Notes from the January 31, 2013 Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force Meeting

January 31, 2013
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location:  The Community Room at Central Boston Elder Services, 2315 Washington Street, Dudley Sq., Roxbury

The meeting opened with a construction milestones update for the Dudley Sq. Municipal Center.  Pat Brophy, Assistant Director of Operations for the Public Facilities Dept. reported that the project is finalizing 100% Construction Documents.  Many trade contractors are pre-qualified, and certain other trade qualifications are ongoing.  For example, advertisements for pre-qualification have been issued for Glass & Glazing, Terrazzo, Windows, and Resilient Flooring.  Requests for Statements of Qualification are available at the Bid Counter at 26 Court Street (interested contractors are free to call with questions 617-635-4809).  Brophy noted that in March, structural steel would be arriving at the site, and erection would continue through the spring.

With respect to construction workforce utilization, Mr. Brophy announced that with over 30,000 worker hours, 40.7% were Boston Residents, 59% were Minorities, and 7.9% were Female.  He also noted that recent percentages were trending up, and that the construction field office had expanded its capacity for offices and meeting space.  Further, the jobs outreach effort expanded recently to include the current MBTA Dudley Station Enhancements project (workforce records can be found at:  http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/compliance/compliance.asp )

The next presentation was to introduce the retail tenant outreach and leasing strategy for the DudleySq.MunicipalCenter.  A link to the presentation can be found here:  Retail Strategy Jan. 31, 2013 DVATF

Project consultant, Chris Gordon, began by outlining goals of the retail space.  In addition to providing goods and services for the new building occupants, the space is an opportunity to enliven the block, and strengthen the retail district’s ongoing revitalization.

Presentation highlights follow:

Spaces are all on the first floor and will have some basement storage.  Preliminary store sizes (four or more stores) are estimated to range from about 2,200 to 7,800 square feet.

The process for securing retail tenants is still being defined, and will be regulated by public procurement rules (Mass. Gen’l. Laws Chapter 30B, etc.)

Guiding principles include:

  • The retail survey of 2012 supplemented by market research and community outreach
  • Family-friendly and public facility-friendly uses
  • Tending to promote district-wide economic development.

There is an early priority to attract a full-service restaurant in the space of the former Ferdinand Building.

There may be potential for outdoor sidewalk dining along Warren Street, and near the Warren/Dudley Station corner.

A retail real estate marketing consultant may be engaged to help promote the space.

An outsourced property management firm will be engaged to manage the tenants when the building is in operation.

Mr. Gordon showed a working schedule that highlighted key milestones of the upcoming process:

  • Sept. 2013 RFP for Potential Tenants to be Issued
  • Jan. 2014 Anticipated Selection of Tenants
  • Jan. 2015 Open for Business

The Dudley Vision Task Force and community members asked questions and shared ideas about rents, tenant mix, allowance of liquor license, hours of operation, and other issues.

It was agreed that the discussion would continue at future meetings.

The next scheduled meeting of the Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force is Thursday, February 28, 2013.  The February 14th meeting is cancelled.

 

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