Former WBZ site to become housing, office space

by Liz Hughes

The former WBZ television station on Soldiers Field Road in Allston will soon become housing, office, and research and development space.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency approved the construction project at 1170 Soldiers Field Road at its Jan. 19 meeting. 

The 6.28-acre WBZ-TV site in Allston will be converted into three office and life science research buildings and an 85-unit residential apartment building. According to the filing, each building will be approximately 225,000 square feet and seven or eight stories. 

The all-electric apartments will be a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The ground floor of each life-science building will have space for retail or a cafe. There will also be an onsite Bluebikes station, as well as bike parking.

In December 2020, the BPDA approved a new facility for this location and, according to the agency, this project is the first under the city’s Western Avenue Corridor Study and Rezoning, which was designed to provide “zoning, urban design and mobility frameworks to guide change in an area undergoing increased development demand.”

Additionally, the project is expected to generate $9.2 million in linkage payments to the creation of affordable housing and workforce training, according to the filing. Additional contributions include $200,000 to after-school programming at West End House, $200,000 toward two annual summer internships at onsite companies for Allston residents and $150,000 to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department supporting the maintenance at Smith Field. 

Area improvements include a $1.25 million donation to the Department of Conservation and Recreation for a new crossing at Soldiers Field Road, as well as $650,000 in improvements at the intersection of MacDonald Avenue and Speedway Avenue.

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