Another “patient preservation project” moves forward with the ground breaking for the redevelopment of the former MBTA Substation in Roslindale. Mayor Walsh joined members of the community along with the development partners, HBI, Roslindale Village Main Street, and Peregrine Group, to commemorate the start of construction on The Parkside on Adams, a mixed-use complex incorporating the historic former MBTA Substation’s redevelopment and 43 new residences, including six affordable units. The substation will become a restaurant with approximately 120 seats on the main level. The project will generate about 80 construction jobs in total, and the restaurant is expected to create about 30 permanent jobs. Property management and maintenance operations will also employ 3-5 full-time employees.
HBI and RVMS carried out a feasibility study in 2001 without success. However, after the Boston Redevelopment Authority purchased the substation from the MBTA, the two non profits were asked by the BRA in 2011 to figure out a feasible development plan for the longtime vacant Substation. They played a critical role of acquiring the adjacent properties and assembling the development opportunity in 2012. Peregrine Group joined as the master developer in late 2012. The project was approved by the City of Boston Zoning Board of Appeals in October 2013 and the BRA Board voted in August to grant final designation for the project to the development team. The substation property is expected to be transferred to a limited liability company controlled by Peregrine Group in which HBI and RVMS will be included as limited partners.
The total development cost is approximately $15 million. The residential portion of the project is scheduled for completion in August 2015. The restoration and repurposing of the substation is expected to be completed at about the same time. The Massachusetts Historical Commission’s State Review Board approved the Roslindale Substation’s nomination to the National Register of Historic Places in June 2013. The Roslindale Substation was then listed on the National Register of Historic Places as of August 27, 2013. The landmark substation was originally part of Boston’s elevated railway network. One of six stations built in the Boston area to convert AC electric power from the South Boston Power Station to DC power for trolley use; it went out of use in 1971 and has been vacant since. Designed in the Classical Revival style by a well-known Boston architect, Robert S. Peabody, and built in 1911, the Substation will be rehabilitated following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of historic properties.
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