Business & Tech

This may be the biggest project to yet hit South Boston

Redgate Capital Partners and Hilco Global
Rendering of the proposed development of the former Boston Edison power plant in South Boston.

The redevelopment of the old Boston Edison power plant site in South Boston was always going to be a big project.

Now it’s clear just how big.

Developers who bought the shuttered power plant detailed their building plans for the 15-acre site in a new filing to City Hall on Monday. It would be among the largest in Boston at a time when big projects are popping up all over — and perhaps the largest ever in Southie proper, a neighborhood already busy with building projects.


Among the details released by Redgate Partners and Hilco Global:

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

 1,588 units of housing — both apartments and condos.

 Seven new buildings, three of which will be at least 200 feet high;

 A 150-room hotel, 339,000 square feet of office space, and 68,000 square feet of retail;

 987 underground parking spaces and more than 10,000 new car trips per day to and from the project, with another nearly 5,000 transit riders;


  A new road off Summer Street and a 1.15-acre plaza along the Reserved Channel;

 Dedicated space for “arts and industry” uses, and a rehab of the plant’s century-old Turbine Hall.

Map: Location of the proposed development

At 2.1 million square feet, the massive project sits at the edge of a neighborhood where residents are already pushing back against what they see as too much development. And even with nearly 1,000 spaces, it may raise concerns about too little on-site parking in a part of the city where the search for street parking can take on epic proportions.

Redgate and Hilco, which paid $24.25 million to buy the plant in 2015, began laying the groundwork for neighborhood approvals in January, when they led community tours through the old plant and asked residents what they’d like to see there. The companies said they incorporated that feedback into the project, including an “arts and industry” theme for the street-level retail.

“Our proposed project will reintegrate a formerly industrial site into a thriving, mixed-use project that will serve as a gateway to the South Boston neighborhood,” Redgate principal Ralph Cox said in a statement. “We took the feedback we heard from the community very seriously, which helped us create a site plan that prioritizes arts, civic, and cultural uses. It also reaffirmed our commitment to historic preservation, which will result in the preservation of the three turbine halls that are the heart and soul of the development.”


The project is now before the Boston Planning & Development Authority, where neighbors will have another crack at weighing in on the specifics.

But beyond selling Southie on a giant project, the developers face additional hurdles. They need to get the Massachusetts Port Authority to lift a property restriction that blocks any kind of housing — let alone 1,588 units — at the old plant, tied to a new truck road the agency built across the Reserved Channel that skirts the edge of their property. And they’ll need to persuade the state to ease rules requiring a water-dependent use on the site.

If they can do all of that, Redgate and Hilco hope to start construction in 2018, and have the whole place transformed, into something much busier, by 2030.

Now closed, the old Boston Edison plant in South Boston looms large in the neighborhood.
David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Now closed, the old Boston Edison plant in South Boston looms large in the neighborhood.

Tim Logan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bytimlogan.