Efforts to transform nearly 34-acres on Columbia Point into a mix of retail, residential and public space could eventually transform the area into a national model of success. That’s how some view the proposed Dorchester Bay City project.
The idea is to re-make the area into a true destination. The proposed Dorchester Bay City project currently calls for 17 buildings, including 1,700 residential units, plus commercial, retail and restaurant space.
It also includes designing public space next to the Harborwalk. Plans call for the large development to be built up over the next 10 to 15 years.
The idea is to create a new destination that helps transform the peninsula and some of its surrounding Dorchester neighborhoods by not only enhancing what’s already there, but also by creating new space and potentially thousands of new jobs. Accordia Partners LLC recently filed new paperwork with the city in hopes of making its vision reality.
The firm has been planning out the project over the past year and has already held some community meetings. Much of the acreage involved is on the site of the former Bayside Expo Center. It’s been closed for more than a decade.
Last year, Accordia signed off on a 99-year lease with UMass Boston. While the firm manages built-out of the land once belonging to the expo center, the university benefits financially.
The deal could mean up to $235 million for the university, which the school could then use to shore up a parking garage and support a new nursing school facility. Accordia is also in control of some acreage across the street, which is currently home to a bank.
Infrastructure improvements in the area are, of course, seen as a big part of the development’s future success. Proponents eye such improvements as as a major force in stimulating the project and the entire community’s economic potential going forward.