The Boston Redevelopment Authority is speeding up its consideration of building proposals by developers and others in the final months of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s administration, moving rapidly over the objections of some neighborhood residents and both candidates vying to become the city’s next mayor.
The BRA, which reviews all major development projects, has started increasing the frequency of its board meetings to act on proposals calling for everything from tax relief, to long-term real estate plans for universities, to construction of towering residential buildings.
Between July and September, the BRA received 27 project submissions, a 68 percent increase over the same period in 2012. In addition to Menino’s departure, the increased activity could be driven by several factors, such as developers’ fears of rising interest rates and their desire to capitalize on Boston’s red-hot residential real estate market.
Several hotly debated projects are pending, including long-term development plans for Northeastern University, a 33-story hotel and condominium building in the Back Bay, and a master plan for Harvard University’s expansion into Allston.
The BRA’s director, Peter Meade, said the authority is holding additional board meetings to make time for community debate and to respond to developers’ plans at a time of rapid building activity. He said the BRA is not trying to rush projects into construction, or exert influence over the next administration.
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