Thursday, June 16, 2011

LOCAL HOUSING NEWS: Plan for Herald site: apartments, stores

National Development may begin work in ’12; goal is a vibrant city block

A proposal to build retail stores, 262 apartments, and underground parking on the site of The Boston Herald was filed with the city yesterday, signaling an end to the newspaper’s operations at its longtime headquarters in the South End.

National Development, of Newton, told the Boston Redevelopment Authority it wants to transform the industrial property into a mixed-use complex that would incorporate public gardens, outdoor seating, and other amenities.

An executive with National, which has an agreement to redevelop the property with Herald publisher and owner Patrick Purcell, said the tabloid is planning to move from the property by the end of the year. The executive, Ted Tye, said the Herald is considering two locations in Boston but declined to say where. A spokeswoman for the Herald could not be reached.

Last month, the newspaper said it was negotiating to have the tabloid largely printed and distributed by The Boston Globe.

The proposed redevelopment of the Herald’s headquarters promises to enliven a drab corner of the city where Chinatown, the South End, and South Boston meet.

The two-story newspaper building was constructed in the 1950s.

In documents filed with the city, a lawyer for the project said it involves partial demolition of the building to construct apartments, 63,700 square feet of space for restaurants and stores, and 263 underground parking spots. The property would also have 192 surface parking spaces.

Tye said a supermarket, restaurant, cafe, and other retail operations are envisioned.

“We want to keep the site very active and vibrant,’’ he said. “We think that’s what’s called for in this part of the city, where there are some really great projects happening.’’

Another developer is planning a hotel on adjacent property, and several other retail and residential projects have begun to transform parts of Harrison Avenue and Washington Street.

Tye said construction may begin early next year.

The developer first needs approvals from the Boston Redevelopment Authority and other agencies.

Casey Ross Boston Globe June 8, 2011

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