Fort Point plans add outdoor restaurant
The developer of the FP3 loft and restaurant complex is building another residential complex in the Fort Point neighborhood, one that will include smaller so-called innovation apartments and the area’s first outdoor dining spot.
Berkeley Investments Inc. of Boston won approval from city regulators Thursday night to a renovate a five-story warehouse at 381 Congress St. into 44 residences with a ground-floor restaurant that will spill out onto a 1,200-square-foot patio.
The $17.5 million project will include 28 units that will be more compact and available at affordable prices, as well as 16 extended-stay units intended for workers in need of short-term housing.
“The smaller units are cost effective and cater to people who want the entire district to be their living room,’’ said Mark Barer, a vice president with Berkeley Investments. He said the units will be between 500 to 800 square feet, with rents ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 per month. He said Berkeley is in negotiations with a well-known chef, whom he declined to name, to open in the restaurant space.
The units planned for the building will be considerably less expensive than many of newly built one- and two-bedroom apartments in Boston that rent for between $3,000 and $5,000 per month. Mayor Thomas M. Menino has been pushing developers and architects in the neighborhood to design smaller units to serve the workforce in the budding Innovation District on the waterfront.
Renovations to the 381 Congress St. building are being designed by the architecture and planning firm ADD Inc., which has also designed innovation apartments to be built nearby at 63 Melcher St. and other planned residential buildings in the neighborhood.
Vickie Alani, the architect leading the 381 Congress project, said the building’s units have high ceilings and fewer walls between rooms to help create a feeling of openness despite their smaller size.
“People really want a comfortable, airy, bright place that’s connected to the city,’’ she said. “The design is really meant to cater to that lifestyle.’’
Alani said perhaps the project’s most significant feature is the outdoor dining space that will bring new activity to streets in the district, which has just begun to emerge as a dining destination with several new restaurants and cafes.
“It will be the first restaurant to offer outdoor dining, and that will get people, and laptops, and everything else out on the street,’’ she said. “It adds to a sense of vibrancy on that corner.’’
Casey Ross can be reached at email@example.com.