Plans advance for Congress Square, a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use project in Boston

Development East Landscape Architecture Newsletter Urbanism
Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal & Arrowstreet)

Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal & Arrowstreet)

Boston is moving closer to turning an under-utilized part of its financial district into a 24-hour, mixed-used entertainment center. BostInno reported that the Boston Redevelopment Authority held a meeting on the project Monday night, which has been dubbed “Congress Square.”

Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal via Boston Redevelopment Authority)

Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal via Boston Redevelopment Authority)

Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal & Arrowstreet)

Congress Square overview. (Courtesy Related Beal & Arrowstreet)

The plan, which is being pushed by local developer Related Beal and designed by Arrowstreet, would breathe new life into a sleepy cluster of buildings around Quaker Lane. “The Project will transform existing office buildings into three components with a mix of ground floor and lower level retail/restaurant uses with either office, residential or hotel uses on upper floors, providing appropriate 24-hour activity to the surrounding neighborhood,” said Related Beal in its proposal. “The Project includes approximately 458,300 square feet, of which approximately 92,700 sf is new construction.”

But the focus of the project, at least from an urbanist’s point of view, is the new pedestrian passageway that replaces an existing alleyway. Adding to the people-friendly, placemaking spirit of the project, Congress Square includes new bike storage but no new parking spaces for cars. If everything goes according to plan, Related Beal plans to break ground this year and wrap things up in 2017.

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