The traffic-choked tangle of Charlestown’s Sullivan Square could undergo major changes if plans for a development project filed with the city come to fruition.
Development firm Fulcrum Global Investors said Tuesday that it wants to build a 29-story apartment tower on a dilapidated corner of Mystic Avenue, just south of the Somerville line. It would be the tallest building north of downtown Boston. Fulcrum wants to build a “striking, elegant” tower 334 feet high on the site of a towing company’s shuttered office, according to a letter it sent to the Boston Planning & Development Agency. The ground floor would feature a “European-style market hall.”
It would reflect the rapid change of another formerly industrial section of the city. Several new developments, including the large-scale re-do of the old Hood Milk plant, have sprouted in recent years along Rutherford Avenue, south of Sullivan Square, while Assembly Row has transformed its patch of Somerville just to the north.
But this would the first of several major parcels along Sullivan Square itself ― toward the Mystic River ― that could come up for redevelopment. The BPDA has circled Sullivan Square as one of several areas of the city where it sees potential for large-scale redevelopment and much-needed housing. An attorney for Fulcrum, which plans about 695 apartments as part of the project, nodded to that vision in his letter to the BPDA.
“Redeveloping this blighted property will help the city meet its critical need for additional housing by supplying hundreds of high-quality, market-rate and affordable rental resident units that will be ideally located in relation to extensive transit resources,” wrote Don Wiest.
Still, details were relatively sparse, as is typical with an initial filing. Wiest said the 552,000-square-foot building would include the ground-level market and retail, “work-from-home suites, resident gathering lounges,” and a pool deck. No images of the proposed building were available, but Wiest promised a landmark tower along Interstate 93 at the northern entry point to downtown.
The site is relatively far from both Charlestown’s most famous landmark — the Bunker Hill Monument — and its older residential neighborhoods. Residents of those neighborhoods and the BPDA have in recent months launched work on a new community plan for Charlestown, designed to guide growth in Sullivan Square and elsewhere. BPDA director Brian Golden said this project — like others in neighborhoods where long-term planning efforts are in the works — will be reviewed with the aims of that still-evolving plan in mind.
More details are likely in the coming weeks, with neighborhood and BPDA review to follow.