A Mixed-Use Project in Mission Hill Is Moving Forward

The 305,000-square foot development will bring offices, restaurants, and housing to Roxbury Crossing.

Rendering of Parcel 25 mixed-use project

Rendering of Parcel 25 mixed-use project / Provided

A Boston non-profit organization is planning to replace a long-vacant, two-acre site in Mission Hill with a 305,000-square-foot mixed-use residential, office, and retail development.

Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services filed paperwork with the Boston Redevelopment Authority on Friday proposing  a series of 8-to-12 buildings including a 196,500-square-foot, 160-foot tall office tower, 10,000 square feet of retail, 1,250 square feet of community space, and 201 parking spaces on the site, known as Parcel 25, located within just a couple feet of the Ruggles Crossing Orange Line MBTA station.

Parcel 25 is just down the street from the also long-vacant Parcel 3, and both parcels are remaining after the Commonwealth of Massachusetts abandoned plans in the 1970s to extend the I-95 highway from out west through Roxbury and the South End.

MHNHS is the non-profit organization that was one of the lead developers on the One Brigham Circle retail project in Mission Hill at the corners of Tremont Street and Huntington Avenue. That development is very dense and includes a mix of shops and restaurants including a Stop & Shop, TGIFriday, JP Licks, Walgreen’s, and a Bank of America.

According to the Parcel 25 filing: “This development will re-establish Roxbury Crossing as a lively, transit-oriented site where people once again live, work, shop and recreate.” The new project will bring more than $26 million in economic activity into the immediate neighborhood. “More than 1,400 employees, business owners, homeowners and youth training participants will work and live at One Roxbury Crossing,” Rich Giordano, 2nd President at MHNHS said.

Surprisingly, the project includes only 88 apartments for rent-all “affordable.” This location is prime real estate and perfect for high-density, transit-oriented housing of any sort, be it for sale or rent, market-rate or subsidized. It’s unclear why the developer is proposing to build mostly offices instead. An email to MHNHS asking for comment was not immediately returned.

It’s disappointing that there is so much parking included in the project. There will be more than 200 parking spaces, some surface, some in an underground garage. Parcel 25 is practically on top of the Orange Line, meaning it is accessible by public transportation, and the Southwest Corridor runs right into it, meaning there are biking and walking trails also nearby.

MHNHS has already had success building in the Tremont Street corridor, having previously completed the Roxbury Crossing Senior Building, located on what was previously known as Parcel 29, directly behind Parcel 25. That 40-unit project has 540-square foot apartments, affordable to those making 30-to-50 percent of area median income. It is 100 percent residential.

MHNHS must receive BRA Board approval before building can begin on the Parcel 25 project, and so, a start date for construction has yet to be determined.