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Developer Plans to Redevelop Lower Mills with Over 50 Residential Units

Point Development, a developer, based in Newton, has expressed their interest in redeveloping Lower Mills. The plan is to convert the area to a 57-unit complex that can be occupied by its residents. Lower Mills measures one acre and is located at 1120 to 1132 Washington Street in Dorchester.

There is no solid plan yet, especially as to whether the residential complex will be made of condos or apartments. However, the developers are leaning toward turning the area into a condo, and the plan will probably stay that way until it is underway.

Some Controversies on the Redevelopment

When the developers proposed for the condominium complex after filing a Letter of Intent, the proposal received tentative support from the civic leaders. City Point Development, LLC currently owns six parcels of land from 1120 to 1132 Washington Street. The area includes the former Molloy funeral parlors as well as three multi-family residential properties. According to the assessors, the holdings were listed with a combined value of over $1.8 million.

In the letter submitted by the developer, there were details about the plans of building a mixed-use development that would contain a total of 57 units. There would also be two areas for retail, which would account for over 66,000 square feet over the site that only has 48,303 square feet of space.

In 2014, the developers faced a strong pushback because of the original height and density of the proposal. After two years, they tried again with a new Letter of Intent, which was met in a much smoother meeting.

At that time, the developers were interested in constructing a building that was six stories high, which prompted the objections. Additionally, the civic leaders opposed the plan because of the placement of the lots, which were in proximity to Dorchester Avenue’s business district. Therefore, the plan, which lacked in ground floor retail and parking deck, made it incompatible with the other properties in the area.

The Updated Project

According to the developer, the project will consist of the demolition of three residential buildings that currently exist in the area. These three buildings will be replaced by a four-story development with units that have one to three bedrooms. The project will also include the elimination of a funeral parlor as well as a vacant lot.

The residential units will be quite attractive to potential renters because of it is just 10 minutes away from the Milton stop of Red Line.

If the complex finishes its construction, it would include storage for bicycles, a playground, and almost 90 spaces for parking, which are intended for the residents alone. Those who will rent the 3,600 square feet of ground floor level commercial space can take advantage of the eight more parking spaces especially for them.

Although the project is still being reviewed, there is a huge potential that it will happen. The Vice President of Lower Mills Association appreciated the efforts of the developers in addressing the concerns of the neighborhood when it came to the original plan.

Meanwhile, although it is still unsure whether the building will construct apartments or condos, the proposal indicated that the units would be in condo form. These units are intended for homeownership even though the developers also stated in their letter that they would reserve the right to turn them into rental units if the market or other factors make the condos unfeasible.

Moving Ahead

City Point Development considers Lower Mills as an underutilized site, which they are willing to redevelop to help complement the other buildings around the area. If everything goes to plan, the building would have 12 units with one bedroom, 39 units that come with two bedrooms, and six that contain three bedrooms.

The tenants will have 3,600 square feet of commercial space, which the developers envision as professional offices. They are also open to leasing the space to locally owned stores. Washington Street would also be improved as included in the project. It would consist of bollards, street trees, and lighting. City Point also plans to have open space areas on the site, which would have a play area and a private lawn.