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Boston OK’s Seaport apartment complex

$62m project to face convention center

The city has approved construction of an apartment complex across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The city has approved construction of an apartment complex across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. (Evan Richman for The Boston Globe)
By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / April 14, 2012
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Boston officials have approved construction of a 197-unit apartment building across from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, adding to a flood of new residences planned for the Seaport District.

The complex at 411 D St. will be two low-rise buildings with retail shops or small restaurants at street level. It will include 121 enclosed parking spaces and bike storage for each unit of housing. The property was previously occupied by printing company Bowne of Boston Inc.

The $62 million development, proposed by a joint venture of Cresset Development and Clarion Partners, was approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority Thursday night. Cresset’s president, Ed Nardi, said the project will help support the growth of the waterfront, which has attracted an array of new companies and restaurants in recent years.

“Every great neighborhood needs a mix of uses,’’ Nardi said. “You need residential to support these new companies, and it will also help provide 24-7 customers for the restaurants and retail stores.’’

He said Cresset plans to start construction this summer. Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, 411 D St. is one of several residential buildings planned for construction on the waterfront in coming years.

Together, developers are pledging to move forward with more than 1,500 units. Other projects include: Waterside Place (236 units on Congress Street); Pier 4 (357 units along Northern Avenue); and Seaport Square (1,050 units in three buildings along Seaport Boulevard).

Seaport Square, which will fill in 23 acres of parking lots on the waterfront, is slated to bring a new cinema and a long list of retail stores and restaurants, amenities that real estate specialists say will boost the area’s attractiveness for potential renters.

“There is clearly demand for these units,’’ said David Begelfer, chief executive of NAIOP Massachusetts, a commercial real estate association. “We haven’t produced any housing in the city for three years, so it’s catch-up time.’’

The 411 D St. project is Cresset’s second development on the waterfront. The firm also built the Liberty Wharf complex, which has offices and four restaurants, including Legal Harborside and Temazcal Tequila Cantina.

Located on a rectangular lot across from the convention center, 411 D St. will include 42 studio units, 113 one-bedrooms, 39 two-bedrooms, and 3 three-bedrooms. It will also contain 26 so-called innovation housing units, smaller apartments with sleeping quarters that open into shared spaces. Those units are part of Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s effort to make the housing on the waterfront affordable for workers at companies moving to the area. Such units are planned for Pier 4 and at 63 Melcher St. and 381 Congress St.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.

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