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BRA approves plans for sprawling apartment complex near TD Garden

The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved a new housing and retail tower near TD Garden Thursday. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved a new housing and retail tower near TD Garden Thursday. PHOTO BY MAYA DEVEREAUX/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved plans Thursday to build a 38-story apartment tower next to TD Garden in the West End by 2014.

The 503-unit Nashua Street Residences will include a two-story shopping arcade that will connect the apartment building with North Station and is expected to cost more than $200 million to build and develop, according to a press release from Feb. 14.

“Thanks to private infrastructure investment and careful planning, the area is growing into an 18-hour neighborhood,” said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in the statement. “The Nashua Street Residences are a key factor in that growth.”

The tower will contain various units of one to three bedrooms on 32 residential floors on top of a six-story base that will contain a parking garage with 219 parking spaces available for the residents of the apartment, according to the release.

Scott Dale, senior vice president of AvalonBay Communities and a developer of the building, said the tower will allow the area surrounding TD Garden to flourish.

“This [plan] is much needed residential housing for the area, and a portion of it will be affordable units that will transform a neighborhood,” he said.

The building will contain 27 affordable units, and AvalonBay will designate more than $3.2 million for off-site affordable housing, according to the release.

Dale said the project will commence later in 2013 and would be the only project for AvalonBay around TD Garden.

Michael Ross, city councilor of Back Bay, said in the BRA meeting Thursday that family housing units will be built in addition to the single units.

“If you listen to the residents of the West end, they will tell you that they are running out of family-sized units,” he said. “There weren’t that many to begin in the first place. Credit to the proponent who heard loud and clear that we want to see more family-sized units.”

Alfred Wojciechowski, partner at CBT Architects and a designer of the building, said at the BRA meeting they would make improvements to Nashua Street and Lomasney Way, which border the property.

“An empty [Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority] lot will be developed to be an extension of the Charles River Esplanade and the Greenway,” he said in a televised filming of the meeting Thursday.

Wojciechowski said this plan would allow for unused MBTA-owned lots to become integrated with the city’s growing park system.

The development team includes AvalonBay Communities, CBT Architects, Exclusive Real Estate and Goulston and Storrs, according to the release.

Delaware North Companies originally proposed and won approval for the apartment tower in 2005, but the economic downturn caused them to drop out of the development.

Ross said in a statement that the new apartment complex would bring more affordable housing options to the area.

“Avalon Bay’s building at Nashua Street will add about 30 units of on-site, affordable housing to the West End neighborhood, and countless new residential units — many of them family-sized,” he said in an emailed statement.

Ross said the community advocated for the new building and it will be valuable for his district.

“I’m happy to be able to see this beneficial and widely supported project be approved,” he said.

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