Meeting set on plans for T’s Mattapan lot

In an effort to include community input into the transit-oriented development of the commuter parking lot next to Mattapan Station, MassDot will host a public meeting at the station’s community room next Tuesday (April 22) at 5:30 p.m.

“Any future development will need to continue to provide for safe and efficient station operation and maintenance, pedestrian and vehicular access, bus circulation and a minimum of 50 commuter parking spaces,” said the agency in a posted notice.

For years, the MBTA, which owns the site, has sought a buyer for the 1.75-acre lot off River Street who would develop or lease the site. Twice, in 2007 and again in 2012, the agency issued RFPs, receiving one bid in 2007 from a community development corporation, but that fell through a year later as the economy bottomed out.

“I’m in favor of a thorough and transparent community process for residents and stakeholders with MBTA [to decide] what would be best use of that parcel with benefit to community,” said state Rep. Dan Cullinane, whose district includes Mattapan Square. “I’m optimistic that the market has changed and look forward to seeing what proposals are submitted and working with the residents.”

Cullinane called the meeting the “first step” in the development process, which will be followed by a request for proposals (RFP), and then a community vetting of the plans.

Last summer, the Boston Prep Charter School made a $1.5 million offer for the property, but the T declined to move forward in the face of of pressure from elected officials. Cullinane and state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry said in January they were confident that if the MBTA re-issued an RFP from developers, the transit authority would find even more bidders, potentially including the charter school.

But Boston Prep will not be joining the bidders, it seems. The charter school has filed plans with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to build a new facility at 875 River Street.