By Daniel Swift
The recently launched Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Downtown Residential Conversion Incentive Pilot Program, announced in July (read more), has received initial applications. The agency approved a Demonstration Project Plan Area in October, which includes the Financial District, Chinatown, the Bulfinch Triangle Historic District, the Leather District, and the Fort Point Channel Historic District.
Applications received to-date include four office-to-residential conversions:
- Ninety-eight residential units out of what are now three interconnected office buildings, at 85 Devonshire St. and 258 and 262 Washington St.,
- Fifteen residential unit conversions at 281 Franklin St.,
- Twenty-four residential units at 2 and 5 Longfellow Place, and
- Thirty-three residential units at 1 and 10 Emerson Place.
The BPDA considers factors such as project feasibility, adherence to designated timelines, and alignment with the program’s overarching objectives. Applications must adhere to inclusionary zoning and meet new stretch code standards. Approved projects must commit to securing a full building permit and commencing construction by October 2025.
The commercial real estate community has expressed skepticism, with concerns ranging from the adaptability of existing building stock for conversions to the financial challenges posed by high interest rates and construction costs.
Ryan’s local property tax experts are uniquely positioned to help organizations understand the complexities of this conversion program. We encourage you to reach out to us now with questions.
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