Image courtesy of Stantec

The developer proposing a 636-unit housing tower in Charlestown that’s been subject to a lengthy delay in its approval defended the project’s potential benefits for housing creation and reliance on public transit.

Fulcrum Global Investors says its One Mystic tower would fulfill many of the goals embraced by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, including housing creation, coastal resiliency and transit-oriented development without displacement.

“Charlestown risks becoming an island of the wealthy within Boston – a veritable `Nantucket West,’ ” the development team wrote in an updated filing to the BPDA. “Only significant and rapid increases to the local housing stock can offset this accelerating and corrosive trend of concentrated, inequitable wealth and displacement.”

Newton-based Fulcrum Global Investors, founded by former Barings real estate executive Scott Brown, originally submitted plans for its One Mystic tower in February 2021. The 1.4-acre site borders Mystic Avenue, Sherman and Dorrance streets and currently contains an auto salvage yard and industrial buildings.

The BPDA advisory group reviewing the project has not met in over a year, and a BPDA official in 2021 criticized the original proposal for not reflecting some of the guidelines in the ongoing PLAN: Charlestown study.

A scoping document issued by the BPDA in November 2021 said the “overall scale and massing of the proposal is incongruous with the existing context of Sullivan Square.”

The project was amended in 2021 to reduce the height from 334 to 279 feet, while reducing the number of residential units from 695 to 639.

In a supplemental filing submitted this week, Fulcrum Global Investors offered a full-throated defense of the project’s benefits and submitted only minor changes from the previous version.

The project will include 20 percent income-restricted units, including 60 percent compact living units. Located 650 feet from the MBTA’s Sullivan Square station, with its 12 bus routes and Orange Line stop, it would offer future residents 30-minute commutes to nearly 860,000 jobs, according to data in the submission.

“Sullivan Square, unlike the Seaport, is transit-rich, and thus new development in the former area will have much lower traffic impacts,” the filing states.

The newest submission includes some changes to design in response to BPDA staff comments, including an increase from 17 to 20 percent affordable units, and realignment of the building footprint allowing Sherman Street to remain open and improve access to the MBTA station.

Brown declined to comment beyond the public filing, which has a comment period that runs through April 28.

BPDA officials are reviewing a group of major development proposals in Charlestown.

Bunker Hill Community College is seeking to partner with a private developer on up to 3 million square feet of new projects on its 32-acre campus, replacing 1970s-era buildings.

TRAX Development and RISE Together are seeking approval for 2.6 million square feet of commercial space and housing on 13 acres of commercial parcels located along Cambridge and Roland streets.

The Flatley Co. is seeking approval for a 1.8 million-square-foot redevelopment of the former Domino Sugar factory at 425 Medford St., while The Fallon Co. has submitted plans for 812,000 square feet of office, lab and retail space at 60-66 Cambridge St.

The various developers have been in talks with the BPDA about creation of a private transit shuttle to augment and connect to MBTA service.

Developer Defends Plan for Charlestown Housing Tower

by Steve Adams time to read: 2 min