Chinatown Master Plan 2010: Community vision for the future

Artist rendering of Mary Soo Hoo Park. (Image courtesy of Randall Imai, Chinatown Master Plan 2010.)

Artist rendering of Mary Soo Hoo Park. (Image courtesy of Randall Imai, Chinatown Master Plan 2010.)

Submitted by Kye Liang and William Moy

This is the second part of a series on the Chinatown Master Plan 2010: Community Vision for the Future. The previous article summarized the process, vision, and plan. In this article, development areas and parcels are identified and an update is provided on their status. The Chinatown Master Plan 2010 is available at: brownwalkerplanners.com/files/CTMP2010.pdf.

In 2008, the community came together to create a vision for future of Chinatown. The Chinatown Master Plan 2010 grew out of the community’s desire to preserve and sustain Chinatown in the future.

The Chinatown Master Plan 2010 identified areas in the community that could anchor and support Chinatown’s future growth. It also identified sites with the potential to be developed in the future. The areas considered to be anchors are: Phillips Square, South Bay, New York streets, and the Hinge Block. These areas have the growth potential to be redeveloped and serve as “land bridges” to connect Chinatown with its neighbors.

Other than the anchor areas, land parcels were identified as having potential for future development and owned by the city, state, or community. These parcels are: Parcel R-1, South Bay Parcels 25, 26a, and 26b, Parcel 12, Parcel A, and the 50 Herald Street property. These parcels were identified because the community has the potential to influence their development, compared to privately-owned properties which the community would have little or no influence over.

 

Anchor areas

Artist rendering of Phillips Square. (Image courtesy of Randall Imai, Chinatown Master Plan 2010.)

Artist rendering of Phillips Square. (Image courtesy of Randall Imai, Chinatown Master Plan 2010.)

Phillips Square: Located at Harrison Avenue and Essex Street is a vital link between Downtown, Chinatown, and the South End through the Harrison Avenue corridor. New residential projects under construction around Phillips Square are Hayward Place, Hong Lok House and 120 Kingston Street. The Oxford-Ping On project is in the design phase and may be ready for construction in the summer of 2013.

South Bay: A 20-acre tract of land and air rights over the Albany Street tunnel portal to the Southeast Expressway and is bounded by Kneeland Street, Atlantic Avenue, Albany Street and Mass Turnpike. The parcels are owned by MassDOT. In 1990, the Chinatown Master Plan 1990 envisioned South Bay as a “land bridge” to reconnect the residential community destroyed by highway construction. The Asian Community Development Corporation has prepared construction documents for Parcel 24, a 23-story mixed-use residential project. MassDOT released an RFP for Parcel 25 and received proposals from two developers: Archstone Properties and Berkeley; and Trinity Financial and New Boston Fund.

Artist rendering of the New York streets, from Harrison Avenue. (Image courtesy of Randall Imai, Chinatown Master Plan 2010.)

Artist rendering of the New York streets, from Harrison Avenue. (Image courtesy of Randall Imai, Chinatown Master Plan 2010.)

New York streets: The area is bounded by Herald, Albany, East Berkeley and Tremont streets. Urban renewal redeveloped the area into large developed large blocks such as the Boston Herald and Castle Square. In 2009, the Boston Redevelopment Authority initiated the Harrison-Albany Corridor Strategic Plan with participation from a 30-member advisory committee from South End and Chinatown. Projects currently proposed in the New York streets are the Ink Block/Boston Herald and 275 Albany Street. The South Cove Manor Nursing Home received bids to purchase their property at 120 Shawmut Avenue.

Hinge Block: A two-acre site bounded by Washington, Boylston, Tremont and Stuart streets. The Chinatown Master Plan 1990 identified the site as a “land bridge” to connect Chinatown with Downtown, Midtown Cultural District, and Boston Common. Currently, the Kensington project on Washington Street project is under construction, the 45 Stuart Street project by AvalonBay is BRA-approved for a residential development and Parcel P-7A on Stuart Street is proposed for construction of a hotel.

 

Potential development parcels

Parcel 12: Owned by the BRA and located in the heart of the Theater District on Tremont Street, the parcel is a surface parking lot and sits between the Doubletree Hotel and Tufts Medical Center parking garage. The Chinatown Master Plan 1990 originally designated the site for housing but it has since been proposed for other uses such as a school or an MBTA Silver Line portal.

Parcel A: Owned by the BRA, this site is bounded by Washington, Pine, Harrison and Marginal Road. The Josiah Quincy Upper School is presently located temporarily on Parcel A until renovations are complete for their new facility. The Boston Chinese Evangelical Church was BRA-approved as a redeveloper for Parcel A in exchange for their church site on Harrison Avenue.

Parcel R-1: The former YMCA bubble is bounded by Tyler, Hudson and Harvard streets. Adjacent to Parcel R-1 is a smaller lot owned by the Chinese Christian Church. Parcel R-1 is leased to Tufts University, and the BRA recently approved a five-year extension for development rights to Parcel R-1.

50 Herald Street: 50 Herald Street (SCM Building) was deeded to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in 1983 for affordable housing through a Memorandum of Understanding with Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center. The site has been leased to C-Mart, a Chinese supermarket, and in 2012 CCBA renewed the lease for 10 years with two five-year options.

Kye Liang was the Chinatown Master Plan 2010 project coordinator. Bill Moy is the co-moderator of the Chinatown Neighborhood Council and served on the Chinatown Master Plan 2010 Oversight Committee.

This post is also available in: Chinese

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