In 2012, the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) held a series of community design meetings to discuss developing city-owned vacant lots on Highland St, Marcella St, Beech Glen St, and at the end of Thwing St. As sometimes happens, the plans they started working on were delayed for a few years and the discussion started up again in 2016 and has continued since then. Last fall, the DND issued requests for proposals for development of the properties, which have been split into 4 groups of properties. The deadline for responding to the RFPs has passed and the developers that submitted will be presenting their proposals to the public at two upcoming community meetings.
All of the proposals have been uploaded to the DND website at https://buildinghousing.boston.gov/project/highland-marcella-efe48 but they are quite large PDFs so it can be hard to get the gist of them. As a condition of development, the City is placing a number of requirements about affordable housing, community benefits/open space, inclusionary hiring, and green building/energy efficiency on the developers. I browsed several of the packages and there is a lot to like about this, including the possibility of a pedestrian link from Marcella to Beech Glen via a community staircase with community gardens, similar to Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, and a second community open space area at the end of Thwing St.
Both meetings will be held at the Shelburne Community Center at 2730 Washington Street.
Meeting 1 is on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 from 9AM to 1PM. This meeting will cover packages 1 and 2, which if I am reading the website correctly will include the Beech Glen parcel and the parcels on the Northeast side of Marcella St.
Meeting 2 is on Saturday, April 14th, 2018, from 9AM to 1PM. This meeting will cover package 4, which I believe is the properties on Highland across from the DPW yard.