Columbia-Savin Hill updated on trio of big-ticket projects

Todd-Fremont Smith (left) of the Nordblom Company showed new renderings the BEAT complex, which is now under construction at the site of the former Boston Globe on Morrissey Boulevard, at Monday night’s Columbia-Savin Hill civic meeting. Katie Trojano photo

Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association (CSHCA) members received updates on various development projects in the area — including The BEAT, DotBlock, and Bayside— during a Monday meeting at the Little House. 

Catherine O’Neill, a consultant hired by proponents of both DotBlock and Bayside, briefed attendees on plans for the two developments. DotBlock co-developers Samuels and Associates and Wintergold, LLC expect construction work on the $200 million, 488-unit complex to begin soon.

“We should have shovels in the ground in the first quarter of 2020,” O’Neill said.  

After hosting two meetings in the fall to invite community input on the Bayside plans, O’Neill said that Accordia Partners will be presenting its latest plans for the 20-acre waterfront site to civic associations in February. The team will be at the next CSHCA meeting on Feb. 3. 

“We haven’t filed anything, and we don’t expect to until we present to the four civic associations that helped with the charettes,” said O’Neill. “It was a successful three-month collaboration and the ideas were generated by community residents. That’s exactly what we wanted to happen.” 

Construction is well under way at The BEAT, the mixed-use project that will transform the former Boston Globe headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard, which has been reduced to its bare bones, into a 95,000-square-foot creative office, lab, and retail space, complete with brewery and food hall.

Todd-Fremont Smith, the senior vice-president of Development and director of mixed-use projects for Nordblom Company, showed new renderings of what his team hopes to accomplish at the BEAT. He said the team hopes to have the project completed by July 4. 

“We just thought this neighborhood has so much residential and educational space, but not enough office or commercial,” he added. “We thought with the Red Line it would be a great place to do some office.”

The space along Morrissey will be “reimagined and recreated into a mixed-use, multi-tenant” development, said Fremont-Smith. Although the team hasn’t signed any tenants yet, he said, they are looking to target innovative, tech-geared businesses. 

“Right now, we’re trying to show [the property] to tenants but it’s just a war zone. It’s not a place you want to be,” he said. “But I think by about late spring, we’ll be able to do a tour. ”

The team is looking for innovative businesses as prospective tenants, like 3D printing companies, a medical robotics lab, or architectural design firms. They’re also looking to make the brewery within the BEAT a reality. 

“We’re looking for a tenant for the brew-pub, micro-brewery, which will go on the corner closest to Patten’s Cove,” said Freemont-Smith, “We have taken over Patten’s Cove from DCR, with the agreement that we maintain it. It’s a big park and hopefully we see some improvements there as well.”

Nordblom Company has contracted with Stantec, an international architectural firm, to build out the property. As of now, the team has spent around $110 million on renovations and construction and expects to have poured over $300 million into the project by its completion. 

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