With projects of all types, shapes and sizes coming through the pipeline, Allston has become one of Boston’s prime neighborhoods for development. Historically, Allston had trouble distinguishing itself from its counterpart Brighton, but now stands firmly on its own ground with new transportation outlets, residential and mixed-use properties. Allston has assuredly established a name for itself in the midst of the Boston development boom. Leading the charge in this new onslaught of growth are the Allston Yards and Allston Square projects. These two developments alone combine for approximately 1,236 residential units and 1,538,570 total SF. Lagging not so far behind in the unit count race is 40 Rugg Road, which is already approved and will bring 265 new units to the neighborhood.
Responsible for Allston Yards is northeast real estate powerhouse, New England Development. NED submitted the LOI for the project in February of 2017. The neighborhood defining development is still under review by the BPDA. What was initially slated to be a 1,050 unit project has been chiseled down to what will be approximately 895 units. The gross floor area is expected to be over 1.25M total SF, which will include approximately 50,000 SF of retail space. The project will be anchored by a 67,000 SF Stop & Shop, who owns the land and is partnering with NED on the project. The square footage of the Stop & Shop is not included in the 50,000 SF of retail.
Allston Square, which is being developed by City Realty, has proposed 278,570 SF and 341 residential units. Approximately 22,145 SF of the project will be dedicated to office space. The LOI was submitted to the BPDA in February of 2018 and is currently under review. This development is one of many in the City Realty portfolio, which extends into Jamaica Plain and East Boston among other budding neighborhoods of Boston.
Although the scale of the projects described above is tremendous, they do not define the future of development in Allston. Without Allston Yards, Allston Square and 40 Rugg Road in the equation, there are still over 575 residential units coming through the BPDA pipeline. The projects that make up these units are in various stages of the development process. Packard Crossing, which will bring 114 new units, is in the midst of construction, while the Nexus at the Allston Innovation Corridor, which would bring 40 new units, has been under review by the BPDA since the fall of 2018. The wide range of project statuses throughout the neighborhood demonstrates that the state of development in Allston is built to last for years to come.
Moving away from the typical condo sell out or mixed-use rental project is Common Allbright. Located just off of Cambridge Street and in walking distance of Harvard, Common Allbright is quite unusual and impressively innovative. Developed by ARX Urban, this currently under review project is forming a new realm of living that embodies a dorm style layout to cater to a mid-price range renter. This type of project is addressing a much needed solution to the rapidly growing demographic in Boston that falls between the ages of 20-34. This age group made up 67.6% of Allston’s population by the end of 2018 and is set to continue rising. Among the 23 Boston neighborhoods, Allston has the highest percentage of 20-34 year olds, with the North End being the next highest at 58.5%. As these figures continue to grow, CNVRG will be watching for similar projects to Common Allbright to appear in Allston and beyond.