Development

The mission of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB), as defined in its Articles of Organization, is "To combat community deterioration in the Back Bay; to preserve and protect the architectural beauty of the Back Bay; and to further the residential character of the Back Bay."

The Development Committee seeks to enhance the character and livability of the Back Bay by protecting the physical fabric of the historic neighborhood as future development occurs, and by maintaining a healthy balance in the unique mix of residential, commercial, cultural, and institutional uses that enrich Back Bay residential life. The goal of the committee is to:

  • Encourage the City of Boston to adopt a master plan, or set of strategies, for the neighborhood, in order to ensure development that is in harmony with the goal of enhancing the quality of residential life in the Back Bay.
  • Monitor both public and private development projects that affect the neighborhood, considering both their individual and cumulative effects.
  • Work cooperatively with the City and the Commonwealth, and with other neighborhoods and business, institutional, and cultural groups, in order to participate effectively in all stages of planning and design review.

NABB's Development Committee has completed an analysis and list of recommendations regarding the long-range need for balanced commercial development in the Back Bay.

For a complete overview of Principles and Guidelines for Future Development of the Back Bay click here.

To read or download the Boston Redevelopment Authority's publication, entitled "A Civic Vision for Turnpike Air Rights in Boston" (June 2000), click here


Turnpike Air Rights Parcel 13 Development

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors selected the Peebles Corporation to build over Air Rights Parcel 13, located on the open north east corner of Boylston Street and Mass Ave. Neighborhood Association members worked with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, MassDOT, and the Civic Advisory Committee to review three proposals submitted for the site. A shout out and thank you to Fritz Casselman for serving on the CAC for all four air rights parcels. We were encouraged that the selected proposal respects the legal zoning height and the proposed uses are compatible with the neighborhood. The project will include upgrading the Hynes T Station. The Development and Transportation Committee looks forward to continuing to work throughout the full state and municipal permitting process to realize a project for this site that is a significant contribution to the community.

Click here to read more about the three proposals and the recommendations of NABB's Development and Transportation Committee, and also click here to read the Neighborhood Association's letter to MassDOT and the BRA supporting Peebles Corporation for designation. 

Fisher College's Proposed Institutional Master Plan

On March 2, 2015, the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay (NABB) submitted a letter to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) reiterating the basic principles delineated in several letters and other communications to Fisher College that NABB believes are essential for the development by the college of an Institutional Master Plan (IMP) based on the standards of review defined in Article 80D, the long standing precepts of zoning policy, and the testimony of residents and abutters at the several public meetings and in the many letters sent to the BRA. Click on the following links to read both the letter and its attachments.  We hope this general material serves as a guide to Fisher College to facilitate the school’s planning process in the development of a workable IMP while discussions proceed with a representative group of abutters and residents on the development of a good neighbor agreement.

On September 9, 2013, the Boston Redvelopment Authority ("BRA") issued its Scoping Determination for Fisher College's proposed Institutional Master Plan.  Earlier in the year, Fisher College had submitted its Institutional Master Plan Notification Form (IMPNF) with the BRA describing how it plans to expand its presence in the Back Bay residential historical district over the next ten years.  According to its IMPNF, Fisher's plan was to: 
  • add 300 students to its enrollment,
  • add 177 new dormitory beds on the Arlington-Berkeley Street block of Beacon Street in addition to the 289 dormitory beds already on that block,
  • add a two-story rear addition to 118 Beacon Street and a roof terrace behind 104-114 Beacon Street, and
  • change the presently allowed use of the building it recently acquired at 10/11 Arlington Street so that it can move its administrative offices there from 116 Beacon Street (which would enable Fisher to add 23 of the 177 proposed new dormitory beds on that block of Beacon Street).
On August 13, 2013, Fisher College wrote a letter to the BRA announcing that it was changing a portion of its plans in response to the volume of letters it had received in opposition to it.  Click here to read that letter.  You can read all of the comments received by the BRA regarding Fisher College's IMPNF by clicking here.  You can read all of NABB's position statements on the IMPNF by scrolling down this page.
 
A description of the Institutional Master Plan review process can be found on pages 15-17 of A Citizen's Guide to Development Review under Article 80 of the Boston Zoning Code.
 
It is crucial that everyone interested in and affected by this proposal take part in the public process.  We urge you to write to the BRA, to attend any and all meetings, and to bring your friends and neighbors.  Please copy any correspondence to NABB at info@nabbonline.com with Fisher IMP in the subject line. We will be happy to keep you abreast of developments as they arise.
 
Read NABB's numerous position statements on Fisher's IMPNF by clicking on the links below: 


Air Rights Parcels on Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue

On March 4, 2013, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that it has designated ADG Scotia II LLC as the developer of Air Rights Parcels 12 and 15, located above and along Interstate 90 at the intersection of Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue.  Read MassDOT's announcement of the designation.  On June 29, 2012, the Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC) for this project had provided MassDOT with its recommendations regarding the development of these parcels, as well as other Air Rights Parcels in the same area.  Read the June 29, 2012 CAC Recommendations for MassDOT Parcels 12-15.


40 Trinity Place / 426 Stuart Street Development

Read NABB's January 3, 2013 comments regarding Trinity Stuart LLC's Project Notification Form for its proposed development of 40 Trinity Place/426 Stuart Street.


Other Development Projects and Issues

Read NABB's February 22, 2010 position statement on the Boston Redevelopment Authority's Stuart Street Planning Study and Proposed Zoning Recommendations.

Read NABB's position statements on the proposed development of a Liberty Mutual Group Campus in Back Bay and the proposed landmarking of the Christian Science Center Complex: