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Cresset Development, LLC’s Chinatown proposal

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On November 1, the Boston Planning & Development Agency allowed Cresset Development LLC’s proposal to renovate an existing Chinatown site to move forward.

Located at 8 Harrison Avenue in Chinatown, PBX Residences will consist of an approximately 21,193 square foot parcel that is currently occupied by two masonry buildings: an eight-story building at the corner of Essex Street and Harrison Avenue and an attached three-story masonry building to the south. The eight-story building, currently known as the Verizon building, was constructed in 1919 as a New England Telephone and Telegraph central switching station and currently houses telecommunication equipment for Verizon. 

Cresset Development, LLC has proposed to renovate the top three floors of the existing eight-story structure to create 46 residential rental units, including seven affordable units. As currently proposed, the 46 residential units will consist of 18 studio units, 20 one-bedroom units, and eight two-bedroom units. Cresset will also renovate the ground level of the buildings to create a new residential lobby entrance for future residents, including a mailroom, a trash and recycling center, a bicycle storage room and two storage spaces for tenant use.

The project cost totals $14 million and the total square footage is 43,393. It will generate 60 construction jobs.

In addition to increasing the city’s housing stock, this project is expected to result in a number of public benefits for the Chinatown neighborhood and the city as a whole, including new pedestrian activity along Harrison Avenue and Essex Street; pedestrian access improvements including new sidewalks in and around the project site; installation of Boston Police Department monitored surveillance camera(s) along the Harrison Avenue façade to provide real time video access to local law enforcement officials; installation of new lighting along the building perimeter to improve visibility and pedestrian safety; and a commitment of up to $150,000 for the redesign and construction of Philips Square to be made available to the BPDA within six months of building permit issuance.