February 13, 2019
The UMass Building Authority will ask the university's board of trustees to approve a developer chosen to lease and re-develop the Bayside campus in a meeting on Thursday morning. UMass took control of the 20 acre site of the former Bayside Expo Center in 2010 and has mainly used the waterfront land for parking for the Dorchester campus.
The name of the chosen developer for the Columbia Point property is not yet known.
Last year the university initiated a process to solicit bids for the site in hopes of unlocking what could be a windfall of money for the cash-strapped Boston campus. The process has been largely secretive with UMass officials refusing to disclose public information about what companies are in the running for the lease designation.
In a statement today, UMass Boston's Staff Faculty Union said it would attend Thursday's board meeting to register their disapproval for the Bayside deal, citing concerns about rising fees for parking and last year's UMass Amherst maneuver to purchase Mount Ida College in Newton, which many on the Boston campus view as undermining the Dorchester campus.
“The Mount Ida deal was made behind closed doors, and we are seeing a similar lack of transparency with plans for the Bayside lot,” said Marlene Kim, president of the Staff Faculty Union. “The students, staff and faculty have had no input into major decisions affecting our campus.”
Tomorrow's meeting at One Beacon Street will begin at 10 a.m. Readers can follow the events at the board meeting through the Reporter's Twitter feed at @DotNews.