Another new development may be coming to Charlestown. Developers looking to erect a 25-story, mixed-use development at 1 Mystic Ave. recently submitted a Draft Project Impact Report detailing plans for the project.
This isn’t the only development proposed for the area. Earlier this year, Dorchester-based developer Rise Together filed a letter of intent to begin work on the first phase of a three-part project that could drastically change the face of nearby Sullivan Square, adding 851 housing units and 1,749,000 square feet of office and lab space.
Developers have been eyeing the Charlestown neighborhood for some time now, ever since the city noted its potential for growth in its Imagine Boston 2030 plan. “Sullivan Square can become a walkable, mixed-use anchor for the innovation economy, capitalizing on the area’s transit access, publicly owned land, and proximity to growing job centers,” the report, which was released in 2017, said.
The 1 Mystic Ave. development has been in the works since Dec. 22, 2020, when Donald W. Wiest, a lawyer on the project, first filed a letter of intent with the Boston Planning & Development Agency on behalf of the developer, One Mystic Owner. Here’s what we know about the development so far:
Located in the northernmost corner of Charlestown, the 60,089-square-foot site “is nestled between” Sullivan Square and Somerville. According to the draft impact report, the space is part of the Mystic River Industrial Area and has historically been home to small manufacturers. Today, the property is occupied by BellSimons Cos. (an HVAC, refrigeration, and plumbing service), Flynn’s Auto Salvage, a transformer building, and a cell tower, according to the report. The area is zoned as industrial, so the developers anticipate a need for zoning relief before they begin erecting the residential tower.
With Sullivan Square Square station a three-minute walk from the property, future residents could easily commute downtown and beyond. Assembly Row, Encore Casino, and the new Hood Park development are also all within a half mile, according to the report.
The proximity to transportation options is part of what made this location ripe for development, project counsel Michael Parker of Dain Torpy said. “This is a classic transit-oriented development.”
Originally slated to include 695 residential units in 29 stories, the project shrunk in response to conversations with the BPDA and Charlestown residents, Parker said. Now the project is set to include a 478,880-gross-square-foot, 25-story building with 639 units. The building will have studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as 37 three-bedroom apartments added to accommodate families, Parker said. According to the impact report, 17 percent of the units will be income-restricted Inclusionary Development Program units, an increase from the original plan of 13 percent, which is the city requirement.
The development will also include 171 below-grade parking spaces and 774 bike parking spaces. Though the project originally called for the creation of an open-air style market on the ground level, the new plan is to create a more enclosed restaurant or retail space, Parker said. “The reality is, we have winter in New England, so we’re looking at something that’s a bit more durable that could be used all year.”
The size of the building and the number of units may sound daunting to Charlestown residents worried about increased congestion, but people shouldn’t fret, Parker said. “The amount of traffic it throws out is actually pretty minimal,” he said. “Our traffic engineers determined that our peak morning traffic is equivalent to the peak morning traffic at a 700-square-foot Dunkin’ Donuts.”
The developer is One Mystic Owner, LLC, an affiliate of Fulcrum Global Investors, a Newton-based real estate investment company Scott Brown founded after leaving Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors in 2019, where he was the global president and CEO.
According to the website, the Mystic Ave. development is the only project Fulcrum Global Investors has in the works.