City okays plan for Old Colony House site

A rendering shows the layout of a proposed building at 780 Morrissey Blvd., presently occupied by the former Phillips Old Colony House restaurant and function facility. Image courtesy Michaels Development

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) last week approved a proposal to transform the former Phillips Old Colony House, a landmark Morrissey Boulevard dining and function facility that shut its doors in 2017, into a 219-unit apartment complex with a roof deck, dog spa, and 136 parking spaces.

Michaels Development, a New Jersey-based company that has recently built residential buildings in Cambridge and Brighton, will construct a 179,435-square-foot building, with two portions at five and six stories in height.

The project will include 29 income-restricted units, in compliance with the city’s Inclusionary Development Policy and more than 14,000-square feet of open space. The units will contain a mix of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units.

The acre-and-a-half site at 780 Morrissey Blvd., once home to the popular Phillips Old Colony House and Freeport Tavern, is now being used by a neighboring car dealership as a storage area for its vehicles.

The parcel is owned by Phillips Family Properties, which also controls Boston Bowl, Phillips Candy House, Ramada Inn, and Comfort Inn among its Dorchester holdings.

The BPDA noted that the project’s planning is in step with Climate Ready Dorchester goals, including raised residential entrances to mitigate the impact of sea level rise. The project was aired to the community virtually in the fall and summer and was reviewed by the Boston Civic Design Commission.