Collected questions and answers from our ongoing community process.
What is On the Dot®?
On the Dot® is a vision. One consistent with residents’ 21st century needs and preferences. A Place with a Purpose. It includes 25-plus acres of urban land slated for 6-8 million square feet of future transit-oriented development on Boston’s largest transit line, the MBTA’s Red Line. There is exciting promise and opportunity in this Dorchester Avenue corridor. The team at Core Investments is listening to hear what the neighborhood wants. Contemplating what is possible On the Dot®. The Core team is doing this hand in hand with the neighborhood and the City of Boston. It is envisioned as a Community, not a Commodity. The community will be kept informed and in the conversation, participants in planning and shaping a future for all.
In addition to being the site of new leasing and new development, On the Dot® currently has more than 40 active tenants in existing buildings. They include Hilti, goPuff, Falco K9, CrossFit Southie, Drive In Paint Mart, Peter Welch’s Gym, Tech Networks, GrandTen Distilling, and more.
What is DOTLabs?
As described at the top of our On the Dot® website, DOTLabs is one of the first chapters of On the Dot®. At the existing 2 and 4 Alger Streets, along Dorchester Avenue, two former industrial buildings are being enhanced and repositioned for the 21st Century.
DOTLabs will be available soon for 140,000 square feet of life sciences, research and development, and manufacturing uses as part of Boston’s newest tech and science cluster. Core Investments is installing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure upgrades, and DOTLabs will be available for occupancy in 2022. Cushman & Wakefield is the real estate broker Core Investments has engaged to handle leasing.
DOTLabs will offer a café, fitness room, bike room, and community room.
What’s going on with the 9.1 Acre Master Plan?
Also, outlined above, exciting development is planned on the 9.1-acre property just south of DOTLabs. A Master Plan for that quadrangle, also along Dorchester Avenue in the larger On the Dot® neighborhood, calls for four new buildings focused on life sciences. Like DOTLabs, this block features extraordinary access to public transportation and highway networks.
Core Investments’ plan will accommodate about 2.5 million square feet of laboratory and office use in new buildings that will include ground-floor retail space, with open space as part of an attractive public realm. Initially, the plan includes a lab and office building of 670,000 square feet, at 505 Dorchester Ave., with three others to follow. Two would accommodate life sciences or tech and office space, as well as ground floor retail and active-use spaces, and one may be a mix of uses including residential.
This life sciences cluster is adjacent to the Andrew Square Station on the MBTA’s Red Line.
What is Washington
Washington Village is new, six-block neighborhood, soon to begin construction, with 98,600 square feet of retail, 746 new residential units, and a 1.5 acre central Green. The five-acre site outside Andrew Square, at the apex of Old Colony Avenue and Dorchester Street, until recently consisted of underutilized warehouse and industrial space, and it abuts a vibrant residential neighborhood. Incorporating feedback from meetings with the Andrew Square Civic Association and other abutters, the redevelopment will create apartments and condos for middle income renters and first-time home buyers, ground floor retail space that will include cafes, restaurants and small retail shops, and parking for 663 cars on site. It will feature a public plaza and green, interconnected with almost a mile of new sidewalks and 130 new trees – culminating in a new gathering space for residents of Andrew Square in South Boston.
What’s the history of the neighborhood?
The land in and around the triangle of today’s Dorchester Avenue, Old Colony Avenue, and Dorchester Street has a rich and varied history. It was largely overlooked for much of the time since Europeans began to colonize the area in the early 1600s, a place to pass through from one destination to another -- first for pasturing cows, for a brief time for George Washington’s army, then for all modes of transportation from horses and streetcars to highways. Native Americans had used the area only occasionally, visiting in the warmer months to fish its waters and dig for shellfish.
Those who put down roots in the neighborhood viewed it as Boston’s -- eventually, America’s -- workshop. The area’s factories and foundries became a major center of the new republic’s manufacturing business. It produced the ammunition and weapons the federal government relied upon for much of the 19th century. The railroad yards fueled a booming business in locomotive production, and the neighborhood’s factories responded with the engines that pulled the first train cars across the continent.
Slowly, a residential neighborhood also developed, initially to host the immigrants and laborers. Near today’s Andrew Square, a small cluster of households grew in an area called Little Neck, reaching a population of 1,300 by the middle of the nineteenth century. Residents renamed their area Washington Village in honor of George Washington’s surprise occupation of Dorchester Heights, which forced the British army to evacuate Boston. In 1855, Washington Village broke away from Dorchester and became part of the city of Boston.
By 1870, the area was officially renamed Andrew Square, after the late Civil War governor of Massachusetts, John A. Andrew, though references to “Washington Village” can be found in newspapers and on maps into the 1920s. The area became less residential as transportation expansion claimed homes.
The large foundries and factories of the nineteenth century gave way to smaller enterprises in the twentieth -- glass shops, construction services, printers, and other industries that helped keep the Boston economy working. This century, the city’s population surged as newer industries brought jobs and residents back to the city. Once again, the neighborhood’s proximity to the city and easy access to existing transportation options has attracted interest and resulted in growth.
What is Core
Core Investments is a Boston Real Estate Development and Investment company specializing in acquiring and redeveloping urban mixed-use and commercial buildings. With multi-million-dollar assets under management across the City of Boston, Core is positioned to continue adding value to existing neighborhoods as well as developing new ones.
Core is committed to creating communities, improving the quality of life for both residents and commercial tenants. We accomplish this by improving neighborhoods through smart architectural design that creates meaningful placemaking; incorporating history, context and community.
This mission extends to its 50-plus commercial tenants and various residential tenants where Core continually creates safe, welcoming, and lively environments through the strategic planning of local services, meeting spaces, outdoor parks, retail and housing.
What steps are Core
Investments, Inc. taking to build upon and invest in the South Boston community?
The Core Investments team is working hand in hand with the neighborhood and the City of Boston every step of the way, especially when it comes to building upon the rich history and culture that already exists in South Boston. In addition to the On the Dot® project, Core is also behind Washington Village, over on Old Colony. We produced the book "Washington Village: A South Boston Neighborhood Rediscovered" by former Core team member Richard Kennedy and journalist Bennie DiNardo, with the collaboration of local leaders. Our founder and CEO is a proud supporter of the community, having invested in numerous local organizations and causes, like the Boys and Girls Club of South Boston, South Boston Neighborhood House, and numerous others, and he has a personal commitment to the neighborhood that goes beyond development.
We're also considering naming streets within the project after important historical figures and landmarks central to the neighborhood. Our building design will reflect a "Southie" streetscape and style that will blend in with the existing architecture and landscape.