ridesharing services, biking, walking, etc). The site is 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 it feels accessible and inviting to the South Boston neighborhood, all the way down to the water’s edge.
- Environmentally friendly: We are making the site green, sustainable, and resilient.
- Workforce development and educational opportunities: Starting with the first demolition permit and continuing during project construction, there will be apprenticeships and employment opportunities in the construction trades for city residents.
- Business opportunities: The first opportunity to lease 10% of retail space will be given to South Boston small businesses and other city- or state-certified disadvantaged small businesses with either free tenant fit-out or 25% discount to market rent. Additionally, the first opportunity to lease 10% of kiosks, push carts, or pop-up tents will be given to South Boston small businesses and other certified disadvantaged small businesses with free rent.
- Community connections: There will be focused local efforts and an on-site office with dedicated community outreach staff to assist South Boston residents to learn about and apply for opportunities, including affordable housing, employment, small business contracting, and retail leasing. Additionally, there will be an on-site childcare facility and civic and cultural spaces available for neighborhood events in the turbine halls.
The development team for L Street Station is a joint venture between Redgate Capital Partners and Hilco Redevelopment Partners. Redgate Capital Partners has a long-standing and proven track record of successful multifamily and mixed-use projects in Greater Boston. Hilco helps communities reinvigorate themselves by bringing new jobs and revenue to properties that have decayed over decades by remediating each site to the highest environmental standards. 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 comprises approximately 15 acres bordering both Summer and First Streets.
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.
As a result of the feedback that we received from the community, we reduced all building heights to less than 200 feet. 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. 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 7-10 years, with deconstruction beginning in the Fall of 2021.
We have made a number of changes to the project that are in direct response to feedback we heard from the community, 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: Sixteen percent of total rental units will be income and rent restricted, including 13% affordable units at 70% of the area median income (AMI) and an additional 3% middle-income units at 130% AMI. Sixteen percent of total homeownership units will be income and price restricted, including 6.5% affordable units at 80% AMI, 6.5% middle-income units at 100% AMI, and an additional 3% middle-income units at 150% AMI.
- 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. In addition, we reduced all building heights to less than 200 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. The first opportunity to lease 10% of retail space will be given to South Boston small businesses and other city- or state-certified disadvantaged small businesses with either free tenant fit-out or 25% discount to market rent. Additionally, the first opportunity to lease 10% of kiosks, push carts, or pop-up tents will be given to South Boston small businesses and other certified disadvantaged small businesses with free rent. We will not allow any marijuana-related uses in retail or other space on the site.
- More open space: We increased the open space that is usable by the neighborhood along the waterfront within the site and at the intersection of East First Street and M Street.
- 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)
- Creation of a $1 million endowment to be administered by the South Boston Sports Hall of Fame or comparable program to provide annual college scholarships to South Boston residents, funded with the first building permit for new construction on the site.
The affordable housing will all be located on-site, to increase the affordable housing supply in the South Boston neighborhood in compliance with the City of Boston’s Inclusionary Development Policy. Sixteen percent (16%) of total rental units will be income and rent restricted, including 13% affordable units at 70% of the area median income (AMI) and an additional 3% middle-income units at 130% AMI. Sixteen percent (16%) of total homeownership units will be income and price restricted, including 6.5% affordable units at 80% AMI, 6.5% middle-income units at 100% AMI, and an additional 3% middle-income units at 150% AMI.
In response to feedback from the BPDA and local residents, we 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; and
- Dedicated turning lanes on Summer and on First Street
At full build out, there will be up to 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 deconstruction and remediation at the site, expected to be followed by the first residential units and rehabilitation of Turbine 3 for office use.
Our timeline will be subject to market conditions, but we anticipate that construction will take place in the following phases:
- Deconstruction (ASAP)
- Phase 1 – easterly portion of the site
- Block B (residential) and Turbine 3 (office)
- Blocks A (office) & F (R & D)
- Block E (hotel / residential) & 1989 (office)
- Phase 2 – westerly portion
- Turbine 1 (retail) & 2 (civic & cultural)
- Blocks C (residential) & D (office)
- Administration building (retail)
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