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City of Boston issues request for proposals for Lafayette parking garage

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Neighborhood Development

Sale of Lafayette Garage will generate millions of dollars for affordable housing in Boston

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston have released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Lafayette Parking Garage, a 159,123 square foot parking garage in the downtown neighborhood of Boston, as a means to generate millions of dollars for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in Boston. The Lafayette Parking Garage is a three-floor parking garage located at 1 Avenue de Lafayette in Downtown Boston, consisting of approximately 1,029 parking spaces for vehicles.

"The sale of the Lafayette Garage will provide an unique opportunity to invest in affordable housing in the City," said Mayor Walsh. "Those investments will benefit the residents in our community who need it the most. Everyone in Boston should have a safe, stable place to live and the sale of this parking garage will allow more of our vulnerable residents to have a home." 

The Lafayette Garage was first constructed in 1980, and underwent an $8 million renovation in 2015. The garage is operated under a long-term ground lease and profit sharing agreement that terminates in April of 2022. The Off-Street Parking Facilities Board voted to approve the disposition of the garage through an agreement with the Department of Neighborhood Development on February 28, 2020.

The RFP asks potential buyers to offer their vision for the future of the garage while setting an expectation that the property will continue to be used as a public parking facility.  The Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), in collaboration with the Off-Street Parking Facilities Board and Boston Planning & Development Agency, will evaluate responses and select the proposal that yields the greatest benefit to the City.  Once a buyer is selected, DND will seek a City Council surplus vote for the property and Public Facilities Commission approval of the sale in accordance with City and State law.  The sale is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021.

The RFP package can be downloaded by registering at https://boston.gov/dnd/rfps. Completed RFP responses must be submitted electronically by 4:00PM on March 8, 2021.

A sale of the Lafayette Garage was identified as an opportunity to turn a City asset into an immediate, impactful, significant investment in affordable housing that cannot be financed through the City's capital budget. The revenue from the sale will be used primarily to renovate aging public housing, as well as to accelerate the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the City.

Pursuing a sale of the Lafayette Parking Garage is part of the City's strategy to increase funding for affordable housing, as recommended in the Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 plan.  Since 2014, funding from the City's operating and capital budget for housing programs has increased four-fold, while adjustments to the Inclusionary Development and Linkage Policies, and the adoption of the Community Preservation Act have resulted in tens of millions of dollars of additional revenue for housing. This new funding has supported the creation of affordable rental and homeownership opportunities, the development of permanent supportive housing for homeless households, and assistance for renters facing eviction.  It has also supported the conversion of hundreds of market-rate units into income-restricted affordable housing and the creation of the first City-funded rental voucher program for low income Bostonians, which is set to launch in January 2021.

Since the release of the original Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 plan in 2014, 26,124 new units of housing have been completed. With an additional 9,204 units currently under construction, the City has secured housing for an estimated 52,300 residents, making significant progress in meeting Boston's rapid population growth. Income-restricted housing stock has grown along with overall new production, with nearly 5,500 income restricted units completed and over 1,700 units under construction. Approximately 20 percent of all newly-developed housing units and 25 percent of new rental units in the City are designated as income-restricted. For more information on the City of Boston's work to create more housing, please visit Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030.

About the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND)

The Department of Neighborhood Development is responsible for housing the homeless, developing affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can find, maintain, and stay in their homes. As part of the ongoing coronavirus response, the Office of Housing Stability is also conducting tenant's rights workshops to educate residents about the eviction moratorium and their rights. The Boston Home Center continues to provide down payment assistance to first-time home buyers and home repairs for seniors and low-income residents. The Supportive Housing Division is working with various partners around the city to rapidly house individuals who are experiencing homelessness. For more information, please visit the DND website.

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