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Marine store site in South Boston set for development

Housing, retail planned on industrial edge of S. Boston

A rendering shows the proposed development at 270-284 Dorchester Ave., which would contain 91 apartments and condo units.Pisani + Associates Architects

The owner of a marine-supply store in a rapidly changing industrial corner of South Boston is seeking city approval to build a large residential and retail project on the property, according to a letter submitted to City Hall Thursday.

The proposed nine-story development at 270-284 Dorchester Ave., several blocks south of the MBTA’s Broadway Station on the Red Line, would contain 91 apartments and condominium units, a two-level underground parking garage with space for 123 vehicles, and more than 8,000 square feet of retail space, the letter to the Boston Redevelopment Authority said.

Under the plan, a low-slung brick building on an adjacent parcel and the warehouse containing the marine-supply business would be demolished and replaced by a 100-foot-tall building.


The building would be developed by Mark F. Edwards, owner of the C.G. Edwards Marine Store , which his father founded decades ago. Edwards plans to relocate the business to a nearby site to make way for his new development.

If approved, the project would be the latest of many in that section of South Boston, part of a wave of development that has seen blocks of gritty industrial buildings transformed into residential complexes.

Much of the activity has been oriented around the neighborhood’s T stations; planning officials are encouraging the construction of large residential projects along the Red Line to meet ambitious housing goals set by Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

“For a long time, this whole stretch was just scruffy, one-story buildings with tin roofs,” said Marc LaCasse, a real estate attorney who is advising Edwards on the project.

“Now, all this development is radiating out from the Broadway hub, and it’s becoming a more residential area with restaurants, stores, public transit — all the amenities that make a place attractive.”

A rendering of the development, as pictured at street level.Pisani + Associates Architects

The flurry of development on the western edge of South Boston has also prompted complaints from some residents about gentrification and overcrowding. But LaCasse said Edwards’s project, which would provide parking on-site and not directly abut other residences, has received mostly favorable reactions from neighbors at a few preliminary meetings.


Before beginning construction, Edwards would need to obtain several approvals from city planners, since the area is currently zoned for industrial use.

LaCasse said he expects the city to sign off on the plan, because officials are eager to build more housing and have identified the Dorchester Avenue corridor as ripe for dense residential redevelopment.

The BRA recently approved a plan for a six-story building with 32 condo units directly across West 6th Street from Edwards’s property.

Farther down the road in Dorchester, real estate investor Gerald Chan recently spent $5.25 million on a former industrial parcel, with an eye toward redevelopment.

Under the city’s affordable-housing regulations, Edwards would set aside 12 of the apartments for low-income families, the letter said.

LaCasse said that more-detailed plans will be submitted to the city this summer.

Other development projects nearby include a planned 156-room hotel across the street from the Broadway T stop, at 14 West Broadway. Next door, a subsidiary of the private-equity real estate fund City Point Capital LP has won approval to replace the Cornerstone Pub with a 10-story mixed-use development.

The same company is also building a six-story residential and retail project at 22-26 West Broadway.

And DJ Properties LLC has proposed constructing a series of buildings near the intersection of Old Colony Avenue and Dorchester Street.


Dan Adams can be reached
at dadams@globe.com. Follow
him on Twitter @DanielAdams86.