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BOSTON-The Boston Redevelopment Authority is in the process of developing a series of interim guidelines for the Longwood Medical Area that will determine the future of development for this section of the city that is home to a large concentration of medical and academic institutions, including Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital.

LMA has recently experienced exceptional growth and the city wants to be able to manage that growth. Meredith Baumann, spokesperson for the BRA tells GlobeSt.com that the city has not yet drafted a master plan for the area but until that effort is undertaken, she says the interim guidelines will dictate development in the area.

She notes that the guidelines will basically focus on three key areas: urban design, transportation and workforce development. Urban design will deal with the size and density of a project while transportation will consider parking issues and dictate how institutions comply with traffic management plans. Workforce development will be concerned with how institutions undergoing expansion can engage area residents in training efforts.

“There is a lot going on in this area,” explains Baumann. “The growth is impacting the infrastructure in the area.” Baumann acknowledges that recently proposed projects that have not yet been approved by the city will be impacted by the interim guidelines but to what extent is not yet clear. Among the recently proposed projects for the area are two labs totaling about 1.4 million sf of space proposed by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Lyme Properties. The Joslin Diabetes Center has proposed a $395 million expansion project that would involve adding one million sf of research and medical facilities as well as residences to the facility.

“It’s likely that projects [in the proposal stage] will need to tailor their plans to fit the guidelines,” says Baumann. “We’re trying to come up with a plan to protect everyone’s interests.”

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