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Minority-Owned Developers Pitch Massive Sullivan Square Development

A rendering of the Sullivan Square Redevelopment Project

A minority-led development team is pitching a large transformation of the Sullivan Square area, applying to develop more than 1.7M SF of commercial space and 851 new housing units. 

RISE Together, founded by industry veteran Herby Duverné, is partnering with minority-owned developer TRAX for the Sullivan Square Redevelopment Project in Charlestown, near the Somerville border. The developers want to introduce 5.28 acres of open space and 47K SF of new retail and restaurants to the industrial corner of the city, according to a letter of intent filed Wednesday with the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

“Our approach is holistic and inclusive, and we believe we can deliver a project of which the community will be proud,” Duverné said in a statement.

The first of three phases in the project would begin in the Inner Belt area along the elevated Interstate 93, and it would include 160 housing units and 906K SF of office and lab space. Developers plan to introduce green space along Cambridge Street near the MBTA Sullivan Square Station. 

Future phases would include the development of parcels along Spice Street and Mystic Avenue, delivering more than 600 housing units, 200 hotel rooms and the remaining commercial space. The area today is dominated by I-93, public transportation connections and heavy rail infrastructure.  

The site will be designed by Boston-based CBT, which plans to move to Charlestown next year. Project partners include engineering firm VHB, design firm PORT Urbanism, KRM Consulting, Dain, law firm Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner P.C. and RISE Construction Management. 

RISE, a minority business enterprise, was formed by former MassPort executive Duverné with former Suffolk construction executive Jim Grossmann and local real estate veteran Brian Anderson. The firm has 13 projects either proposed or in development across Boston.

The Sullivan Square project represents one of the most significant, if not the largest, Boston project led by an MBE firm, which have historically struggled to gain a foothold in the city's commercial real estate landscape.