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Developers revamp plans for L Street power Station project

An image of a planned food hall and gathering space in the former turbine area at the L Street Power Station.
An image of a planned food hall and gathering space in the former turbine area at the L Street Power Station.Stantec

Amid concerns that their original plans to transform the L Street Power Station would overwhelm its South Boston neighborhood, developers hoping to transform the shuttered plant have come back with a new, slightly scaled-back version.

Hilco Redevelopment Partners and Redgate Capital on Thursday filed new plans with state and city officials that would trim nearly 250 units of housing from their 15-acre proposal — giving it 1,344 apartments and condos — while adding office space, a second hotel, and more than 400 parking spaces, to 1,397 in all. They also now say the project will be built out over 12 to 15 years, to ease it more slowly into the surrounding area.

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It’s a response to loud opposition from some neighbors, and several South Boston elected officials, after the plans were initially filed last year. They support redevelopment of the massive power plant site, but said, among other things, that the proposal contained too much building and too little parking. In January, the Boston Planning & Development Agency sent Hilco and Redgate back to the drawing board to address some of those issues.

“We look forward to continuing our conversation with the South Boston community,” Redgate principal Ralph Cox said in a statement. “We have refined the site plan to reflect the feedback we have already heard, and the updated proposal reaffirms our commitment to historic preservation, improving transit and mobility, and making the site a natural extension of the neighborhood.”

How it goes over with critics of the previous plan remains to be seen. The filing will kick off a new round of community meetings and public review, which will probably last at least through Oct. 30.

The complex would still be the largest development ever in that part of South Boston. The site is next to the busy Conley Shipping Terminal, which had worried the Massachusetts Port Authority and the local shipping industry — though Hilco and Redgate adjusted their site plan to try to address some of those worries. Other tweaks include reducing the height of several buildings, preserving more of the old power plant complex, and enabling surface parking on part of the site while the rest of it is being built on.

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They also have a new idea to address worries that the complex is too hard to get to by transit. Redgate and Hilco say they’re working with the MBTA on “innovative supplemental bus service.” It would feature shuttles, which the developers would fund, to South Station and perhaps other points. The buses could be used not just by residents of the complex, but by anyone with a Charlie Card. If approved, the developers say, they would launch the shuttle service when demolition work begins on the old plant, likely in 2019.


Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.