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New developer signs on to Andrew Square housing project

A rendering of the planned Andrew Square project along Dorchester Avenue in Andrew Square.Prellwitz Chilinski Associates

A plan for a large housing development near Andrew Square could get new life now that one of the city’s most prominent builders has signed onto the stalled project.

Samuels & Associates will join as a partner in Washington Village, a planned 656-unit housing development between Dorchester and Old Colony avenues in South Boston. They’ll join Core Investments, which proposed the project and led it through city permitting in 2016, the two firms said Wednesday.

Financial terms were not available, and both companies declined to comment. But the deal could help jump-start the $400 million project, which hasn’t progressed far since it was approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency in 2016 while Core searched for investors and partners. In Samuels — a veteran Boston developer perhaps best known for its now-decadelong makeover of Boylston Street in the Fenway — the project attracted a heavyweight builder with a long track record.

“Samuels & Associates will bring its considerable expertise in residential community development, placemaking and project management to the table in support of this dynamic mixed-use project,” the firms said in a statement. “The combined team will work collaboratively with the community and the City of Boston in the months ahead to move this important source of new housing, ground floor retail, and activation of public spaces forward.”


The Washington Village plan, approved by the BPDA in 2016, calls for a string of buildings — the tallest being 226 feet high — along Damrell Street between Old Colony and Dorchester avenues, with 656 apartments and condos and ground floor retail surrounding a “village green.”

Although new investors or partners sometimes propose changes to approved plans, a Samuels representative said no decisions on that have been made.

In May, real estate industry trade publication The Real Reporter reported Samuels was in talks with Core about a deal.


Samuels — which built South Bay Center a quarter-century ago — is the latest heavyweight developer to move into the Dorchester Avenue corridor, recently rezoned by the BPDA for taller, denser projects. Last month, National Development — the firm behind the Ink Block complex in the South End — bought two parcels from Marr Cos., for an undisclosed sum, though it then took out a $65 million mortgage, according to Suffolk County property records. It’s working on development plans for the properties, managing director Ted Tye said.

“We see the South Boston area as having great potential for thoughtful future development and growth, particularly in close proximity to public transportation,” Tye said.

To the south, Winn Companies and the Boston Housing Authority are pushing ahead with plans for an overhaul of the Mary Ellen McCormack public housing complex, with new market-rate housing to help pay for the redevelopment of more than 1,000 units for low-income residents.

To the west, the owners of New Boston Food Market, just across the railroad tracks from Dorchester Avenue, have said they’re close to a deal to sell their nearly 20-acre tract at Widett Circle, while the Walsh administration is beginning the process of selling the 18-acre city tow lot and public works yards along Frontage Road.

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